Names that put city on the map

FAMILY NAME: Royston Whybird, whose forefathers started an iconic business in Ipswich.
FAMILY NAME: Royston Whybird, whose forefathers started an iconic business in Ipswich.

MORE than 16 presentations by experts on aspects of Ipswich's history will take place tomorrow at an all-day free festival celebrating the Golden Jubilee of the Ipswich Historical Society.

The half-hour presentations are part an action-packed program designed for all ages and a wide range of interests.

'Looking Back - Stories from the Past', is a program running from 10.30am-3.30pm and covering local interest topics ranging from the Kelly Gang's links with Ipswich through to our 'Lost Castle', the Blackstone Hill mansion Brynhyfryd.


Brynhyfryd Castle.
Brynhyfryd Castle.

Ipswich Deputy Mayor Paul Tully is also an expert amateur historian - especially when it comes to the weird stuff.

So his interest was piqued when he heard that an old bushman from the Ipswich region had, in 1933, wandered into a Brisbane newspaper office claiming to be bushranger Dan Kelly, Ned's brother.

Little hard research was devoted to this claim so Tully embarked on a personal investigation.

His findings were revealing and amazing, and he will provide more detail on this story tomorrow.

Another talk is by a man whose name is synonymous with the development of Ipswich - Royston Whybird.

Mr Whybird's family business can legitimately claim to have at one stage or another shifted the goods of just about every household in the city.

Now retired, Mr Whybird is the great grandson of John Whybird, the drayman who established the business which today still operates as Whybirds across Australia.

John started the business in 1857 as a 22-year-old migrant from England.

He began working as a drayman for Hassel & Ogg in Bell St, carrying goods from the Bremer River wharves.

When the store closed there was no money to pay him off so he was given the horse and dray.

Whybirds is still going, with successive generations taking over management. By 1911 transporting furniture was a big part of the trade and in 1951 a four-tonne truck was bought to specialise in furniture removal.

Royston took over the business in 1984 and his daughter Sheree became the fifth generation to be involved. By 1994 Whybird's owned a fleet of 16 modern removal trucks and in 1997 the business was sold but continues to trade as Whybirds.

Another presentation will cover the pioneering family, the Thorns.

Entry to tomorrow's festival is free.

The festival will be opened by Mayor Paul Pisasale at the Cooneana Heritage Centre, 1041 Redbank Plains Street, New Chum.

Topics:  general-seniors-news history ipswich historical society noticeboard whatson