East Brisbane State School nostalgia 1990

An East Brisbane State School student reminisces about watching cricket at the Gabba
“…I liked it better in the higher grades as we then had male teachers. When we finished our sums on Fridays we were allowed to join them on the veranda to watch the cricket at the Gabba grounds. Guess who became very good at maths! But I could never beat the Russian kids who excelled in everything even though they didn’t like cricket. I could never figure that out.

We had a private entrance to the cricket ground through a hole in the fence behind the toilet. We hunted autographs and were allowed on the field with the players at the end of the day’s play.”

Excerpt from ‘Remembering’ by Rita Zoch, in Looking Around – an anthology of articles and stories about East Brisbane in 1990. Gerry Stiller (ed)

River thrill for spectators 1837

A serious accident was avoided on 7 September 1937 when the HMAS Vendetta was swinging from  her berth at the Brisbane Milling Company’s wharf, (top photo) and the Bidelia was leaving John Burke Ltd’s wharf at the same time. A collision was avoided but the Vendetta brushed the wharf and her stern came very close to the Bidelia. (bottom photo)

(Telegraph 7 September 1937)

River thrill for spectators at South Brisbane Wharf. (Telegraph 7 September 1937)

Tram jumps rails at corner

Tram jumps rails at East Brisbane Corner. (The Telegraph, 18 December 1937)

Tram traffic on the Balmoral line was dislocated for an hour and a half at a particularly busy period when a dreadnought model jumped the rails at the bend at Latrobe Street and Lytton Road, East Brisbane.  About 13 or more trams soon piled up behind it as gangs made several attempts to put it back on the rails. However, because of the curve many attempts proved futile. Eventually the car was returned to the terminus. ” (The Telegraph, 18 December 1937)

Huge Groper at South Brisbane Fish Market 1938

The  huge 234.75 pound (106.5 kg) big groper had been caught in the Brisbane River at the Brisbane Abattoir Wharf which was part of the privately- owned abattoir established in 1913 as Swifts Meat Works in what was then rural Cannon Hill. It was one of the largest employers in Brisbane and a vital contributor to the development of the Cannon Hill community. The company planted extensive gardens and an avenue of Jacaranda and African Tulip trees leading from the entrance down to the river.

When the State took over private abattoirs in 1930 Swifts  became the Brisbane Abattoir. After extensive additions and alterations in 1931 the works continued operating successfully until the 1980s when they moved to another site away from the river.

In 1998 the Brisbane City Council acquired the land of the original abattoir for use as parkland, today known as the Colmslie Beach Reserve. The now mature trees are an important reminder of the industry that used to be on the site. The Reserve was entered on the local Heritage Register on 30 November 2012 with special focus on the avenue of trees which remain of the original gardens planted by Swifts. The site is also a significant reminder of  ‘one of Queensland’s most important industries that employed thousands of Queenslanders during the 20th century.’
The groper was sold at the South Brisbane Fish Market for twopence a pound, netting a return of nearly £2 (approx $4).
( Local Heritage Register/Telegraph 18 October 1935)

Old and new mix at Gabba Dance

Article from the Courier Mail, Monday 30 October 1950

‘New Australians of every nationality flock to a Woolloongabba dance hall every Sunday night to meet Australian girls and to talk things over among themselves.

The dances, held in the Hibernian Hall are organised by the Polish Association but Czechs, Hungarians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Estonians, Greeks, Italian, Dutch, Ukranians and other nationalities attend.

Many native-born Australian teenagers go to the dances – for them it is somewhere to go on Sunday night. Last night Dorothy Kendall of Dutton Park was one of the Australian girls dancing. “I go to the beach on Sundays,” she explained “I like to finish off the day here.” She said she liked dancing with New Australians.  “You don’t notice any difference,” she said.

Organiser of the dance, Mr S Fekiewicx was a German prisoner of war for five years. Once a Lieutenant in the Polish Army he now works in a South Brisbane factory.  “We like everyone to come” he said. “Old Australians, New Australians, anyone. We are not Poles or Ukranians any longer. We are just Australians and we want to mix with other Australians.

Old and New mix at the Gabba Dance. (Courier Mail 30 October, 1950)

Photo caption: ‘You don’t have to know the language to be able to enjoy yourself dancing. New Australian Zdzila Marezynski from Poland, discovered when he danced with Dorothy Kendall, of Dutton Park, at Woolloongabba last night.’

Collision at the ‘Gabba 1949.

Amazingly no-one was seriously injured when a tram, truck and car collided near the Woolloongabba Post Office on 1 February 1949. Here’s how the accident was described in the Telegraph.

Collision at the ‘Gabba.
Collision at the Gabba in 1949. (The Telegraph, 1 February 1949)

It is understood that a small car driven by William Stewart, of 67 Oxlade Drive New Farm was pulling out from the kerb behind a stationary bus.

As the small car drove between an inbound Holland Park tram and the bus, a heavy truck, driven by Joseph Dennis of Slacks Creek came up from behind the small car. It struck the car violently and rebounded on to the front cabin of the tram. As the crash appeared inevitable women screamed.

Although the car was badly damaged the driver had a remarkable escape. He received only a severe shaking. The tram and truck received only superficial damage.

Car skids across Victoria Bridge

from the Daily Mail 8 March 1925

”An unusual accident occurred on the Victoria Bridge on Saturday afternoon.  One motor car skidded across the roadway, and while it was in this position, another car, travelling in the same direction, ran into it. Herbert Orch was driving a car, the property of F Kangan of Annerley Road, South Brisbane, across the bridge towards the city, and after passing  another automobile he was crossing the tram rails when the rear wheels of the car skidded on the wet rails. The vehicle turned right across the road way and struck the truss of the bridge.

Erin Hadley Raymond, of Annerley, was driving a car immediately behind the one that skidded, and before he had time to pull up there was a collision.
Kangan’s car was damaged to the extent of £250 while the other car was damaged to the extent of about £55. No damage was done to the bridge.”

Car accident on the Victoria Bridge in 1925. (Daily Mail 8 March 1925)