In 1905 Queensland Railways were publicly criticised for the poor appearance of their stations. the railways acted by planting more trees. They even hired a gardener to maintain gardens at stations across Brisbane. Continue reading Competitive Hedge – How a competition helped Queensland’s railway stations transform from barren to beautiful
Needed to cross the river. Designed to survive the river. Built using the river. The rail bridge over the Fitzroy River reveals how the forces of nature were used to overcome the challenges of the environment itself.
The Alexandra Bridge was part of the Rockhampton Junction Railway. George Willcocks was the contractor for its construction. Continue reading Battling and building with nature: Alexandra Bridge, Rockhampton
Workers from the Ipswich Railway Workshop have been fundraising and contributing to social betterment schemes and charities since the nineteenth century. In the past, employees raised money to not only help their fellow shopmates and their families, but also to support the community as a whole. Continue reading A history of making a difference at the workshops
Why did a railway workers’ strike prompt Queensland Police to develop a Special Bureau and launch surveillance and investigations? Running for nine weeks and drawing in over 20,000 railway employees and thousands of workers in other industries, the Railway Strike of 1948 was one of the largest and longest strikes in Queensland history. The actions of trade unions, protestors and the halt of railway activity prompted the Queensland government to declare a state of emergency on 27 February, granting the police extra-ordinary powers. The exhibition, Spy: Espionage in Australia at The Workshops Rail Museum presents an opportunity to reflect on the 1948 strike and the formation of intelligence operations. Continue reading Under surveillance: the 1948 Railway Strike
by Dr Geraldine Mate, Principal Curator – History Industry and Technology World Heritage Day celebrated on 18 April gives us a reason (if one is really needed) to delve into the amazing heritage-listed industrial precinct of the North Ipswich Railway Workshops, home of The Workshops Rail Museum, part of Queensland Museum Network. Industrial heritage, including the buildings, machinery, workshops, practices and social activities of industry … Continue reading World Heritage Day
When you think about war and its aftermath, it’s unlikely that badges will spring to mind. Yet in the Queensland Museum’s Anzac Legacy Gallery over a hundred badges and commemorative ribbons are on display. As former Social History Curator Tracy Ryan wrote about in her recent paper “Forgotten Organisations from the First World War”, the humble badge stands as one form of reminder of the … Continue reading Queensland Remembers – Badges 1914-1918
2020 has been a year when many accepted practices have come under review; commuting to work, socialising with friends and family, how and where we take holidays to name a few. Covid-19 has also focused scrutiny on the origins and reliability of commodities we have come to expect as necessary for life. There was concern about the supply of toilet paper, antiseptic hand wash and … Continue reading Once Made in Queensland (including the kitchen sink!)
Every year on Remembrance Day, and indeed Anzac Day, The Workshops Rail Museum hosts a service at the Ipswich Railway Workshop War Memorial. This year we are preparing to mark the day in a different way. We are privileged to have the War Memorial established by workers of the North Ipswich Railway Workshops on our grounds at The Workshops Rail Museum. It stand as a … Continue reading Remembering on Remembrance Day
The newly federated Australia took steps towards meeting its defence needs in the early years of the twentieth century. In 1911 The Government founded the Royal Australia Navy and establishing the small arms factory at Lithgow, and factories in Melbourne to produce saddlery and uniforms. Lord Kitchener, head of the British Army, visited in 1909 and suggested that Australia have an army 80,000, mostly made … Continue reading NOT those wagons, we’re British!
Who would have thought that Brisbane would ever host an AFL Grand Final? It turns out though, that if you look back through history, this is not the first time that the rugby league heartland has become the epicentre of Aussie Rules. In fact, it is not even the first Aussie Rules grand final to be played at the Gabba. So, before the mighty Lions … Continue reading The Aussie Rules Circus comes to Brisbane… again
While researching for my paper Duty, Debt and Picket Lines: the Queensland Railway Department during the First World War for the Queensland Museum Memoir volume 11, I found a large amount of material that, due to space constraints, I was unable to include. Therefore, I thought writing a blog might be a good opportunity to publish these unused images and documents. The paper investigates the … Continue reading What didn’t make it into “Duty, Debt and Picket Lines: the Queensland Railway Department during the First World War”
1. Scales & Tales Reptile Workshop Come and join herpetologist and wildlife photographer Steve Wilson at the museum in a small group workshop experience like no other, exploring the amazing diversity and incredible adaptations of reptiles. Experience first-hand how the Museum scientists identify different species. Sessions available from $35 per participant on Thursday 24, Friday 25, Monday 28 & Tuesday 29 September Learn More 2. … Continue reading 7 things to do these school holidays
All aboard the Museum Revealed podcast train! In episode 3 Jen High, Senior Curator of Transport, Energy and Science, takes us through the new Might and Muscle exhibition at our regional campus The Workshops Rail Museum. Listen now on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. Let’s meet our guest: Jennifer High Jennifer High joined Queensland Museum in 2017 as Senior Curator of Transport, Energy and Science, based at The … Continue reading Museum Revealed Podcast [Ep 3]: The Might and Muscle of Queensland’s extensive infrastructure system with Jen High
The mobilisation of the people of Australia and their possessions means that the country will be turned into one vast war machine. Every person whether civilian or soldier will be a cog in that machine… Women and children according to their individual capabilities, have a place in the wartime economy… ‘Mobilisation’, Queensland Times Ipswich, 14 March 1942. A pair of pilot’s goggles sit quietly on … Continue reading Remembering Queensland Mobilised
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 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
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!
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.
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
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