Farewell to the QT – Flashback to The Queens Park Locomotive

While doing some research in our archive last year, I came across a scrapbook of old press clippings from the QT containing articles that ranged from the 1950s to the late 1960s. The railway department had collected any articles that it was mentioned in, whether positive or negative.  Everything was in this scrapbook: news about strikes, accidents, recognition of talented staff, wage increases but what … Continue reading Farewell to the QT – Flashback to The Queens Park Locomotive

Henry Lawson’s other skill

Henry Lawson remains one of Australia’s best known poets and authors a century after his death. Poems such as ‘The Lights of Cobb & Co’, ‘The Teams’ and ‘Andy’s Gone with Cattle’, and short stories like ‘Joe Wilson and his Mates’ flowed from his pen. His face has adorned banknotes and stamps. Henry Lawson’s life was glorious and tragic in equal measure. At once blessed … Continue reading Henry Lawson’s other skill

You could build a railway carriage for that!

What do manual arts students, dentists, domestic science students and leprosy patients all have in common? At one point in Queensland’s history they have all had custom railway carriages built for them. When railways were the most dominant means of transporting goods and people on land, some of the rolling stock used had to be customised to accommodate all sorts of passenger and freight needs. … Continue reading You could build a railway carriage for that!

CHANGING COMMUNITIES. CHANGING LIVES.

For decades across the Queensland Museum Network, hundreds of volunteers have generously given their time and knowledge to ensure visitors to our museums enjoy an experience to remember. This year for National Volunteer Week, we celebrate the theme, “Changing Communities. Changing Lives”. We know our volunteers do exactly that, with visitors often speaking of the lasting impression left after an encounter or tour with a … Continue reading CHANGING COMMUNITIES. CHANGING LIVES.

Season of Adversity – The 1942 Brisbane Rugby League Season

With the museum temporarily closed and with many of us now having to work from home, I decided to do some research on a large donation of old Queensland Railway Institute (QRI) sporting trophies that we received last year. The one that instantly caught my eye was a 1942 Victory Cup Reserve Grade Rugby League Premiers trophy. As I started looking into how the Brisbane … Continue reading Season of Adversity – The 1942 Brisbane Rugby League Season

5 minutes with Rob Shiels, Collection Manager from The Workshops Rail Museum

Today’s #CouchCurator is the Collection Manager from The Workshops Rail Museum – Rob Shiels who is sharing some of the most interesting items from his collection, along with his favourites.  Rob Shiels, Collection Manager, The Workshops Rail Museum Railways are a fantastic area of research because they have had such a profound impact on the way the world has developed since the mid-19th Century. In … Continue reading 5 minutes with Rob Shiels, Collection Manager from The Workshops Rail Museum

Queensland’s Cavity Express

Between 1929 and 1984, the Queensland Government provided regional communities with dental care by running specifically designed dentistry clinic carriages. The train consisted of a waiting room, two dental studios and a private living section in one carriage while the second carriage consisted of a storage area and a trailer compartment for a motor vehicle. This meant that, in addition to treating patients on board, … Continue reading Queensland’s Cavity Express

Aircraft repairs at the Railway Workshops

One hundred years ago, spare parts for aircraft were difficult to find. There were few operational aircraft in Australia, and the new era of air travel was only just dawning around the world. So when Sir Ross Smith and Sir Keith Smith needed new engine components and a new propeller for their Vickers Vimy, in which they had become the first people to fly from … Continue reading Aircraft repairs at the Railway Workshops

The Railway’s Own Cricket Champion

While working on a small collection of cricket trophies that had been donated to the Museum a few years ago, I began to research the man who had been awarded them. What I discovered was the remarkable story Ray Argus; a fast bowler and very handy slogger for the Ipswich Railways Cricket Club. The Second World War interrupted his remarkable career and he did not … Continue reading The Railway’s Own Cricket Champion

Farewell to Steam in Queensland

The year 1969 saw most steam locomotives in Queensland drop their fires for the last time. These machines had been a part of life in Queensland for over a hundred years. Harnessing the elemental forces of fire and water they had carried foreign armies on their backs, fed entire cities and made countless awestruck children late for school. But by the end of that year, … Continue reading Farewell to Steam in Queensland

Foundations of Remembrance in Ipswich

In 1920, General Sir William Birdwood, warmly known as the ‘Soul of Anzac’ or the ‘Digger-in-Chief’, toured Australia to meet and present medals to soldiers who had served in World War I. An Englishmen who could relate to and appreciate the Australian character, Birdwood was greatly admired by the Diggers he commanded in Gallipoli and on the Western Front. Birdwood arrived in Ipswich on Tuesday, … Continue reading Foundations of Remembrance in Ipswich

The worst Rugby League team ever?

September means football finals. Expectations are high for teams that have been up the top all year and fans of these teams are cautiously optimistic. But for everyone else, it’s just another wasted year and the fresh promise of next season cannot come soon enough. In the 1940s a Rugby League side from the Ipswich Railway Workshops experienced the highs and lows that are all … Continue reading The worst Rugby League team ever?

Railway Carriage Secrets

Here at The Workshops Rail Museum, we’ve been working hard to clear the backlog of little jobs necessary to keep our locomotives and rolling stock looking clean and well maintained. Whilst polishing brass on a steam locomotive is something even a curator can do, many of these jobs require outside knowledge and expertise. This was the case with one of our passenger carriages – BV … Continue reading Railway Carriage Secrets

A Toy Train for Christmas

“I remember clearly the Christmas my parents decided I was old enough to have a model railway all of my own. Saturday mornings were spent in the local hobby shop. I was awe struck by the rows of gleaming model locomotives in glass display cabinets, with little handwritten price tags propped up neatly next to each engine. The present I opened up on Christmas day … Continue reading A Toy Train for Christmas

The Restoration of Hunslet 327

The Workshops Rail Museum has installed a new exhibit 12 years in the making: Hunslet locomotive 327.

In 2005 the Museum was donated a 2 foot gauge tank locomotive that had operated between the early 1920s and the mid-1960s at the North Eton Mill, in Mackay, Queensland, hauling sugar cane. However, the locomotive was originally built in England in 1916 for use on the Western Front during the First World War.

Continue reading “The Restoration of Hunslet 327”

Meaning in Maps

Written by Dr Geraldine Mate, Principal Curator, Industry, History and Technology.

It’s a nerdy boast, I know, but I love maps! Colourful touristy maps, contour maps, historic maps with wheat, sugar and gold country blithely shaded out, hand-drawn maps with names of people as important as names of places, and even the busy cadastral maps – dimensioned and officially (officiously?) denoting gazetted reserves, roadways, property boundaries and survey points. They all somehow convey a little bit about the landscape they depict. So what do maps have to do with archaeology?
Continue reading “Meaning in Maps”

Unveiling Ceremony of the Memorial at the Ipswich Railway Workshops, September 1919.

Remembrance Day… Ipswich Railway Workshops Memorial

Written by: Geraldine Mate, Senior Curator, The Workshops Rail Museum In the last two months, the grounds at The Workshops Rail Museum have been reminiscent of scenes almost 100 years ago. Our heritage listed War Memorial has been undergoing a face-lift, with the installation of new paving and walkways. Watching the transformation, the busyness of the construction workers has evoked the activities that would have … Continue reading Remembrance Day… Ipswich Railway Workshops Memorial

Pompey’s next chapter

Written by: Rob Shiels, Assistant Collection Manager, The Workshops Rail Museum In July 2016, Pompey, the black locomotive in the grounds at The Workshops Rail Museum will be moved to an undercover area at the Museum. Pompey has been a popular display item since the Museum opened in 2002 and has been climbed on by thousands of adults and children alike in the last 14 … Continue reading Pompey’s next chapter

Anticipation in Ipswich

Written by: David Mews, Curator, The Workshops Rail Museum Whenever I drive over the Bremer River bridge on the Warrego Highway, I imagine the little paddle steamers as they chugged their way to Ipswich or back to Brisbane. This year celebrates the 150 years of Queensland Rail and my imagination takes me back in time trying to picture what it must have been like. Ipswich … Continue reading Anticipation in Ipswich

Behind the scenes of exhibition development: In three dimensions and full colour

Written by: Geraldine Mate, Senior Curator, The Workshops Rail Museum

One of the most exciting parts of pulling an exhibition together is seeing an idea that has been in your head turn into a full colour, three-dimensional solid entity.  A lot of time goes into the writing of text for labels and panels, the identification and selection of objects and choosing from the myriad of photographs available.

Continue reading “Behind the scenes of exhibition development: In three dimensions and full colour”