FW Johnson had the premises City Coach Works on Brisbane St in 1897.
FW Johnson had the premises City Coach Works on Brisbane St in 1897. CONTRIBUTED

Times Past: Coach business moves into town

AN ADVERTISEMENT in The Queensland Times on May 6, 1890, advised clients of Messrs Johnson & Broughton Ipswich Motorworks that they intended to move into their new premises at the corner of Nicholas & Limestone Sts about May 17.

Then in June 1890 we read: "The new works of Messrs Johnson & Broughton are being erected at the cnr Nicholas & Limestone Sts."

The site had previously been the residence of Dr Challinor.

Messrs Johnson & Broughton had been in business since March 1884 at the corner of Limestone & Ellenborough Sts.

This new site had cost them 800 pounds and the contractor was Mr Thomas Christie with architect Mr HE Wyman.

A sign on the outside of the building read "Ipswich Coach Works".

The firm were direct importers of all coach- building materials from America and English markets.

While this coach business was still in operation the following appeared in The Queensland Times on December 5, 1893: "Messrs Johnson Bros to announce that they will early in January 1894 begin business as undertakers when as they are now erecting commodious workshops and offices. They will be prepared to conduct funerals in all styles at reduced rates."

Their town office was to be in Nicholas St between the Salvation Army Barracks and Messrs Johnson & Broughtons Coach Works, where orders would be received at any time day or night.

The office building had a large blue lamp projecting over the awning to direct the way to it at night and a spacious window facing Nicholas St and in it were displayed memorial cards, wreaths and immortelles (everlasting flowers) and painted dark green with gold facings.

One of the men was Mr FW Johnson (of Johnson & Broughton) while the other was a younger brother.

The firm also employed Mr G Dowden whose experience in conducting funerals in this district was well known.

While their "town office" would be in Nicholas St, the building for the housing of hearses etc had been built in Short St, Ipswich, between the residence of Mr FW Johnson and the Ipswich Nursery.

This building was two storeys of hardwood and pine - the bottom room being used for housing the vehicles and the upstairs as a work room.

In the lower room a hearse, mourning coach, children's coach and wagon were displayed.

These vehicles were of high quality and the hearse could be used with the side's dark or clear glass to meet the taste of customers.

The drapes were black and gold for old people or white for children.

The hearse was painted dark with gold facings.

Mr I Cross of Roderick St, a well-known cabman, was to provide the horses and superintend the driving of funeral processions.

By 1897 Mr FW Johnson had sold his interest in the business of Johnson & Broughton as was to commence the "City Coach Works" in Brisbane St Ipswich and the Johnson Bros Undertakers also moved to Brisbane St.



In a "brilliant" game in July 1929, the Australian rugby union team defeated the New Zealand All Blacks in the 3rd test at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The score was 15-13.

It was the first time a New Zealand team had been beaten in all three tests.



On August 5, 1959, the Ipswich baseball season opened on a new playing field at East Ipswich.

This area, between Spring and Newtown Sts on the northern side of Brisbane Rd, was formerly occupied by the East Ipswich Cricket club.

Patron Mr HB Christie officially opened the new ground and the baseball season by throwing the first ball in the main match between Musketeers (white) and tigers.



Three hundred of the predicted 530 parking meters went into operation in Ipswich for the first time on August 16, 1965, and it was reported that "Ipswich resembled a deserted village".

People parked where meters had not been installed as close to the business section as they possibly could.



It was recorded in August 1961 that the Queensland Traffic Commission had approved the Ipswich City Council's application for traffic lights.

The lights were to be placed a there following intersections - Nicholas and Brisbane Sts, East and Brisbane Sts, Nicholas and Limestone Sts and East and Limestone Sts.



Mr Ernest Baynes of Brisbane was commissioned to select and purchase a horse for his Majesty King George V to be used on the occasion of the Kings visit to Ipswich in 1911.

Mr Baynes choice was the bay gelding Akbar, the property of Miss Bell of Coochin Coochin.

Akbar had won many first and champion prizes in the Brisbane show ring.



The great American Circus was held in East St, Ipswich in 1870.

It was billed as "The largest and best that ever appeared in the Australian Colonies" and this was the first time it had been in this town.


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