Monday, October 26, 2015

St Michael & All Angels Anglican Church, New Farm

As you drive down Brunswick St into New Farm you see this most striking building on the right, just near Balfour St. Eventually the sign out front gives it away - it is the local Anglican Church, St Michael and All Angels. Here is a current picture of it.

This brick structure was designed by Brisbane architects Conrad and Gargett, and it dates back to 1958-9. It was consecrated by the Anglican Archbishop Dr Felix Arnott in December 1974, although the foundation stone had been laid in 1957. Here is an older, but undated, image of the church. 
(SLQ 586913)

The history of the church and its congregation is far older than this, however.

Way back in 1890 a group of New Farm residents met to discuss the erection of a church on land owned by the church in Brunswick St. At the time New Farm Anglicans were members of the congregation at Holy Trinity Anglican in Fortitude Valley. That first church was completed in November 1890 but was almost immediately destroyed by fire. A successor church was rebuilt straight away and dedicated in March 1891. This is what it looked like on completion.


When the new brick church was proposed the old timber church was moved to another area of the grounds and placed on top of the newer brick Sunday School. It seems that this building has been separated from the church grounds and sold, now being privately owned. This is what it looks like today.
(Photo: © 2015 the foto fanatic)
There are a couple of other points of interest about this church. Firstly, the bell used in the lookout tower of the New Farm Fire Brigade was donated to the church and it now sits in the church's tower, although I doubt that it is still used - the pealing bells that I have heard appear to be a recording.

Secondly, the church has a columbarium. Don't worry - I had to look it up too. It is a memorial repository for cremated remains. The church's web pages say that it sits behind the church building.

I also read on those web pages that the church roof was hail damaged in a recent storm and services are currently being held elsewhere. Let's hope the congregation can get back home as soon as possible.

Click here for a Google Map.


Monday, October 19, 2015

Jacaranda in bloom

The jacarandas are in bloom - finally. Arborists are a bit concerned about them this year because they are late to bloom for the first time in twenty years. News like this always makes me wonder what dire thing mankind has perpetrated on the planet this time. I also think of students, who for generations have had the blooming of the jacarandas to prompt them that end of year examinations are imminent. Does a late blooming jacaranda season completely disrupt all of those planned late-night swats?

A jacaranda in bloom is a thing of beauty. Back in the fifties former Brit turned Brisbaneite William Bustard painted this example of a large jacaranda, and you can see it at the "Painting with Light" exhibition at the Museum of Brisbane. The exhibition runs through to the end of January 2016 - don't miss it!

The notes with the painting mention Farsley, Hamilton Hill. Hamilton Hill is one of Brisbane's most exclusive residential areas with outstanding views of the Brisbane River and the city skyline. Farsley is the name of a heritage listed property perched on the hill that when sold in 2007 was Brisbane's most expensive house.

I set out to see if I could recapture the Bustard vista with a camera. Finding the location wasn't too difficult, but the actual perspective of the scene could not be replicated. There has probably been some change since the fifties as far as the buildings are concerned, but also Bustard's painterly eye has recomposed the scene somewhat. Here is the best I could do. The front hedge and gatepost of Farsley is visible in the back of the picture as it is in Bustard's work, and the jacaranda in the foreground of the picture is nowhere near as lush as that in the painting.
(Photo: © 2015 the foto fanatic)

Here is another photo of Farsley, also previously known as Eldernell and Bishopsbourne, and you can see some elements of it in the painting.
 (Photo: Drew Fitzgibbon; Courier Mail)

William Bustard was a Yorkshire-born painter, stained glass artist and book illustrator. After studying art at Battersea Polytechnic, Putney School of Art and Slade School of Art he learned stained glass techniques that enabled him to work in cathedrals in England, Ireland and USA.  Following meritorious service in the Royal Army Medical Corps during WW1 he studied at Oxford and went to Europe to repair stained glass windows in France and Belgium. He married in 1918 and in 1921 he and his wife emigrated to Queensland. As well as painting, he taught art and worked on stained glass windows in both the Anglican and Catholic cathedrals in Brisbane. He also illustrated works such as Treasure Island and Robinson Crusoe. A truly versatile artist, he was also proficient on violin, piano and accordion. He died on the Gold Coast in 1973.

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Monday, October 12, 2015

Elder Smith Wool Store, Teneriffe

Here is a view from the river of the Teneriffe Wharves area taken in 1991. In the left background is the Elder Smith Wool Store. Brisbane's urban renewal is about to commence - the wharves will be demolished and the warehouses converted to other use.
(BCC-C35-15662.27) - 1991

And now a picture from 1997 showing the wool store in its then life as a large furniture complex. The three floors of the former wool store have been converted to retail space, and if that is not sufficient for shoppers, the next wool store down is also a furniture retail outlet. Further down the street the Mactaggarts Wool Store has already been converted to residential space, and the buildings in this photograph are about to follow suit.
(BCC-S35-97188) - 1997

And here is a more recent image. The Elders building has been converted into an apartment building known as Ansonia. In twenty-five years this once industrial area has been transformed into a medium density residential area, as well as commercial space featuring restaurants and cafes.  
(Photo: © 2015 the foto fanatic) - 2013
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Monday, October 5, 2015

James Campbell & Sons

In my youth I frequented an area known to all as Ballymore. It was the headquarters of the Queensland Rugby Union, situated at Kelvin Grove, and I went there often to play and watch football. I started going there almost as soon as the facility opened in 1966 and I have many memories of the place, from the heart-breaking penalty try that referee Kevin Crowe awarded in the dying moments of the 1968 test match that provided the All Blacks with a win over the Wallabies, to the crowd chants of "We want 50!" in the heady days when Mark Loane's Queensland Reds thrashed the NSW Blues 48-10.

All of that is a preamble into the Campbell family headed by Brisbane businessman James Campbell, who built a house in Kelvin Grove and called it Ballymore because it was adjacent to Bally and More streets. That name was subsequently given to a street and then to the football complex known today. Here is a drawing of the house, and also a photograph of the large Campbell clan gathered outside their residence. Unfortunately the house no longer exists.
(Photo: SLQ 190011)

(Photo: SQL 47510) 

James Campbell was a Scot who came to Brisbane in 1853, and finding no work in his trade as a plasterer, started his own business in George St as a merchant dealing in building materials. That early store shifted to larger premises in Creek St and from there became James Campbell & Sons, one of Brisbane's largest diversified companies that included thriving timber, cement and shipping businesses.
(Photo: SQL 171010)

James Campbell died in 1904, leaving the business in the hands of his eldest son John Dunmore Campbell who is pictured above with his wife Minnie, daughter Molly, and his mother Isabella, the wife of James. John Campbell was chairman and managing director of the family business as it became a limited company in 1896, and he was also a politician at local and state levels as well as having many other interests. He was vice-president of the Queensland Rugby Union from 1894 to 1905.  

In 1889 John Dunmore Campbell had a large building erected on land he owned on the corner of Brunswick St and Annie St at New Farm. The two-storey combined retail and residential structure, known as Brunswick Buildings, still stands there today. 
(Photo: BCC 2011)

Click here for a Google Map.

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