ON SONG: The Silkstone-Booval choral union, photographed in 1930 during the Brisbane Eisteddfod.
ON SONG: The Silkstone-Booval choral union, photographed in 1930 during the Brisbane Eisteddfod. Contributed

Bridge finished late after supply issues

On March 9, 1900, the tender of Messrs J McCormack & Sons to construct a new bridge at Sadliers Crossing was accepted by the Railway Department for the amount of 11,851 pounds 9 shillings and four pence.

The forecast time of completion was March 31, 1901, but there were delays in the arrival of steel and iron owing to the great difficulty of obtaining them from England.

The final payment for the bridge was about 28,000 pounds and the official opening was not until March 1902.

A write-up on December 28, 1901 stated: "The new bridge at Sadliers Crossing is practically finished after having been in progress for 20 months. It is a fine substantial structure being one of the strongest designs yet built in the state. The length of the bridge is just over 1000 ft and provision has been made for a double line of rails."

For the first couple of months after the work began, Mr L A Bernays was resident engineer, then the bridge supervision was done by Mr C B Graham.

There were three accidents during the construction. These were the result of falls, the most serious occurred in November, 1901 and involved George Owens.

George fell from the top boom onto the decking beneath and fractured his skull. It was reported in December, 1901 that he was recovering from the injuries.

The new Sadliers Crossing Bridge was officially opened on March 4, 1902. It was noted that the "Humpy-Back Bridge" in Challinor St, had been demolished so that the trains could continue on their way without obstruction.

After a "deal of time" testing the bridge to its capacity to handle the weight of the locomotive and tank engine, the train came along under a full head of steam flashing over the bridge at a rate of about 42 miles an hour.

The first ordinary train to cross was the passenger train from Wallangarra the same evening. Initially, only a single rail was laid over the bridge. When the duplication was completed, a final test was conducted, involving six tank engines with a combined weight of about 860 tons.

News from March, 1915 reported: "Distressing fatality at Sadliers Crossing Bridge, Watchman killed by train". The tragedy took place on the bridge in the early hours of March 12, 1915 when the watchman who was employed on the bridge was killed by a train.

He was Mr John Mullen 71, a very old railway servant who had been employed as a watchman on the bridge site since the commencement of the war (1914-18). Apparently there had been a previous death on the bridge as records stated: "It's is a remarkable coincidence that Mr Mullen was one of the chief witnesses in the recent magisterial inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr J G Loveday, who was killed under tragic conditions on the same bridge. It was indeed Mr Mullen who discovered Mr Loveday's body after the accident."


A benefit concert was presented in the Ipswich Town Hall on May 14, 1926 by the Silkstone-Booval Choral Union. This concert was in aid of the Ipswich Centre Ambulance brigade. Accompanist was Miss Thelma Marsh L T C L and Conductor Mr Thomas Bird. Along with the choral piece presented by the choir, assisting artist were Nancy Jones pianist, Vic Morris Bass, Mr Westwood tenor, Mr Lawrie Violin, Mr Wilcox Tenor and Mrs A Clegg Soprano.

The 1941 Ipswich Eisteddfod for the War Effort was held in April of that year.

A comment made about the number of entries into various sections of the Eisteddfod was that items with entries totalling 17, 26, and 25 and up to 30 were frequently among the 69 sections, but the biggest job of the lot was the adjudications in the sacred solo (female) at the Wintergarden Theatre. There were no less than 69 competitors in the event and they had a choice of 16 songs.


The prospectus for the Ipswich & West Moreton Employers Mutual Accident Insurance company Limited appeared in March 1906. Provincial directors were to be Messrs F Barbat, J Bottomly, F Goleby, Oliver Perry, H Pommer, W Tunstall jnr and J Wigfull.

This company was to be formed for the purpose of providing the employers of Ipswich and West Moreton with facilities for insuring liabilities that may incur under the employees Liability Act of 1886. The factories and Shops Act of 1900 and the workers Compensation Act of 1905.

A later report in April 1906 stated that the office of the company was situated in Nicholas St.

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