DRESSED TIMBER: In the 1850–60s Ipswich town gained more dignified buildings to replace slab and round timber.
DRESSED TIMBER: In the 1850–60s Ipswich town gained more dignified buildings to replace slab and round timber. Contributed

Ipswich grows but labour deserts for NSW gold fields

THIS is how the streets and homes of Ipswich would have looked in the early stages of settlement.

In the 1850/60s great changes took place in the appearance of Ipswich town, and more dignified buildings in the shape of brick, chamfer and weather-board (that's dressed timber) structures were being erected in place of slabs and round timber.

Mr James Josey had erected a cottage in Brisbane St, which was the first cottage of its kind at the end of "Limestone".

From 1850 to 1856, vigorous times in connection with the progress of Ipswich and West Moreton - of which Ipswich was, by common consent voted the capital - took place.

About 1851, Moreton Bay became all but deserted owing to the discovery of gold at Summerhill Creek, New South Wales.

The squatters experienced great difficulty in getting their sheep shorn as well as getting the wool to market.

There were few skilled mechanics or labourers left in Ipswich; business men "put up their shutters" and went in search of gold. Gold fever became so bad in Brisbane, Ipswich and the Darling Downs that the squatters imported Chinese labourers.

Reports of the gold discoveries in Summerhill and later in Bendigo had the effect on the "rush of immigrants from all parts of Great Britain".

Apparently most of these people had the idea the gold "grew in nuggets" on all the roadsides.

Somehow the number of sheep and cattle increased on the Darling Downs and as soon as the immigrants arrived, they were brought on to the "head of navigation (Ipswich)" and were then forwarded to far off stations. Bullock driving became popular as people out in the far west had to be fed and clothed etc.

Some time later there was increased river traffic between Ipswich and Brisbane and so the whole of Ipswich and West Moreton became busy and thriving centres.


Ipswich City Band

THE election of officers of the Ipswich City Band took place at an annual meeting held on July 18, 1906.

This resulted in the following: secretary Mr E Mitchell, band sergeant Mr W Doidge, press correspondent Mr B Hegarty, committee Messrs W Dellacour, Schy, Piper, Thompson and Day; room wardens Messrs B Hegarty, B Stirling, A Crane and E Cunnington; lighting committee Messrs W Boughen and B Stirling; librarians Messrs Woodgate and C Woods.

Members adopted a new system for raising funds for the band by asking their friends to contribute the sum of one penny per month.

Mr Doidge announced that in conjunction with Mr Woodgate he had opened a subscription list among the employees at the railway workshop with the object of obtaining funds towards the erection of the proposed rotunda in Browns Park, North Ipswich.

This resulted in seven pounds, seventeen shillings and sixpence being handed to the band committee.


Junior exam honours

IN THE Sydney University's Junior examination results published on July 21, 1906, in The Queensland Times, the following Ipswich Girls' Grammar School students were named: Fairfax Prize for Junior Girls and German medal - Philippa Kate Barkell; Medals - Constance Emily Watson and Mary Hilary Cornell.

Others who passed were Barbara Jean Allen, Catherine Vivene Beatrice Benbow, Ada Burge, Charlotte Elinor Hodgens, Gertrude Evelyn Michel, Maggie Nimmo, Leonie de Raeve, Sarah Louisa Richards and Allison Margaret Stenhouse Scott.


Comedy show

ON JULY 19, 1906, in the Ipswich Town Hall, Clay's Waxworks and Comedy Company presented songs, dances and acts and also used the Superantscope to show new moving pictures. Admission was sixpence with an extra sixpence for front seats.


First aid classes

CHANNING Neill, Doctor of Medicine and Master of Surgery proposed to form a First Aid class in Ipswich in July, 1886.

He would lecture on the plan laid down by the St John Ambulance Association of England.

The first was held on July 20, in the Ipswich Drill Hall.

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