Appendix Seven: Ipswich Road Eastern Business Strip of the Annerley Township (1916-1935)

The Annerley Junction Township is one of the great landmarks on Brisbane Southside, and its history played a central role for the communities linked into the life of Junction Park State School. It is not possible in this work to provide a full treatment of that history. However, thanks to the foresight of the senior archivist at the Brisbane City Archives, Annabel Lloyd, we have comparative detailed plans of the Ipswich Road eastern business strip of the Annerley Township in 1916 and 1935.[1] Combined with street photography of the period, we can give a description of the main business strip, one that capture the sense of environment as it was in the early twentieth century.

Our description starts on the corner of Dudley East Street and proceeds down the Ipswich Road business strip to Waldheim Street. On the Dudley East Street corner was what can be assume was called “Walker Memorial Hall.” Further confirmation evidence is required that the temperance hall marked on the plan was the same hall, although it is extremely likely to be the location. The Temperance Hall and Young Men's Institute was opened by the Hope of Tarragindi Lodge (I.O.G.T., Independent Order of Good Templars).[2] The last newspaper find for a reference to the Walker Memorial Hall is in December 1934. In the 1935 plan details show that some structure facing Ipswich Road has been put in front of the hall; so perhaps by 1935 the building is no longer being used as a community hall.[3] In 1916 there appeared to be seven shop fronts along the Ipswich road eastern business strip of the Annerley Township from Dudley to Waldheim Streets. Between a few shops is open land which is filled by 1935 with an additional four shops, including the one that fronted the hall. Many of the shops are dwellings with retail fronts. There are long backyard steps from the building in a few of the properties. McCarthy & Nash Bakers on the Waldheim Street corner is a one story building with a brick basement. It sat on a very large corner block. At the back of the bakery there are stables for room for possibly six horses. There are also a sizable shed in the back area.

There are several photographs from the State Library of Queensland that reveal the street view of the Annerley Junction in this era. The best photograph in that collection of the Ipswich road eastern business strip is called, "Scene at the junction of Ipswich and Annerley Roads, Annerley, ca. 1915."[4] The photograph is focused on a single carriage tram at speed appearing to race southward on Ipswich Road. The tram blocks the full view of the eastern business strip but there are enough details in the photograph to give us a few clues about a way of life.  There is one major sign of a beautification of the streetscape – the ornamental trees spaced along Ipswich Road footpath. Except for one lady and the horse & cart about to be overtaken by the tram, the street is completely empty of its residents within the camera shot. Perhaps it is a Saturday afternoon.  On the side of a large double story shop on the Dudley East Street corner has been painted, in bill-board size, the words, “Smoke Tobacco.” Presumably as a matter of business competition a banner has been placed on another shop street corner, (Fanny Street) diagonally across from the Dudley Street shop, and reads, “Referee Tobacco.”  The scene reminds one of an old country town. The curbing is minimal, all on the eastern side, none on the western side and the junction itself.  The roadway is unsealed, except probably for the tram tracks which are impossible to detect in the photograph. There appears to be fine gravel on the road and some of the curbing has been left to grass. Except for roofing sheets and unseen basements, wood is predominant in building structure, signage and electrical posts. The overarching shop awnings across the footpath provide shade upon the large shop display windows.

What is important to note is that any one photograph is a snapshot of a moment in time. It is only partially representative of the era. What has to be remembered is that what we see in a particular year will slightly change over the next twelve months, and the change son the streetscape will increment over time. In other photographs, much later in the era, such as “Removing a felled tree in Ipswich Road Annerley 1936,” there are major developments to be seen.[5] The shop buildings are much the same, with the large awnings. The shop signage is more professional. The old billboard-style tobacco sign has been removed. The ornamental trees are much larger, and, now regretfully, the subject of this photograph is the belief that it was necessary to remove the trees. It is extremely difficult to understand this short-sightedness given our current knowledge of the importance of urban beautification, and the huge difference that such beautification has made in the value of leafy suburbs. The major difference, though, that we see from the earlier camera shot of ca. 1915 are the early motor vehicles parked on the curb. The tram tracks have been doubled in parallel directions and the road is sealed with an earlier type of bitumen. The amount of electrical and telephone wiring and poles seemed to have increased. This may have been the argument for the removal of the trees, although the trees were sculptured to flatten out below the height of the wiring.

REFERENCES


[1] Annabel Lloyd. Detail Plans for Surveyors Plan Field Book. Brisbane City Archives, March 2007, in 1916-1935. Comparison Survey Plans for Junction Park. NDB Document No. BCA 083-094.

[2] Walker Memorial Hall. The Brisbane Courier. Monday 4 June 1906, p. 5.

[3] Photography “Removing a felled tree in Ipswich Road Annerley 1936.” State Library of Queensland, Image Number: 67813.

[4] Photograph "Scene at the junction of Ipswich and Annerley Roads, Annerley, ca. 1915." State Library of Queensland. Image Number: 109569.

[5] Photography “Removing a felled tree in Ipswich Road Annerley 1936.” State Library of Queensland, Image Number: 67813.