HAPPY MEMORIES: Ipswich Club president Pam Lane outside the club's headquarters on Gray St. They have made the decision to sell the building.
HAPPY MEMORIES: Ipswich Club president Pam Lane outside the club's headquarters on Gray St. They have made the decision to sell the building. Rob Williams

Historic Ipswich building up for sale

AS they mark 70 years as an organisation in 2019, the Ipswich Club has made a difficult decision to relinquish its historic clubhouse.

The club moved into the headquarters in 1957 but the building, which occupies an acre of land in Gray St in the city's CBD, will soon be on the market.

It was first built in 1916 and previously owned by butcher and alderman James Parker Bottomley.

President Pam Lane said the club of about 140 members would still operate despite the sale.

"Over the years it's become more difficult, (the club has) been through a number of ups and downs," she said.

"It's a beautiful building but it's difficult to maintain. It's on two lots of land so the rates are quite high and the insurance on it is quite high.

"It's just become financially unviable to continue using the building. It's very sad but that's the reality of life unfortunately.

"I think over the last ten years we've been getting close (to selling it) but this time we got too close."

The club are open to leasing back the building when it is sold but they were keeping their eyes peeled for other options.

It is a place that holds cherished memories for not just Ms Lane but countless others to have passed through its doors over the years.

"People had very strong emotional ties to the club," she said.

"It is about providing somewhere where people can meet, share ideas and socialise.

"It was formed at a time when restaurants and clubs didn't cater to that as much. That certainly hasn't helped it survive.

"These are new times and maybe new opportunities."

Fenton Keogh will continue to run his catering business from the building and Friday tapas nights will carry on as usual.

 

Ipswich Club invited ladies for shot at liquor licence

THE IPSWICH Club started life as a gentlemen's club until a legal snafu forced them to open their doors to everyone.

The group didn't have enough members to qualify for a liquor license at the Gray St address when it first moved in so wives were asked to sign up as well.

Current president Pam Lane, who became only the second woman to preside over the club four years ago, reflected on many happy memories in the historic building.

It was initially a private home built for alderman and butcher James Parker Bottomley and his family on the first of March 1916.

"For me the best part of the building is the beautiful verandah... it wraps around which gives you lovely views and lovely breezes," she said.

"On a Friday afternoon, you usually get that lovely breeze... it's just a very pleasant place to be.

"It makes it a very attractive building, along with the double staircase. That's all original."

An extension of the back of the building was completed in the 1970s to make the kitchen and event area bigger.

She hoped the next owners would cherish the building as the club had done for many years."It's been the site of many weddings. We had my mother's 80th birthday there, my 60th and 70th... there are lots of memories," she said.



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