Friday, February 3, 2012

Nundah Bypass Tunnel renamed after George Bridges (finally)

After having been turned down by the Qld Govt in 2001, the Nundah & District Historical Society were finally successful in 2009 in their efforts to get the Nundah Bypass Tunnel renamed after local pioneer George Bridge.


Minister for Main Roads
The Honourable Craig Wallace

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Local pioneer honoured in Q150 celebrations

Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace today announced the Nundah Tunnel will be officially named ‘George Bridges Tunnel’ as part of Queensland’s 150th birthday celebrations.

“This name is chosen in honour of European pioneer George Bridges who is regarded by many as the founder of Nundah as a business centre,” Mr Wallace said.

“In 1855 Mr Bridges selected land on the eastern side of the then Brisbane to Sandgate Road. Mr Bridges farmed and cleared the land to build a hotel on it.

“Mr Bridges also re-routed Sandgate Road across his land, where traders could set up their businesses – transforming Nundah from a farming district to a business centre.

“The legacy of Mr Bridges can still be seen today, as the Nundah Tunnel now bypasses what was once his land.”

Mr Wallace said naming the Nundah Tunnel after George Bridges recognised an important part of local history and helped to play an important part in celebrating Queensland’s 150th birthday.

More than 190 entries were received to help name bridges and other structures throughout the greater Brisbane area as part of the state’s Q150 celebrations.

“Having so many entries certainly made the decision very difficult in choosing the appropriate name for the tunnel,” Mr Wallace said.

“We have chosen a name we believe reflects the community input, the local history and recognises an important local identity.

“I would like to congratulate the Nundah and District Historical Society who suggested the new name for the Nundah Tunnel. I also thank all those who submitted their suggestions to name the tunnel.

“This is what the Q150 bridge naming celebrations are all about – Queenslanders sharing their pride in the things that make our state unique and having the opportunity for them to be recognised in significant road structures.”

The Q150 bridge naming project is a state-wide initiative that will name more than 50 bridges across Queensland.

Submissions for bridge names closed across the state on 31 May 2009, following an enthusiastic response from the public.

The bridge names submitted for consideration were reviewed by a panel of community members in each region, chaired by Member for Sandgate Vicky Darling in the metropolitan region, and names were shortlisted for final consideration by the Minister.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

George Bridges and his role in the development of Nundah

Letter to Dept of Main Roads from Nundah & Districts Historical Society:
[1 May 2001]
On behalf of the Nundah and Districts Historical Society, we wish to ask the Department of Main Roads to assign the name 'George Bridges Tunnel' to the traffic tunnel which is to form part of the Nundah Bypass now under construction in the City of Brisbane.
In support of our request, we should like to point out that George Bridges was a noteworthy European pioneer of Nundah and is rightly regarded as the founder of Nundah as a business centre, which it is hoped will undergo a revival when the bypass is completed. Indeed, the bypass and tunnel will mostly traverse part of the land that Bridges bought from the New south Wales Government on 30 May 1855 when the Nundah district (then known as German Station) was still part of New South Wales.
Bridges was thus the first selector and settler in what is now the Nundah business centre, although not in the wider Nundah district. The honour of being the first European landholder in the district gores to Franz Joseph August Rode who in 1852 selected 31 acres (12.545 hectares) between Kedron Brook and what is now Buckland Road. Rode's selection lay immediately south of the land later taken up by George Bridges.
Bridges paid £65.4.0 ($130.40) for his land which was described as Allotment 7 of Portion 6, Parish of Toombul and comprised 65 acres 0 roods 32 perches (26.386 hectares). It was bounded on the west by Old Sandgate Road (now partly Bage Street) from Buckland Road northerly to Robinson Road, on the north by Robinson Road easterly, on the south by Buckland Road easterly to Old Sandgate Road and on the east by a line now followed in part by the rear boundaries of properties on the eastern side of Duke Street (see Plan A attached to this letter).
George Bridges cleared and farmed his land but by the early eighteen-sixties the growth in traffic between Brisbane and the rising township of Sandgate encouraged him to establish on his land a tavern which he called the Kedron Hotel. With rapidly increasing development the road to Sandgate through German Station was more than once re-routed in quick succession, causing Bridges to sell and re-establish taverns on different sites in the area in order to continue attracting travellers. His third venture, named the Kedron Brook Hotel, was eventually managed by John Buckby who in 1856 had married Sarah, stepdaughter of Bridges.
The Kedron Brook Hotel, a well-known establishment in its day, was located on the Bridges selection beside Old Sandgate Road (now Bage Street) on a site directly opposite the present Nundah Municipal Libary. This site, which overlooks the monument honouring the German missionaries who settled at Zion's Hill (Toombul) in 1838 is now occupied by the premises of Blockbuster Video and the former Commonwealth Bank. It is also only about forty metres from the northern portal of the new traffic tunnel.
The route from Brisbane to Sandgate once followed Buckland Road and Old Sandgate Road but it seems that George Bridges at some time had a new road surveyed across his land to form a short cut around the base of Donkin's Hill (now the site of the Corpus Christi Church). This short cut is now the notorious "Nundah Bottleneck", soon to be eliminated by the new bypass. As the district prospered, Bridges sold parcels of his land to various people who then established stores and other businesses, thus laying the foundations of the Nundah shopping centre. George Bridges therefore can be regarded rightly as having established Nundah as a service centre in what formerly had been purely a farming district.
By 1872 George Bridges and his wife had retired and moved to Burpengary, leaving the management of their remaining property in the hands of their sons Samuel and Thomas. The Bridges land was gradually sold, the last holding being auctioned in 1882 -- 189 sites that formed the Nundah Railway Station Estate. The opening of this estate (29.5 acres or 11.938 hectares) allowed for the rapid expansion of the existing small business centre and the beginning of suburban residential development. The estate was bounded by Sandgate Road on the west, the Sandgate Railway on the east and on the north by what is now Henchmann Street (see Plan B attached).
Development of the Nundah Railway Station Estate was stimulated by the opening of the railway from Roma Street to Sandgate on 11 May 1882. Following approval by the Queensland Parliament on 3 November 1880 the tender for the construction of this railway had been let in April 1881. The route for the line passed through the Bridges property, necessitating resumption of a strip of land for the purpose. In 1881 Bridges, now in retirement, sold the parcel of land which was to become the Nundah Railway station Estate to John Cameron, auctioneer who quickly took advantage of the railway construction already under way and doubled his money by selling the property to Thomas H Paige, manager of the Commercial Bank. Paige had the land subdividied and sold as the Nundah Railway Station Estate on 26 August 1882, as already stated, the auctioneer being John Cameron.
A railway station named simply "German" was opened with the line on 11 May 1882. This station was located within the Nundah Railway Station Estate at the lower end of Station Street. Only six weeks after the opening on 21 June 1882 the name of the station was changed to "Nundah" after the aboriginal name for a stream in the district, the upper reaches of which are now known as Downfall Creek. This was the beginning of a process of changing the district name from German Station to Nundah. Shortly afterwards the name of the Post Office was changed although the German Station National School did not become Nundah State School until 1896. The newness of the name change at the time can be seen from press advertisement for the auction of the Nundah Railway Station Estate, which state that the district was "formerly German Station" (see attachment C).
Biographical notes on Bridges Family
George Bridges was born at Wilsted [!], Bedfordshire, England on 1 May 1820. He emigrated in 1852, arriving at Moreton Bay on the "Maria Somes". With him were his wife Mary, her daughter Sarah and Mary's two children by George, Ann (3 years) and Samuel (1 year). Two other children were born at German Station, Thomas in November 1854 and Mary Jane on 17 March 1862.
Thomas Bridges served in the Parliament of Queensland, being MLA for Nundah 1896-1907 (Ministerialist Party) and 1909-1918 (Liberal Party).
George Bridges died in October 1898 and Thomas Bridges died in 1939. Both are buried in the Nundah Historic Cemetery.
We trust this information supplied in this letter justifies our request to have the new traffic tunnel at Nundah named "George Bridges Tunnel" after pioneer George Bridges.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

New headstone photos: Appletree Creek and Broweena St Mary's Anglican

Having started this new blog some months ago, I've been exceedingly slack about posting to it. I will have to try to do better.

New to our headstone photo collection are:
  • Appletree Creek cemetery (just north of Childers, Qld)
  • Brooweena St Mary's Anglican cemetery (west of Maryborough, Qld)

Check them out at:

For reasons that aren't apparent to me, Appletree Creek was the main cemetery for Childers for many years, although the South Isis cemetery just to the south of Childers seems to be far closer to the town. We have also photographed South Isis (which has only a few headstones) but we haven't indexed it yet. Our impression is that South Isis hasn't had any recent burials whereas Appletree Creek is still in active use (and there seems to be space to use it for many more years). However, there is now a lawn cemetery in Childers itself that seems to be getting a lot of use (we didn't photograph it), so my guess is that Appletree Creek is now less popular with the Childers residents than it once was. There is also a crematorium in Maryborough (not sure if Bundaberg has one) so there may be fewer burials on that account. I think there was a collumbarium at the lawn cemetery but there wasn't one at either Appletree Creek or South Isis.

Also we recently added a number of small historic cemeteries outside the SE-Qld area (taken on our holidays late last year) which might interest someone. We did say "no cemeteries" when we set out on holidays, but David couldn't resist these ones :-)

  • Eucla Travellers Cross, WA (near SA border)
  • Fowlers Bay, SA
  • Kanyaka Homestead, near Quorn, SA
  • Oodnadatta Pioneer, SA
  • William Creek, SA

What's coming up next? Indexing is underway for Goomeri, Kilkivan Shire. Watch this space ...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Jandowae - indexing finished

Phew, I finally finished indexing Jandowae. There were a lot of photos (over 800) and I felt that I was plugging away at it night after night, but never making much progress. Anyhow, eventually I finished the indexing for Jandowae.

You can see all the photos here:

or if you are looking for specific names (or are on dial-up and don't want to see all those thumbnails), try the alphabetical index:

Note that the search function on the main page does NOT yet cover Jandowae. This is a third party service and we have to wait for them to vist the site (every couple of weeks) before new cemeteries are incorporated.


Monday, February 12, 2007

Bribie Island

We went to Bribie Island to find the Beach Road cemetery. Unfortunately there isn't any Beach Road on Bribie Island, so we have no idea where the cemetery is.

However, we did find the Bribie Island Memorial Gardens, a very modern collumbarium (so no headstones just plaques over niches), so we photographed it instead. The memorial gardens were developed by the local Lions Club and they have landscaped it very nicely. It is a very pleasant setting and very well-maintained.

Now we just need to find out where the cemetery was. As the references to the cemetery predate the memorial gardens (which appear to have been established in the late 1990s), they must be separate places.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Bald Hills (Sandgate) cemetery, Brisbane

Today we were out photographing Bald Hills (also known as Sandgate) cemetery in Brisbane. Although it was originally an independent cemetery with its own trustees, it was later transferred to the Brisbane City Council.

The grounds are quite well-maintained in terms of mowing, but there are a number of smashed headstones. While some of the graves do have a lot of subsidence (about 1 metre in one case) which could have caused the headstones to fall and break, in a lot of cases there is no obvious reason why the headstone would be smashed and so one suspects vandalism (sadly). I guess this is why it is important to digitally conserve cemeteries (meaning to photograph them as we do) since we cannot ensure their physical conversation when there are vandals about. It is interesting that we rarely see vandalism in country cemeteries. It seems to be a city cemetery problem.

There is a fairly new toilet block there, but it was locked. Why bother building it if you are going to keep it locked? Brookfield cemetery was the same. I can only assume that they unlock the toilets for funerals.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Warra cemetery, Wambo Shire

Warra cemetery is now indexed, but the site-wide "search" function will not yet find it (it only runs every few weeks), so you will need to use the alphabetical index for that cemetery. That's why I didn't announce it in my email to the mailing lists and newsgroups. Cemeteries don't get announced until they have been indexed by the FreeFind search engine.

Warra is about 50km west of Dalby. We were there on Australia Day when a huge storm hit Dalby so we were photographing with the sky overhead becoming dark and threatening. We had to work very quickly as the storm seemed imminent (indeed, we finished not long before the storm hit). The storm also created strange lighting conditions.