Author: Irma

EBBW VALE – ST HELENS FOOTBALL CLUB

The small suburb of Ebbw Vale is on the eastern side of the City of Ipswich and named by the miners who arrived in the mid 1800’s from Wales. It is said to be the smallest suburb in the city.

 A colliery was opened in the area in 1877 by John JONES, named Ebbw Vale, and the STAFFORD brothers William, Joseph, John and James opened the Whitwood Colliery in Ebbw Vale in 1887. A rail siding was built for the colliery in 1889 and in the early 1890s the owners  made land available for their employees to use as a football ground first known as the Whitwood ground but by 1893 as St Helens, and the name was also given to the football club. St Helens Soccer Club merged with Coalstars in 1997 to form the Ipswich Knights, but the soccer ground is still referred to by the older local residents as St Helens

The nearby railway station opened in 1909 and was called St Helens, but the name changed to Ebbw Vale the following year. 

PRISON HULK OF SYDNEY HARBOUR

            It is not well known but Sydney had a Prison Hulk in the 1820’s. In Britain the hulks housed the convicts until they set sail on their journey to the colony of New South Wales.

          In 1825 the “Phoenix” bought convicts to Hobart Town, and sailed to Port Jackson where it ran onto rocks, and was damaged and could not be repaired in the young colony. The derelict ship was stripped of tackle, and Governor Brisbane made the decision to use the ship as a prison for men waiting to be sent to Norfolk Island or Moreton Bay, these being the worst of the convicts. The ship became a Prison Hulk after a NSW Act of Council 17th February 1826 and in 1828 became a part of Sydney Gaol, and was anchored near what is now Lavender Bay where is was used for about ten years. It was the only hulk to be used on the Australian mainland for this purpose.

When I was young in the 1940’s and 50’s – there were no mobile phones, not everyone had a phone in their home. No internet; no DVDs or CDs no TV, and so no remote controls.

            There were very few cars, most people walked to where they were going, No air-conditioning at home or at school; No formal organised after school activities. Children played outside until dark, and they were called for tea / dinner. We built cubby houses with whatever we could find, and Dad helped make a billy-cart from bits of wood and old wheels. We sang around the piano – if we were lucky enough to know someone who owned one, or we played records on a gramophone which we wound up with a handle. There was just one song on each side of the record.

Fish and Chips the only takeaway, and then on really special occasions when we went to a town big enough to have a fish and chip shop. It was served on greaseproof paper wrapped in newspaper, rarely did the shop have white paper.

We lived in a country town, and walked to the local farmer with an enamel billy can for our milk (straight from the cow), the baker delivered the bread daily by horse and cart (the horse knew where to stop and would walk to the next house while the baker took the bread to the home). At Christmas time the baker would wrap the ham in dough and bake it for their customer, and there was nothing like the smell and taste of freshly baked fruit buns straight from the oven.   

Most homes had only an ice chest, and the ice was carried home in a sugar bag and then wrapped in newspaper to slow the rate of melting.  The wood stove was found in most kitchens, with a fountain on the side where the water was heated – no hot water systems – but perhaps a chip heater in the bathroom. (From Wikapedia) The chip heater consisted of a cylindrical unit with a fire box and flue, through which a water pipe was run to the bath. There was often an ash box under the fire box, which allowed air under the fire. The cleanest child, usually the baby was first in, then a couple of others before Mum then Dad who was last. Everyone used the same water, as the only water came from rainwater tanks. No wasting water.

Our groceries were delivered by the storekeeper who had a small truck with a canvas covered back which covered the wooden boxes of dried fruit, bags of flour and sugar which were weighed out into paper bags, the same with tea leaves in the large plywood tea chests.  The housewife was able to buy anything she needed, and if by chance it was not on the truck, the grocer would be sure to have it next time. Most people walked to the butcher shop, but for the elderly he would deliver to the door. The butcher slaughtered his own animals.

There was no mail delivery and the letters were picked up from the post office and the neighbours collected the mail for the older residents of the street and delivered it on the way home. There were no house numbers, but everyone knew who lived where.  Most people had a few hens for eggs, and breed ducks for the Sunday dinner, or maybe a goose for Christmas.  

Dances were held in the local hall on Saturday nights, and each year there was a School Fete and the Christmas Break-up Picnic, which was the highlight of the year for the children. Everyone from Grandparents to the babies attended to watch the games of cricket, and the egg & spoon and three legged races and musical items by the children. This was the only time many children had bucket ice creams, soft drinks, and packets of lollies as well as a great spread of sandwiches and cakes, put together by the mothers and fathers.  Guy Fawkes Bonfires, Easter pageants at Sunday School and  Fancy dress balls for children, debutant balls for teenage girls, Garden Parties to raise money for the C.W.A. (Country Women’s Association), the church or school were all part of country life.

We had jobs to do before and after school, feeding chooks, collecting the eggs and if you lived on a dairy farm, help with the milking and feed the calves.

We either rode or walked to school. Everyone knew who we were and what we were supposed to be doing. Nothing was private. No local was a stranger.

 “What was it like when you were young?”

PRISON HULK OF SYDNEY HARBOUR

            It is not well known but Sydney had a Prison Hulk in the 1820’s. In Britain the hulks housed the convicts until they set sail on their journey to the colony of New South Wales.

          In 1825 the “Phoenix” bought convicts to Hobart Town, and sailed to Port Jackson where it ran onto rocks, and was damaged and could not be repaired in the young colony. The derelict ship was stripped of tackle, and Governor Brisbane made the decision to use the ship as a prison for men waiting to be sent to Norfolk Island or Moreton Bay, these being the worst of the convicts. The ship became a Prison Hulk after a NSW Act of Council 17th February 1826 and in 1828 became a part of Sydney Gaol, and was anchored near what is now Lavender Bay where is was used for about ten years. It was the only hulk to be used on the Australian mainland for this purpose.

In the Ipswich cemetery four members of the Durack family are buried who all died in 1886.  The Duracks were well known in the pastoral industry in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia.

Darby and Margaret Durack arrived in 1849, and his brother Michael and wife Bridget and family.in 1853.

On 31st March 1886, Jane Ann Wyne died age 5 years, daughter of Jeremiah and Frances (Neal) Durack, and her sister Bridget Clancy age 4 years passed away on 15th May the same year. Bridget, age 76 years, mother of Jeremiah died on the 4th August 1886. The fourth is John Durack, nephew of Michael and Bridget and son of Darby Durack age 37.  

IN MEMORY OF

JOHN DURACK WHO

WAS KILLED BY THE BLACKS

IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA

24TH OCTOBER 1886.

** Ipswich Cemetery Burial Register- Burial dates and age at death.

          This paper note is a rare part of Queensland’s history.

          In the early days of  Moreton Bay, in outlying settlements such as Drayton, Ipswich  and the Darling Downs, coins and banknotes were very scarce, as banks did not have branches or agencies established in remote areas.

          Squatters and traders developed paper notes or IOU’s for denominations of less than £1, and these were accepted as payment for goods and services, passing from one person to another instead of   bank notes or coins.

They were known as “shinplasters”, but in outlying areas near Moreton they were called “calabashes”.

As more and more trade came to Toowoomba and banks began to open, it was felt that the “calabashes” were becoming a nuisance.

The Bank of New South Wales opened a branch in Toowoomba in July 1860 in Ruthvern Street, and it advised that  “interest is allowed by the bank on money deposited for fixed periods  of  3, 6 or 12 months at the rates of  3, 4 and 5 percent”.

That year business men of the town decided to discontinue the use of   “calabashes” and at a meeting on 13th October the motion was proposed by Mr GROOM and seconded by Mr PATERSON and carried unanimously –

 “That this meeting being of the opinion that it is highly essential to the prosperity of the town to afford every facility to commercial transactions, and believing that the order system, at present in circulation, to be a serious drawback to trade and commerce generally, pledges itself to refuse all orders and IOU’s under £1 as money currency after the first of December next”

On October 15th the resolutions carried at the meeting were advertised in the ‘Darling Downs Gazette’ and “in a little more than a month, “calabashes” had passed into oblivion”

POSTCARDS:     Postcards can be an extra source for family history researchers, and may hold an amazing amount of information. The first postcards were printed about 1870 in Austria, and were made with buff coloured paper with an imprinted stamp and space for an address on the front, and the greetings were written on the back. Pictures soon appeared on the back with little room for writing a message, and in the early 1900’s came a change with a pictorial front and divided back for the greetings and address.

Gradually other countries began producing their own, and cards were printed for all occasions such as Easter, Christmas, birthdays and it became popular to send them from holiday destinations. At one time insects and flowers were attached with springs, and transparent cards which when held to the light showed a different picture were popular. Embossed cards with silk and flowers, hilarious and novelty cards, scenes from cities and towns were available, and verses appeared mainly on birthday and greeting cards.

During the First World War, postcards featuring soldiers, political events, ships and propaganda were produced, and many were sent to loved ones at home. A card that has “Printed in Germany” blocked out and over printed with “Printed in Saxony” or “Prussia”, is a rare pre 1914 issue, and occurred to maintain sales during and after World War 1.

Cards appeared in series, and over the years have become collectible, with scenes of bygone days, and will show how things have changed over the years. Novelty cards with a number of local scenes from the area under a flap on the front were produced for many towns, even small places, and can bring to life the way things used to be.

Collecting postcards can be rewarding.

MEMORIES

The older generation would perhaps remember the fresh hot bread being delivered to the door by the baker with the horse and cart.  Nothing beat the smell of the fresh bread, and the horse knew when to move to the next house and wait. The transactions were by cash and it the late 1940’s a loaf cost 6d (pence), about 5c today. There was no such thing as sliced bread – that was done at home. High Top loaves broke apart in the middle – you could buy half a loaf, and children liked to eat the ‘kiss crust’, the soft centre when the halves were pulled apart.

It was common to call to the bakers and buy the bread from the bakery door, and the cream or fruit buns were very special. In those days Hot Cross Buns were a treat at Easter – available only at that time.

In some families it was said that “Girls could not get married until they could cut the bread straight.” It was not easy, especially as fresh bread was soft (and delicious).

Some bakers would cook the Christmas ham for their customers in the country.  The ham would most likely be from their own pigs, and smoked at home, and then wrapped in dough by the baker, and cooked in his oven.  A special treat at Christmas, the only time most families had ham.

The  Ipswich City Council election is due to be held in March this year,

160 years since the first election.

The Municipality of Ipswich was declared on March 2nd 1860 and published in the Queensland Government Gazette March 3rd 1860. The boundaries of the Municipality were proclaimed on March 16th.

A notice dated March 17th 1860, in the Gazette – “the Corporation shall consist of a Mayor and Alderman”. It nominated Henry Buckley as the ‘First Running Officer” and that the first meeting of electors shall be held at noon at the Court House at Ipswich on Thursday, the twelfth day of April, in the year, one thousand eight hundred and sixty”.

A large group of people gathered at the Court House on the day and with Henry Buckley presiding, the election was held by a show of hands. Shortly after the returning officer began to declare the winners, a group of people demanded a poll which Buckley declared would be held on April 19th.

There were 25 candidates and those elected were: John Murphy, John Johnston, Charles Watkins, Donald Bethune, Christopher Gorry, John Thompson, John Pettigrew, Francis North and Thomas Stanley. 

The first meeting of the Council was held in the Old Court House on April 12th 1860, with the newly elected Alderman present. At this meeting John Murphy was appointed the first Mayor of Ipswich.

Ipswich applied on 22 November 1904 to become a City; the status being conferred by the Government of Queensland on 1 December 1904 and its first mayor was Hugh Reilly. On its declaration, the City of Ipswich covered only the central area of Ipswich itself – even what are today considered inner suburbs were parts of different entities.

On 13 October 1916, a rationalization of the local government areas in and around Ipswich was implemented. It involved the abolition of five shires: Brassall, Bundanba, Lowood, Purga, Walloon

This made a larger City of Ipswich, by including part of the Shire of Brassall and part of the Shire of Bundanba.  A new Shire of Ipswich by amalgamating part of the Shire of Brassall, part of the Shire of Bundanba, part of the Shire of Walloon and all of the Shire of Purga. An enlarged Shire of Rosewood by including part of the Shire of Walloon. An enlarged Shire of Esk by including all of the Shire of Lowood.

(Bundanba now  Bundamba)