SUCCESSFUL: Some of the coke ovens and a building at the Eclipse' collieries at Tivoli in the early 1900s.
SUCCESSFUL: Some of the coke ovens and a building at the Eclipse' collieries at Tivoli in the early 1900s. Contributed

Feeling the heat below their feet

THE "Eclipse'' collieries at Tivoli, near Ipswich, were on the north side of the Bremer River.

They were old fashioned and well known in 1910.

They were the property of John Wright, who, at that time, was probably the oldest colliery proprietor in this state.

Mr Wright started operations in 1893 on the same area with a few men assisting him with six ovens.

By 1910, there were 120 men employed and 45 ovens were in use.

The total area of the coal property on which the freehold Eclipse mines were worked was 300 acres.

Mr Wright was mainly responsible for opening mines in Purga, Walloon, Burrum and at Oakey on the Darling Downs.

One reader told me recently that he remembers the area had previously been known as Stafford's Paddock and that the mines around were so close to the surface that if you walked over the ground you could feel the heat under your feet.


It was considered in 1910 that Pommer Bros at North Ipswich was among the most important industrial enterprise in Ipswich. It was owned and operated by the Pommer Bros under the name of the North Ipswich Ice & Butter Factory.

In the year 1899, the brothers, who had been identified with dairying for many years, decided to begin butter-making with an old-fashioned hand churn.

The business proved very popular, so they acquired premises on the Terrace at North Ipswich and erected an up-to-date plant. The site was almost opposite the Bremer Bridge.

The buildings were described as being modern in every way and the machinery installed was of the newest design.

From these buildings, came their brand of butter named Alpha while ice was manufactured from distilled water.

Also the brothers had erected cold storage room in which to store their butter and ice and this was available for use by local butchers and others.

Messrs Pommer Bros' high quality of the butter manufactured was awarded many prizes, of which the Government Jubilee Gold Medaql at the Ipswich Show was one, but their prized award was when their exhibits of salted butter gained first prize at the Islington/London Dairy Show, 1910, gained first-class honours among the Australian competitors.


A Grand Concert was held in the National Hall, Station Rd, Booval on Friday, October 12, 1928, by members and guests of the Silkstone/Booval Choral Union under the conductorship of Tom Bird, with Thelma Marsh L.A.B. as accompanist.

Soloists were Roy Buchanan, Mrs Statham, Ivor Jones, Joan Hutton, Enid Seymour and Mrs. E.M. Edwards.

The choir had as its patrons, Dr Luther Morris and Mr F.G. Woodward. The patroness was Mrs. J.W. Hastings and the president Mr R.H. Lewis.


A report on a flood in Ipswich in July 1876 read: In Roderick St, one of the most elevated localities within the municipality, the water was running ankle deep which the oldest resident in that part of town had never seen before. Rainfall has been 4.36 inches (11.07cm) of rain in three days.


The Darling Downs Gazette reported in January 1875 "a train has been blown by the force of the wind, from the line, near Cambooya”.

The train consisted of two composite and one saloon carriage; two sheep trucks; two baggage vans and a truck laden with iron.

When the train rounded a bend, the force of a hurricane blew it off the tracks and the engine was turned at right angles.

The passengers escaped almost without injury apart from shock and cuts, although the carriages had been broken and crushed.


Among improvements in Ipswich in August 1873 was a footpath over Limestone Hill.

The hill was described as a "favourite promenade'', and the walk to the top rewarded the pedestrian with "pleasant sea breezes which almost invariable blow there in the afternoon and evening''.