Old TAFE building proves a hit with film makers

IN FOCUS: 88 Limestone St was used as the film set for a history based television documentary called Yesterday is History.
IN FOCUS: 88 Limestone St was used as the film set for a history based television documentary called Yesterday is History. David Nielsen
88 Limestone has star quality.
88 Limestone has star quality.

YESTERDAY certainly is history, but it is being brought back to life thanks to a charming old Ipswich building that is proving increasingly popular with film makers.

Cast and crew for the wartime docu-drama Yesterday Is History spent an entire day filming at the former TAFE building, on the corner of Limestone and Edinburgh Sts, on Friday.

The 113-year-old brick structure was the ideal backdrop for the filming of scenes depicting London in the 1940s and 50s.

Scores of children dressed in old-fashioned school clothes could be seen wandering in and out of the old buildings throughout the day.

Production manager Carmel Imrie said the docu-drama was based on the real-life stories of the ancestors of present-day Queenslanders - as told by the families.

The first of those stories is based on the lives of brothers Alfred and Frederick Dolsen, who fought in Europe during the First World War.

Alfred then had a son, Ken, who fought in the Second World War.

Then there's the story of Second World War veteran Sgt Will Phillbrook, his wife Marjorie and her mother Mrs Tilley - as told by Gold Coast plumber Andy Phillbrook.

"We advertised for people to tell us their stories and we were just bombarded," Mrs Imrie said.

"It has been amazing. Last Friday we ended up with 50 extras and at the end of the day they were all asking about when they could come back. We have been inundated with people wanting to get involved."

The docu-drama is a Sparke Films production, which will be edited next month and could appear on television before the end of the year.

The Gold Coast production company is in talks with several networks.

Former TAFE site owner James Long, who is behind the 88 Limestone development, said the heritage value of the precinct would be embraced in the revamp.

"You would be crazy to change it," he said.

The advantage of this space is its heritage value and we are actively bringing it back to how it was."

Extras set the scene in front of 88 Limestone St.
Extras set the scene in front of 88 Limestone St.

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