HISTORIC: Plan of new fire station built in Brisbane St in Ipswich in 1967.
HISTORIC: Plan of new fire station built in Brisbane St in Ipswich in 1967.

Rail smash took lives of six men

AN IPSWICH bank which had served the public for over 131 years closed its doors on July 28, 2017.

It was the National Australia Bank and it had operated from the same site in Brisbane St since 1886.

This was reported as the last bank to operate from the length of Brisbane St.

Records show that the bank's association with Ipswich stemmed from the opening of the Royal bank of Queensland Limited in 1886.

In 1917, the Royal Bank merged with the Bank of North Queensland Ltd to become the Bank of Queensland Limited which in turn amalgamated with the National Bank in 1923.

Finally, on January 1, 1948, the Queensland National Bank merged with the National and the two branches (QNB at Brisbane and East Sts, National at 112 Brisbane St) continued to operate until the businesses were combined to form the Ipswich branch at 112 Brisbane St on April 1, 1970.

The Brisbane and East Sts office became a sub-branch of Ipswich and later May 27, 1970, nearby Marburg Branch joined the fold as a sub-branch also.

The complexity of customers' requirements showed the bank was held in high regard which was a tribute to the courteous, friendly and efficient service which the staff always endeavoured to provide.

Past managers of the National Bank since 1950 had been Mr R.A. Laidlaw, K.M. MacDougall, H.M. McNeil, C.K. Christensen. The last manager was Jack Fraser who assumed control in April 1970.

Although the Brisbane St office of the bank has closed you can still bank at the other branches: Riverlink Shopping Centre, Shop 3209 Redbank Plaza and Springfield Central Shop 2D.


A railway smash near Murphy's Creek occurred on January 30, 1913.

There were six deaths and a number of casualties and it was considered "the most serious accident that had happened in Queensland".

The accident happened when the 7.20am passenger train from Toowoomba crashed into the van of another, forcing it to fall on several men working to clear the line after a goods train accident had happened the previous night.

James Little of Laidley, Patrick McCarthy and John Freeze of Rosewood, Charles Macgregor of Toowoomba, and William Clayton of Toowoomba died. Then another report stated that Alexander Matthews of Crow's Nest had also died.

The accident was surrounded by some strange circumstances as several trucks were smashed to pieces and six wagons and their contents were piled in a heap.

The force of the impact caused the tender to take a sudden lift upwards and the driver Moss and fireman White had narrow escapes from being jammed between the firebox and the tender.

Others seriously injured were Frank Carpenter, A.H. Stanton, G. King, all of Toowoomba, and S. Smyth, of Ballard's Camp, Spring Bluff.


The chairman of the Ipswich fire brigade board, John Wild, on November 14,1966 signed the contract for the building of a new fire station.

Twelve firms had tendered for the job, but the fire board accepted the tender of $174,944 from F. Upton & Sons of Kedron.

The date of possession was set for May 15, 1967.

Mr Upton expected to employ 30 to 40 men. A 21.3m concrete tower rising from the basement would be an interesting feature.

Architect of the new building was Mr H. Parkinson.

He maintained that in designing the building, he had had its functional purpose foremost in his mind.

The new Ipswich fire station with its floor area of 1486.44m was to be erected on the corner of Limestone and Waghorn Sts with the front entrance and five vehicle bays facing Limestone St, dormitories, dining room kitchen, locker rooms and washroom would be on this level.

Also, there was to be a three-vehicle bay opening on to Waghorm St.

Other offices such as recreation, workshop stores and switch rooms, board rooms and administration offices would be including.

Later tenders, would be finalised for two residences - for the chief officer and his deputy to be located adjacent to the new fire station.


Fossil bones were found on Mr T Horton's property near Purga, and were sent to the Brisbane Museum. The Curator reported "the specimens comprise part of the foot bone of the extinct alligator, Pallimnarchus pollens, also fragments of the hip bone of a smaller individual. Reptile bones of the same age have been found on the Eight Mile Plains, in basaltic clay."

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