Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Call to Set in Stone Trades Hall Heritage; Move to Preserve Historic Building for Future Generations

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Call to Set in Stone Trades Hall Heritage; Move to Preserve Historic Building for Future Generations

Article excerpt

Byline: Alyssa Kimlin @thechronicle.com.au

TOOWOOMBA Trades Hall Board executive member Ray Hingst and vice president Chris McGaw want to see the historic building preserved for generations to come.

The board is so passionate about the hall's preservation that it has nominated the Russell Street building for Heritage Listing.

Submissions on the heritage application are open until tomorrow.

The Toowoomba Trades Hall was built in 1934 by Kell and Rigby to the design of architect Matthew Williamson for the board which was associated with the Toowoomba Trades and Labour Council.

The Toowoomba Trades and Labour Council was established in November, 1911.

Mr McGaw said Toowoomba was a strong base for unionised workers in the late 19th century and early 20th century.

Mr Hingst said the Toowoomba Trades and Labour Council outgrew its previous premises in Margaret Street (the building which is now Western Gallery) and a decision to build a new, bigger trades hall was made.

"They struggled to raise the money to pay for it," he said.

"Those who donated to it and helped build it had a levy deducted from their pays.

"It is the oldest surviving trades hall in Queensland."

The construction of the Toowoomba Trades Hall in 1934 was a long time coming.

In 1916, land was bought in Bowen Street for the construction of a hall, but financial difficulties stopped the project and the land was sold.

The Toowoomba Trades Hall Board bought the site in Margaret Street in 1919.

It was previously used by the Congregational Church and contained a brick church and small wooden building.

In February, 1920, the foundation stone to mark the church's new use was laid.

But by 1929, the building was deemed unsuitable and sold and the site in Russell Street was bought.

The financial position of the hall board stopped construction work of the two-storey building until 1933. …

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