Memories of Indooroopilly, Brisbane , Qld

The Stubbs Family Blog deserves memories of Indooroopilly for the Stubbs Family :



107 Harts Road

107 harts road

The move to 107 Harts Road must have happened around 1964. This new address started up a long friendship especially with the TODS across the road, who I saw fairly recently in 2009. The Harts Rd. house itself I remember fairly well, especially the pool where , as matt says, dad used to swim every day with kimba our black cocker spaniel barking at him as he went!

The kitchen came with those glass louvers that got taken out when we got robbed once. In the kitchen, the breakfast bar was a long wall to wall laminate top and if I remember beside it at the hall side there were glass louvers as well. The hall was cork tile and opposite the kitchen was my room, with an awfully nice view over the pool and Harts road and the bus stop. (I used to check out who was getting off the bus! Boys, I suspect!) One particular night, one of the lads I knew ( BBC boy) , “egged” my window and left some kind of “sandwich board” on the driveway. Mum was not too pleased. !

I was lucky to have a long desk top where I spent hours and hours doing homework or writing in my diary. On one side was Mum and dad’s room and the other Matt’s. Matt’s room overlooked the veranda and I do remember going into his room to check he was alright at night, I also remember rummaging through his closet as I think mum used to as me to help get out or put away his clothes.

Mum and dad’s room overlooked the bottom of the garden – lots of trees! and Mum and dad had their own bathroom with Mum’s sewing machine just outside the door as well as “His” and “Hers” closets. All I remember about those are shoe racks!

The living room off the front door, had a separate dining room at one end with the custom built liquor cabinet and the 50’s glass sliding door sideboard. The dining room was used on special occasions and that faithful plastic Christmas tree was always set up in the corner. I used to sit nearly under it conjuring up poems and things in my head when the xmas lights were on. At the other end, was the living room with the door going out to the screened in Porch overlooking the pool. ( I noticed the new owners have sliding glass doors going out now from what used to be Matt’s room). The porch I loved, with its green painted boards. It wasn’t very pleasant when storms hit, but on nice days, I used to play out there and think I remember matt in his bounceenette. In the corner of the living room was the stereo player with oh so many records, many of mine of which Phil sold ! There was a TV in the other corner, and much of this furniture ended up at Peregian. One incident I remember was when Matt was born, dad was in front of the tv. and mum made the phone call from the hospital! I suppose Dad had to look after us kids. It was a surreal experience though.

Outside the front door was the green painted trellis with those yummy guavas from which mum used to make guava jelly. The paved area led one way to the double open carport and the other way to the sloping lawn down to the pool. I remember a photo of little mat with a measure tape round his neck running around under the tree on the corner of Harts road and Marston ave. In those days, I don’t recall a fence. And I do recall a very steep climb up to Harts Road at the bottom of the garden, and the slope down to the storm water drain .We had the swing set right next to the block of flats next door, with a boarded area, and the “Hills Hoist” clothes hoist nearby. Here is where I remember Poor “Kimmy” who loved to bark at toads, in spite of my insistence not to, on an occasion the toad squirted the poison down her throat and she was paralyzed in a few minutes. I was traumatized and screamed for mum to take her to the vet. Sadly it was too late when we got there.

The green open slats of wood formed the side wall of the laundry under the house, which featured concrete laundry tubs and a secret entry to under the house. Opposite, was a relatively new bathroom with sliding door. Downstairs, we held parties (and had guests to stay), as it opened out onto the pebbled terrace near the pool. In this family room is where I did my university work including that fateful model where I cut off part of my thumb. Mum simply said, “Lets’ find the other end” then we went to the Doctor at Indoooroopillly, or the Hospital, I cannot remember which.

Upstairs off the kitchen was the deck adjoining the carport where lucky old Phil got his own room and dad had his study. I recall being jealous because Phil was separated from us. Did he have his own TV? I cannot remember.

Dad’s step down study was great with the same cabinet and desk that featured at Peregian. Dad was very organized and neat and this was his sanctuary. In the carport, right next to the study, if I remember, I used to try out Matt’s skate board but I could only manage to go one way, think it was clockwise only. Fortunately we had lots of room for cars, cause with Phil, me, mum and dad; we needed lots of room.( The family’s cars I can go into more detail later). The one photo I have, features Dad’s Lancia, Mum’s/my red fiat and the Toyota station wagon, which either belonged to mum at that time or to Phil. Next to the carport was the infamous jacaranda tree with its knotty roots that came above ground.

Across the road was a vacant lot ( in the early days), and Libby and I used to go over playing bush, until I saw my first snake, then I didn’t want to go ! The Tod’s house, diagonally opposite I thought was very grand and to this day remember the austere living room, family room with checkerboard floor? and the pool. Matt tells me he fell in, and nearly drowned ! Libby and I were best friends and it is strange to see her and Mrs Tod, recently , they have barely changed at all. Neither has Dr. Tod.

At the end of the street was an architect designed house, and if memory served me correctly it was round or nearly round. This would have been the ‘Cheney’s” , the architect who helped to get me into QIT s’ second year architecture after completing one year at University. His daughter was our babysitter , who I remember as being very nice, and who said ”don’t worry about it “ when I cried about not being able to reach the top shelves of the cupboards cause I was too short. It is amazing how such a little thing would remain with me all these years.

Ironside : All that can be remembered about Ironside was standing in the mornings in the front playground for “God save the queen” , then marching to class.( With music coming out the load speakers – marching music of course! ). In Later years, my classroom was top floor on the tennis court end of the main building. The pool was pretty nice, albeit a bit run down, and the sports fields were dusty. I could have been at the child care across the road before or after school, or in kindergarten there, not sure. In the early years , there was a special area for the younger kids, with all bitumen playgrounds. And by grade 3 I was in a wooden building with wide veranda in the class of Mr. Mackay. It was here, that I was returned to school, having had a blood test for glandular fever, and even after having fainted, my mum insisted on my going back to school! I do remember almost tying myself to the veranda railing so that I did not have to go inside. Mr Mackay pulled me loose with some help from Mum. Our uniform back then, may be similar to those today, it consisted of blue and white check and I suspect a straw hat for summer. Whilst there was a bus, I am not sure if I caught that everyday. I do remember going in the bus up the hill to Swann road and rattling past the old Indooroopilly golf course.

St. Aidans I will talk about later, but it was the social scene at Indooroopilly station that I remember most of all.( On my way , to and from St. Aidans)… And those old fashioned brown wooden passenger carriages with swing out doors , heavy brass handles , and bench seats are fresh in my memory.

One last memory about our pets: Kimba, and Freda – the psycho german short haired pointer. Matt reminded me of how we had to send Freda away for scaring children and ripping up clothes. The photo shows the golden retriever with Mum , was this Bessie then? who must have lasted all the to Peregian.

All in all, my memories of Indooroopilly’s Harts Rd., the house, the environs, the church, mum and dad, the boys, the friends, and Long pocket, will stay with me for ever as very special.

Mum and bessie at the back door

Jennifer S


Indooroopilly”: means ‘running water’, or ‘gully of running water, or ‘place of leeches’ depending on the particular group of aboriginal people using the area. The first English name for the place was “Witton” from Witton Flats, a popular picnic spot. The area was once part of a cattle run- McDougall Station which extended from Toowong through to Moggill. The parish of Indoorpilly was named in the 1875 or in the 1850’s dependent on which book you read.

The area received its first impetus from the opening of the railway. The Albert rail bridge was completed in 1876( prior to that passengers had to reach indooroopilly by punt across the river ).However in 1893 Brisbane experienced major flooding washing away part of the bridge. The bridge was rebuilt, and a replacement rail bridge was opened in 1957.

rail bridge 1895

The Walter Taylor bridge, quite the iconic landmark in Indooroopilly was started in 1932 and was opened in 1936 as a toll pedestrian and vehicular traffic bridge. The design of the suspension bridge was similar to the Hercilio Luz Bridge in Florianopolis , Brazil. The bridge is unique in that the two towers hose residential accommodation to this day. The support cables used were actually surplus support cables used to hold up the incomplete halves of the Sydney Harbour bridge during its construction. When the bridge opened, it had the longest span of any suspension bridge in Australia. Up until the 1960s there were clean sandy beaches at points along the Brisbane River and under the bridge directly was a popular site for picnics and swimming.

Albert Railway bridge 1911

1936 official opening

1936 tolls

1957 bridge



Some of the claim to fame for Indooroopilly was the discovery of silver, lead and zinc in 1918 at Finney’s Hill, Isles Rd. ( where the University mine is today). In 1920 the mine was described as being on a hill of 100ft and 300 yds from the Brisbane River. It was described as being 10 minutes from the Indooroopilly railway station. By 1926 they contemplated winding up the mine due to decreasing yields and it was closed in 1929.The mine site became the property of Brisbane City Council until the 1950’s and then the Queensland university took it over , and the lease covers 8.6 acres around Finney’s Hill.

Long Pocket:

From my youth I remember the delivery of milk fresh from the farm at Long Pocket, the name of the milkman escapes me now. In 1932 the brothers Carr had a jersey stud farm in Indooroopilly ( long pocket) . This stud farm comprised 100 acres and was divided into several farms and this stock was founded on a herd of cows from 37 years prior from the pioneering father Carr. The jersey cows from the Carlyle farm at Long Pocket were imported from the island of Jersey and the brothers transformed the herd and it became known throughout Australia

However an article from 1897 tells of A jersey breeder, Mr. E. Cadell ( from Devonshire ) owning a stud farm in Indooroopilly( having arrived 25 years prior ! ), so perhaps he was one of the first dairy farmers in the area.


Around late 1800s aside from Dairy cows, the “Pocket” was also growing: potatoes, oats and lucerne and was quite often subject to flooding. In 1928 Long pocket was the important milk supplying centre for Brisbane and the south western suburbs. In the 1930’s the “Sunnyside dairy’ of Harts Road is mentioned – did it exist until the 1960’s?

Back then it was filled with homesteads and farms, and at the river’s edge sand and gravel was being dug to dredge the river to lessen flooding and to allow the better passage of ships. By 1940 the women’s auxiliary transport service was farming the land at Long pocket due to the war, as the land army ( women’s )headquarters was stationed there. By the time our family came to live there, around 1964, there are two things that stand out in my mind in Long Pocket- The bougainvillea gardens and indooropilly golf course, indooroopily island and the flying foxes, mangroves, and the Long Pocket Dump. !

long pocket recreational reserve 1949

1949 long pocket ferry

long pocket map

Long Pocket rubbish tip 1977

Australian Women’s army service camp at Indooroopilly : 1945

The head quarters of the unit was at Long Pocket adjoining the Indooroopilly golf course. Most of the personnel of the two camps ( one was also located on the grounds of St.Peter’s Lutheran college)manned teleprinters at he University where important signals were sent and received from units in the war zones.


Bougainivillea Gardens( Now Thomas Park) and Long Pocket golf course: The indooroopilly golf club was formed in 1925 but was located in the sandy creek area between indooroopillly road and the Brisbane River. In 1948 the state government resumes 52 acres from 3 landowners at Long Pocket for a hospital. One of the landowners Mr. Henry Thomas owner of Somerset House and Bougainvillea gardens negotiates with the council. He wants to ensure his property will be kept as parkland for the public. The other owners don’t want to sell their land. In 1949 the council resumes the lands of the three land owners for park purposes. And in 1949 Long pocket park was opened. ( The original land owners sue for compensation).By 1956 the royal queensland golf club is keen to by lands at Long pocket, however the council turns it down. While in 1962 the Brisbane city council calls for applications to develop Long pocket land. The Indooroopilly Golf club obtains 64.8 hectares on a 21 year lease. The conditions included the preservation of the Bougainvillea gardens and the homestead “Somerset”. The club to use Somerset as a club house for 10 years and then revert it to the public. In 1964 Somerset House is demolished by the council without notice. By 1978/9 the long pocket land has been rezoned as “sport and recreation” instead of parkland and with land swap the club had previously received, the club plans to subdivide long pocket. There are a flood of protests and the council decides not to rezone the long pocket forest area.

As my brother says, there were lots of trails for bike riding, lots of mangrove swamps and old wooden jetties to hang out on( and smoke!). The gardens themselves were amazing. I don’t recall if I ever saw somerset house, but I do remember the palm trees, and paths .There was something very magical about these gardens. We would also enjoy taunting the golfers as we sped past on the way to the river.

1930’s mr thomas’s bouganvillea garden

Harts Road 1958 – looks like the gardens



We kids went to Ironside on Swann road, St.Lucia. Up till now I had no idea of its history. After reading a 1930 Diamond jubilee article , I realized the the site of the school was chosen in 1870. The school used to be called the Toowong state school. It was devised as Brisbane at that time was a series of settlements between farmland and uncleared forest. The school was needed to service the settlements of Indooropilly, Long Pocket and other residents of the western suburbs. ( The Petrie-Terrace school was the school at the time). The first wood building was 40’ x 18’ and the school changed it ‘s name to Indooroopilly state school in 1880. Then it changed its name again when Indooroopilly state school opening and became known as Ironside. The name came from Dr J. Dunmore Lang’s neighbouring estate of that name .(Lang was an Australian Presbyterian clergyman, writer, politician and activist who died in 1878. Lang Park was named after him in recognition of the work that he did in promoting the Australian colonies). The diamond jubilee of 1930 talked about the swann road bus going to the fiveways in taringa – a quarter mile from the school. ( I guess the guests walked from there).

1935: The large modern brick school we see today was planned to replace the old school in 1935. This building was planned to have four large class rooms, teachers rooms and corridors with a large basement play area. From what I remember of the school the long corridors were open with wood dowel book/bag racks. The red brick with stone archway and crest is, as dramatic now as I remember. The two storey building was wonderful and for many years I have had recurring dreams of these classrooms. The one looming figure right at the archway, next to the principal’s office was the male principle who decided to keep naughty kids waiting outside for everyone to see. Sadly, he used the cane on kids back then. – nasty , usually around the back of the legs or hands.


ironside school 1935


Located at Coonan Street Indooroopilly, it is Brisbane’s only independent stand alone 8 screen multiplex. Originally Stamford Hall ( a Methodist civic building )built around 1925, which stood on the site , in the early 1900’s of a blacksmith shop. Stamford hall may have become the Lyric Theatrelater.

There existed in 1900 the Stamford Hotel according to the Oxley Library, gaining its name from Stamford Hall. ” In 1938 Evelyn Boatwright , the licensed victualler was fined 25 pounds plus 6 shillings “ for selling liquor on a Sunday at the Stamford Hotel., indooroopilly. ( Cnr of Westminster and station roads)

In the early 1960’s the Stamford Hall/ Lyric Theatre, changed its name to the Eldorado cinema and it became a well established landmark .

I recall going to the cinema with mum, and to the milk bar beside it . Great to see the place is still standing and busy, albeit uglier than the original Stamford Hall.

1926 Stamford hall or hotel

new eldorado

Other notes of Indooroopilly interest taken from a newspaper of 1931 :

“The Lamberts the wine people …. 50 years ago, had a vineyard on their property on what is now Lambert’s Road. “.

‘Indooroopilly retains it’s fresh garden atmosphere”. Beautiful Houses: Mr. Graham Hart’s fine home ‘Greylands” was built in 1876… ( Graham Lloyd Hart was the founder of a prominent law firm of the times “Flower and Hart” and he purchased a subdivided portion of 43 acres. On this site Hart constructed ‘Greylands” which is now a heritage listed house. Hart lived at Greylands until his death in 1897.)HARTS ROAD WAS NAMED AFTER THE HART FAMILY .

St. Andrew’s Church , Lambert Road Indooroopilly

St. Andrew’s Anglican church in Lambert Road was opened in 1889. The gothic influenced timber building is listed on the Queensland Heritage Register. The St Andrew’s hall wa,s in my day, in the 1960s, used for Sunday school , which I religiously took until I was confirmed.

1939 old st andrews hall behind new church

st andrews hall behind new church

Indooroopilly Shopping Centre:

The first stage of Westfield Indooroopilly shoppingtown was opened in 1970.At its opening, it was reputedly the largest shopping mall in the southern hemisphere. MYER was and I guess still is the big draw. I was lucky enough to work one Christmas holidays in the menswear section and was given the chance to measure inside legs! Then I got moved to the hosiery department , which was not as much fun! I also worked at the Pizza Hut next to the shoppingtown, and remember mum or dad coming to pick me up at the end of the shift.

1970 indooroopilly shopping centre

1971 shopping centre

1974: Some mention needs to be made of the floods of 1974. On the 24th January, 1974, Cyclone Wanda came ashore around the Australia Day weekend. Whilst we were at Main Beach, it reeked Flood havoc around Brisbane, Indooroopilly was spared the worst except at river areas, but it hit hard in neighbouring St. Lucia and Chelmer. Beenleigh submerged into floodwaters, one of the reasons we could not get back to check the damage, as the Gold Coast highway was cut to Brisbane. Friends from school in the surrounding areas to Indooroopilly were devastated ( if they were at the river’s edge especially). Our back yard storm drain clogged up, and I think that there was flooding downstairs, so we were lucky. Dad’s Burrough’s office in Milton was hit hard however, and everything became consumed by mud.

brisbane 1974

1974 Brisbane

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