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Snow a no show in Ipswich 80 years on

UNUSUAL EVENT: What it might have looked like in Queens Park when snow fell in 1934. Gaye and Don Hill with their Model T Ford. Image digitally enhanced.
UNUSUAL EVENT: What it might have looked like in Queens Park when snow fell in 1934. Gaye and Don Hill with their Model T Ford. Image digitally enhanced. Claudia Baxter
The Queensland Times page from September 3, 1934 with the story telling of snow falling at Queens Park Photo: Contributed
The Queensland Times page from September 3, 1934 with the story telling of snow falling at Queens Park Photo: Contributed Contributed

THIS Monday marks an extraordinary 80th anniversary of the first and only recorded instance of snow falling in Ipswich.

Hard to believe now, but on September 1, 1934 the former Ipswich parks curator FW Turley recorded the snowfall on the first day of spring.

The Queensland Times of September 3, 1934 reported the phenomena with a headline that referred to the "large dancing flakes".

Mr Turley was returning home from Redbank to his Queens Park home when the reports states "he made haste" because "unusually heavy clouds in the west presaged a severe storm".

"Shortly after 5pm Mr and Mrs Turley were watching the progress of the storm when they were amazed to see snow begin to fall.

"Mr Turley observed that this was the first time he had seen snow fall in Queensland during his 45 years' residence here."

The storm was fierce, but in the centre of the trees surrounding their home the report says "the watchers were astonished to see large flakes come dancing down, presenting a most beautiful sight".

"The snow continued to fall for fully two minutes," the report continues.

"Added to the evidence of sight was the fact that the snow made no noise in its descent on the roof, and as the sun was shining at the same time they were able to observe this phenomenon in its most beautiful setting.

"The flakes were quite thick and were as large as sixpences."

Councillor Paul Tully, a devoted Ipswich history buff, discovered the report in the Trove online newspaper database.

"It is an amazing piece of Ipswich history and one that would be good to keep in the back of your mind if you are playing a game of trivial pursuit," Cr Tully said.

"Most people wouldn't realise that the first day of spring in 1934 brought the first and only reported snowfall in Ipswich.

"I think it is a remarkable piece of Ipswich history."

The chances of snow falling on September 1, 2014, the 80th anniversary of the snow fall, are very unlikely.

The weather bureau is predicting a minimum of six degrees and a maximum of 27 with sunshine.

The Queens Park curator’s cottage pre 1938 when FW Turley was in residence to watch snow fall in Ipswich.
The Queens Park curator’s cottage pre 1938 when FW Turley was in residence to watch snow fall in Ipswich. Picture Ipswich Archive

Topics:  snow



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