ICON: The Carriage Shop at the Railways Workshops North Ipswich was erected in 1885.
ICON: The Carriage Shop at the Railways Workshops North Ipswich was erected in 1885.

From the Battle of Waterloo to police magistrate of Ipswich

LIEUTENANT-Colonel Charles George Gray was born in Edinburgh on November 28, 1788.

He later obtained commission as ensign in the 77th Regiment.

At an early age, a lieutenancy was purchased for him in the 78th Highlanders.


IDENITY: Colonel Charles George Gray was appointed to the Police Magistracy in 1853.
IDENITY: Colonel Charles George Gray was appointed to the Police Magistracy in 1853.

Gray went on to serve at the Battle of Waterloo, the Spanish War and War in India and many other campaigns.

However, his health suffered and he was sick of being away from his family.

He retired so that he and his family could leave the Old Country to settle in New South Wales.

After five distressing months on the ship John Barry, the family took up a land grant on the River Hastings, 20 miles from Port Macquarie where they remained until 1847, when he was appointed police magistrate of Gladstone.

Lieutenant-Colonel Barney tried to establish a new Australian colony to be named Gladstone after W.E. Gladstone.

However, this settlement was abandoned and Colonel Gray retuned to Sydney and was appointed gold-receiver in the Sydney Treasury.

Following this position, which he held until 1853, he was appointed to the Police Magistracy of Ipswich, a position he held until he retired in 1866 after a service of military and civil work of upwards of 60 years.

Gray died on September 7, 1873, and was accorded a military funeral.

He had been the first captain gazetted to the No.1 (Ipswich) company of the Queensland volunteer Rifle Brigade.

Gray, at the time of his retirement from the Ipswich bench, lived in a brick house in East St and while there, his daughter married Mr James Leith Hay, one of the early squatters of the Darling Downs.

It was Gray's home in East St that Lady Bowen, wife of the first governor of Queensland, spent her first night in this town on Sir George Ferguson Bowen's initial visit to Ipswich on December 10, 1859.

His excellency stayed at the North Australian Club in South St, and this building later became known as the Lyndhurst boarding house.

Two guests, one in February 1868, was the Duke of Edinburgh, son of Queen Victoria, the other in latter part of that year was Sir Samuel Blackall, second governor of Queensland.





THE history of Queensland's first Government Railways Workshops was located at Ipswich on the north side of the Bremer River.

In 1864, rolling stock arriving from England for Queensland's first railway line between Ipswich and Grandchester was assembled there.

The expansion of railways in the early 1880s meant the workshops were cramped and by 1885, construction of new brick workshops began half a kilometre north of the existing site.

The Carriage Shop was the first building to be completed.

By the late 1890s the conditions at the old workshops were considered intolerable so at the turn of the century the new workshops were expanded.

After the Second World War, Queensland's growing population and rapid industrial development saw the need for additional workshops so some were established at Redbank - all maintenance work on diesel/electric locomotives was carried out there after it opened in 1958.

From 1877, until construction of steam locomotives ceased in 1953, 218 locomotives were rolled out of the Ipswich Workshops, also many thousands of wagons, carriages and rail cars were built there.

In 1985, 1700 people were employed at the Ipswich Railways Workshops.

Employees through those early years gave the workshop its history and a proud engineering reputation.





On December 8, 1928, the dedication of a new temple for members of the Ipswich Freemasons took place.

The building had been erected at the corner of Nicholas and Roderick Sts.

200 Freemasons witnessed the simple yet impressive ceremony which was conducted by Stumer K.C. Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland.

Members of seven Ipswich lodges attended the dedication and as Freemasons they stated that their order was not a secret society.

The building had a frontage of 12.8m to Nicholas St and was 22m in depth.

Inside, there were plastered walls and silky oak panels and seats.

Architect was H.N.C. Wyman and the contractor J. Hoare.

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