Monday, May 9, 2016

BRM 5.7 20 Year Involvement in Business and with the Community of Bracken Ridge

There are so many interesting and unbelievable stories that can be told about those 20 years. 

Most you would not believe.  These memory joggers may be of interest! 

At the top of Barrett Street Bracken Ridge is a huge home.  We used to call it the "mansion", everyone wondered what it contained.  It was built in the early 1970's as the Brisbane base for a grazier and his family.

Bedrooms upstairs enjoyed fantastic views and cooling sea breezes.  Altogether it was on 1/2 acre of land.   It was built around 1971

Our office auctioned the home, and it created a great deal of interest. As well as landscaped gardens, it had ensuites, a fireplace and a swimming pool.

A new owner and then a job offshore.  250 Barrett Street was added to our Investment Portfolio.

Housing decor in the 1970's was rather "way out there"!   Very bright!

 In the 1970's the trend was to wallpaper all the rooms in loud colours and patterns.  

Kitchens were bright yellow, or bright green. Pendant lights were bright orange! Neutral colours were unheard of.

Across the road the outlook from the homes afforded magnificent views to the Glasshouse Mountains.

One lovely retired couple were trying to attract a buyer, and had been unsuccessful.  I asked him to write down what he truly enjoyed about the house.  "The view is a  kaleidoscope of changing colours"

Advertisements done, photos taken, a spread in the Bayside Star, and a sold sticker on the sign. 

In the next street down, a bricklayer who had built his home with his own hands, was having difficulty.

His "45,000 bricks in the home" became the headline.  His cavity brick home, strong and sturdy soon featured a sold sign as well. 

This particular area was most popular for residents.  Fantastic views either to the Glasshouse Mountains or Moreton Island were the selling features along with that cool sea breeze.  

There were no air-conditioners in those days.  The other attraction, if you were lucky, was to be able to purchase a home that backed onto the Reservoir land.  For years the cattle grazed in the paddocks surrounding the parkland.  Slowly farmland gave way to housing. 

This area was on the original farm of Thomas Carr and his three spinster daughters, Margaret, Mary and Alice.   They had a very sad life.  Worked hard on the farm, never married, then all moved to Brighton.  Unfortunately that move was not a happy one, as they were ridiculed for their old fashioned methods and clothing.  They lived behind locked doors.

After two sisters had died, Margaret went into a nursing home.  Her beautiful old English furniture became the feature in the resident's lounge.  They brought this magnificent piece of furniture along with their tin trunks of personal clothes on a boat around 1900.  They drafted their own clothing patterns and made everything including their underwear themselves.  Margaret became a rather special lady, and we used to visit her in the home.

Across the road and coming downhill was the area of homes built by Vic Newell.  He used louvers and lots of open spaces to catch the breezes.  One particularly clever idea was that he built a "great room" in many, a double bedroom that the owners could easily convert into a study or 4th bedroom.  Innovative in those days.

After the first development behind the Gawain Road shops, the Queensland Government built another estate bordering Barrett Street, through to Playfield Street.

Those interest rates were very high, but around 1986, banks were de-regulated.  Interest rates soared.  As an example we had signed a contract to purchase property in Hervey Bay.  

Overnight the interest rate jumped to 18.5%.  The effect on the housing market was catastrophic.  

There had been talk of changes to negative gearing, people were reluctant to commit to buy property.  

One particular young man came to the office in tears, he had just bought his "dream home" to see that dream evaporate before his eyes.  The bank funds dried up and with the skyrocketing interest rates it was a recipe for disaster.

There was a slump in the property market, buyer confidence lacked, and generally the market was in the doldrums.  At the time house  prices ranged from $45,000.

A Sandgate agent once told me that real estate prices generally rise towards the beginning or end of a decade, and that some other force will drive that rise.  Good advice for those times, as that had been the case since the Great Depression.  

Just as had happened before confidence returned.  Peaks and troughs it was called.

There was always a high demand for Government Housing, and the Queensland Government introduced a H.O.M.E. scheme, where people could borrow funds from the Government in order to purchase a home.  

There was certain criteria attached, and the scheme was aimed at those who would not otherwise have obtained a loan from a normal financial institution.  The interest rates were fixed for 10 years at 14.9% higher than the existing rate of 12.5%.  Questions regarding the scheme can be found in 1991 Hansard.

This factor caused a bit of a "splurge" in our own market place.  $100,000 homes disappeared very quickly.

Then Defence Housing started to purchase houses, their ceiling price was $140,000.  Once again, an outside factor caused another "splurge" and eventually demand outstripped supply, and prices began to rise.

Hard to imagine that in 30 years some house prices have increased by 250%.

In previous posts there has been research about the Cemetery and its beginnings.  This adds to what has been presented.

Many a day we have walked through knee high grass, overturned plots, and generally a very untidy and uncared for stark reminder of the original owners.  One of the home owners in Pellinore Road abutting the cemetery had a great vegetable patch, and free range chooks, who roamed the cemetery.
 There were a couple of cows that lived on the land, well before anyone took an interest in the preservation of the cemetery.  

The Brisbane City Council on their own website has the following entry.  Bald Hills cemetery, also known as Sandgate Cemetery, was opened in 1877.     

The Bald Hills Cemetery was opened in 1869 it also later became known as Bald Hills Sandgate Cemetery,     The trustees were changed around 1877 after the death of Mr Slaughter, one of the original trustees, and the resignation of another.

A burial in 1878 of Mr Stewart appears to be the first recorded burial, however, the residents probably buried their dead on the land before any formalisation occurred.

Bald Hills
Also known as Sandgate Cemetery
Cnr Pellinore and Barrett Streets, Bracken Ridge
Family interment
Lawn beam graves
Monumental graves
Burial of ashes in family graves

The Cemetery remained an overgrown eyesore, occasionally receiving a mow, headstones broken, and a "hangout" for some of the youth.  All that changed when Keith Murray came to power.

He organised, from memory, the Friends of the Cemetery, and he and they spent hours arranging the beautification and necessary repairs to the one ugly historic cemetery, that really held no interest to the residents.

Today the cemetery is something to be very proud of.  Tours are available to learn of the people who are buried there.  All of them were the pioneers of Brisbane.  Although not all from Brisbane.  A Melbourne doctor is buried there, he came for a visit for his health, and was here two weeks, when he decided to enjoy an afternoon on the bay with friends.

Unfortunately he drowned. An inquest was held and it was deemed to be an accident. 

The Week (Brisbane, Qld. : 1876 - 1934) Saturday 25 December 1880 p 8 Article  ... * fore Mr. E. B. Southerson JP.,and tho deceased gentleman was buried at Bald Hills cemetery the same ... record their-j cumstances of his death by drowning at Sandgate on Saturday evening las

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