When Woolloongabba was Wattle Scented

Friday, December 31, 2010

McWhirters' Opening Announcement


The McWhirters Emporium announce commencement of trade with the completion of the corner wing in 1931.




1931 'Advertising.', The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864-1933), 4 August, p. 26, viewed 1 January, 2011, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2171111

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The McWhirters' Building 1898 - 1931...A Pictorial History.


The former McWhirters' Emporium (the namesake of this blog) is one of the largest buildings of historical significance in Brisbane and is the grand dame of Brisbane's Fortitude Valley.  Ask a Brisbane resident when it was built they would probably guess around 1930. No matter what singular year you choose you would be technically incorrect. The McWhirters'  building as it stands today (despite its apartment conversion) is in fact a collection of 3 buildings built over a period of 30 years.


James McWhirters' original Brisbane outlet fronted Anne St opposite the Fortitude Valley G.P.O. (above) ; the  first  Brunswick St  store was established in 1898.

McWhirters' made a corner debut in 1912 but not the corner that you might think, the original corner store fronted Wickham and Warner St; the Warner street  frontage would be considered the rear of the building as we know it today.

In 1923  a wing was built that fronted Brunswick  St and spanned the block through to Warner St. resulting  in an L shaped complex . The frontage of this wing may have been where the first Brunswick Street business stood.

In 1931 the McWhirters' Building as we know it today was established on the corner of Brunswick and Wickham streets whereby an extension was added that incorporated the existing two wings.

Artists impression of the completed corner extension. The building in the bottom left is the Bank of NSW building, the turreted structure near centre of the illustration is a tram controller box.

Lost Flood Photos of Brisbane? c. 1890's


These photos are from The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday November 30th, 1926.


Caption reads:

The Queensland gunboat Paluma, with other vessels, high and dry in the Botanic Gardens, February, 1893. They were floated off in the second flood a fortnight after being stranded.


Caption reads:

Queen street, February, 1893.


Caption reads:

Stanley street, South Brisbane, in the 1890 flood.



1926 'BRISBANE FLOODS.', The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864-1933), 30 November, p. 16, viewed 31 December, 2010,


Monday, December 27, 2010

Chinchilla Flood Photos...1922.

Chinchilla has been inundated in recent days. The photos below are  Heeney St. and a view from the railway platform, originally published in The Brisbane Courier, January 9th, 1922.



Saturday, December 25, 2010

Covers on! Rain Cancels Boxing Day Cricket...1924


Here's a photo of the M.C.C. Wicket, Boxing Day, 1926. No test match, a Sheffield Shield fixture. Originally published in the Argus Monday 29th December, 1924.


Protected by a tarpaulin during the soaking rains of Boxing Day the wicket on the M.CC. ground was nearly dry enough for play in the Sheffield match between Victoria and New South Wales on Saturday, but the Test match wicket (on the left) and surrounding ground were in such a condition that it was decided to postpone the interstate fixture indefinitely.


Blogger Labels: Rain,Cricket,Wicket,Sheffield,Shield,Victoria,Test,interstate

Sunshine and Big Crowds Kirra Beach, Boxing Day, 1926.


It's a wet wet Christmas for Brisbane and the South East. Remember when Christmas was stinking hot and Boxing Day (before shopping centres) was really national "Off to the Beach" day.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Public Apathy Towards Brisbane Flood Risk...1928 Cartoon!


Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman recently put the city on flood alert; but alas nothing eventuated and he was widely criticised for being an alarmist. Perhaps not. It's about time the City of  Brisbane was put on notice in regards to flood risk. It's been a long time between big floods and our current weather patterns are indicating the city will face a large flood event sooner than later. There still tends to be a general sense of apathy around town (besides, the dams will save us next time...right!). I stumbled upon this cartoon from The Brisbane Courier, Saturday May 5th, 1928. Seems attitudes towards Brisbane flood risk have not evolved over the years. I have unearthed some "lost" flood photos of Brisbane, will post them over the coming days...as long as it doesn't flood.


The cartoon reads:

Friendly Visitor:  I say old man. I suppose the recent flood rains made you feel anxious. I suppose you will now do something to protect yourself before a real flood comes along.

Mr  Tired Brisbane:  Oh, no. The danger is past now. What's the use of worrying, (Yawns.)


Blogger Labels: Apathy,Brisbane,Flood,Risk,Mayor,Campbell,Newman,cartoon

Monday, December 20, 2010

Is this Lerna St., East Brisbane, 1927?


It's nearly Christmas in Brisbane and its wet, the dams are overflowing and it's been flooding in all the usual places (just don't mention the '74 flood) so we won't. Instead, here is a photo from The Brisbane Courier, Wednesday 26th January, 1927, I think that it  was taken looking down Lerna St from the corner of Didswith and Withington St. I am sure the house in the centre of the photo is where Wayne, Sharon and family live;  the shrubbery to the left are the mangroves that run down the bank of Kingfisher Creek.



Blogger Labels: Lerna,East,Brisbane,Didswith,Withington,Kingfisher,Creek