Tulmur Place in the Nicholas Street Precinct.
Tulmur Place in the Nicholas Street Precinct.

Smokers’ Alley renamed as part of CBD redevelopment

THE Ipswich mall laneway known widely as Smokers’ Alley has been renamed after an iconic local business as part of the redevelopment of the city centre.

Councillors voted unanimously to name the laneway, also known as Icon Alley, Cribb and Foote Lane at Thursday’s ordinary meeting.

The department store, forged on a partnership between businessmen Benjamin Cribb and John Clarke Foote, was started in 1849.

The Cribb and Foote department store in Ipswich.
The Cribb and Foote department store in Ipswich.

It was taken over by Walter Reid in 1972 but burnt down 13 years later.

The city’s Icon building now stands where Reids department store once was on the corner of Brisbane and Bell streets.

Ipswich City Council called on suggestions from the community for ideas for names for parts of the Nicholas Street Precinct.

Division 3 Councillor Andrew Fechner moved a motion to name the laneway after Cribb and Foote, which was seconded by divisional colleague Marnie Doyle.

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“I think it’s fair to say that the community would probably be reluctant to give the laneway the name of an individual and the preference is probably more towards a significant family name in Ipswich’s history,” Cr Doyle said.

“It’s my view that Cribb and Foote would be appropriate but it also speaks to very prosperous economic times in Ipswich when Ipswich was once a thriving CBD and economic hub.”

“Speaking from a modern perspective, naming a laneway something like Cribb and Foote Lane opens itself to having … potentially a cafe down there as well named potentially Cribb and Foote cafe,” Cr Fechner added.

“I think the more that we celebrate the heritage the more we can push ourselves forward with creative thinking and what potentially that laneway could look like in the future as well.”

Councillors discussed how the name would exactly be spelt out and whether the word ‘and’ or the symbol ‘&’ should be used in the official name.

It was decided clarification will be made at a later date.

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The new children’s library, believed the be the only dedicated children’s facility in Australia, will be called the Ipswich Children’s Library to match up with Ipswich Libraries’ naming convention.

Ross Lawrie Laneway was the most popular pick with residents to rename Smokers’ Alley with 500 ‘thumbs up’, followed by Piper Joe Lane and Ash Barty Lane with 502 and 168 respectively.

The most popular suggestions with residents for the children’s library included Aunty Sharron/Sharron Lindh Library, the Dreamtime Children’s Library and the Ash Barty Library.

Cribb and Foote was only suggested in the survey as a name for the administration building, which gathered just 14 ‘thumbs up’.

The council will finalise names of the new administration building, the event space in the building and the balcony connecting to the event space at the March ordinary meeting.

Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.