Queen Victoria Silver Jubilee Memorial Technical College

Queen Victoria Silver Jubilee Memorial Technical College is a heritage-listed technical college at 88 Limestone Street, Ipswich, City of Ipswich, Queensland, Australia. It was designed by architect George Brockwell Gill and built from 1897 to 1937. It is also known as Ipswich TAFE College and Ipswich Technical College. It was added to the Queensland Heritage Register on 21 October 1992.[1]

Queen Victoria Silver Jubilee Memorial Technical College

Former Ipswich Technical College, 2015
Location 88 Limestone Street, Ipswich, City of Ipswich, Queensland, Australia

27.6154°S 152.7578°E / -27.6154; 152.7578

Design period 1870s – 1890s (late 19th century)
Built 1897 – 1937
Architect George Brockwell Gill
Official name Queen Victoria Silver Jubilee Memorial Technical College, Ipswich TAFE College, Ipswich Technical College
Type state heritage (built)
Designated 21 October 1992
Reference no. 600586
Significant period 1890s (historical)
1890s-1940s (social)
1890s-1910s (fabric technical college)
1910s-1920s (fabri
Significant components school/school room, classroom/classroom block/teaching area, workshop
Builders H Woodford

Location of Queen Victoria Silver Jubilee Memorial Technical College in Queensland

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Queen Victoria Silver Jubilee Memorial Technical College (Australia)

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. . . Queen Victoria Silver Jubilee Memorial Technical College . . .

Ipswich Technical College, 1906

The Queen Victoria Silver Jubilee Memorial Technical College was opened by the Governor of Queensland, Lord Lamington on 4 June 1901 at a time when technical education was becoming firmly established throughout Queensland. Queensland’s first technical college was established in Brisbane in 1882 and in 1898 The Brisbane Technical College Act was passed which governed only the Brisbane Technical College. Technical colleges established outside Brisbane during this period were initiated and run by independent boards not bound by statutes or regulations and the Ipswich Technical College was the first of these to be established and to construct its own purpose built college. Other independent technical colleges to follow Ipswich were Warwick (1906), Mount Morgan (1909), and Toowoomba (1910).[1]

Ipswich commenced running technical classes in August 1891 after a public meeting was held in June where community leaders including the Mayor of the Ipswich Town Council, the Headmaster of the Ipswich Grammar School and the Chairman of The Queensland Times accepted a Government offer of £250 to begin technical education at Ipswich. Prior to 1891 the only form of technical education available in Ipswich was through a limited range of courses at the Ipswich School of Arts.[1]

Ipswich Middle State School, corner of Bell and Union Street (now demolished)

The technical classes began with book-keeping, drawing, algebra, and geometry at the Ipswich Middle State School, in rented premises and even in a rented foundry. Arrangements were also made to include dress-making, cookery, ambulance work, geography, history, Latin and English to the syllabus. The financial difficulties bought on by the depression of the early 1890s forced the college to close between 1893 and 1896. It reopened in 1897 in O’Sullivan’s Buildings in Brisbane Street. In the same year the first classes in coal mining began.[1]

At a public meeting in January 1897, it was decided to commemorate Queen Victoria‘s silver jubilee by erecting a new technical college. The local community raised £1000, and with a government grant of £2000 work began on a site granted by the city council in the Central Gardens. The college, a two-storey masonry structure with a basement was designed by prominent Ipswich architect George Brockwell Gill. The contractor was H Woodford and the brickwork was undertaken by G Williams.[1]

The architect, George Brockwell Gill, designed many of the grand residences and public buildings in Ipswich from the 1880s to the 1930s. Some of his works include “Brynhyfryd” for Lewis Thomas (1889/90), Ipswich Girls’ Grammar School (1890/91), St Paul’s Rectory (1895), Ipswich Club House (1916), the Hotel Metropole (1906), and supervision of the construction of the Walter Burley Griffin Incinerator in 1936. Gill emigrated from London and settled in Ipswich in 1886 where he commenced work as an architect for the firm of Samuel Shenton. Gill took over Shenton’s practice in 1889 when Shenton retired. Gill had been elected Associate of the Queensland Institute of Architects in 1904 and Fellow by 1913. He was its Vice-President in 1914-16 and President in 1918-19.[1]

At this time the college was managed by a local committee with local knowledge and as various committee members were connected with the railway workshops or mines the curriculum was able to meet the needs of the city.[1]

By 1902 the Board of Technical Education, created by thirty-four technical colleges throughout Queensland, was established to regulate and increase technical education and advise the Minister for Public Instruction. In 1903 annual examinations in Ipswich which were previously run by the local College Committee were placed under the control of the Board of Technical Education. In 1905 this Board was abolished when a separate branch of the department was established.[1]

The Ipswich student population expanded rapidly and by 1910 an electrical laboratory had been added to the basement. In 1910 the City Council also agreed that the site on which the College was situated be vested in the Minister for Public Instruction.[1]

A lack of complete courses was remedied in 1912 with the introduction of the Mine Manager’s Certificate course (issued by the Department of Mines) and the Mechanical and Electrical Diploma Course (issued by the University of Queensland).[1]

The building program was continued with the establishment in 1915 of a Domestic Science area on the top floor of the original college building (still evident today) and the completion of a brick building fronting Ellenborough Street in 1917. The top floor was devoted to the Commercial Day School, Engineering Diploma courses and laboratories and the ground floor was occupied by the Lecture Hall, Library, Dressmaking Room, Drawing Office and Teachers’ Rooms. The basement was occupied by the Engineering Workshops, Storeroom, Patternmaking Shop, Plumbing Shop and Blacksmith’s Shop.[1]

In 1922 the Domestic Science School, the Commercial Day School and the Preparatory Trade School were given High School Status and students were prepared for the University Junior Exams. In 1924 a new building was opened to house the new high school classes and in 1930 the three separate schools were merged to form the Ipswich Technical High School. This new building was extended in 1941 and stands visible from Limestone Street.[1]

In 1937 a workshops building was constructed on the southern side of the High School building which was later used as the Mining, Science and Student Amenities area. This building now has a canteen on the ground floor and the top floor is vacant with evidence of science laboratories still extant.[1]

Plumbing Workshop, August 1959

During the Second World War the facilities of the college were used to train a large number of Defence Trainees. The college expanded again in 1944 when a new complex was constructed on the west side of Ellenborough Street to house a Machine Shop and in 1945 a Woodworking Shop was opened and in 1947 a Plumbing Shop was opened on the same site. Both the plumbing workshop and the teachers’ common room were built by the Commonwealth Reconstruction Trainees as part of their training program. (This site is not included in the heritage listing.)[1]

From 1948 the College Committee was in financial trouble on a number of occasions and in July 1951 the control of the college administration was taken over by the Queensland Government. In 1962 the Technical High School was separated from the Technical College and the Ipswich State High School was established at Brassal.[1]

The Technical College was later absorbed into the Bremer TAFE and operated as a secondary campus to the main campus in Bundamba.[1]

In 2014, a redevelopment of the site was commenced to create a commercial, dining and retail precinct known as “188 Limestone”.[2] The Pumpyard microbrewery operates from the basement.[3]

. . . Queen Victoria Silver Jubilee Memorial Technical College . . .

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. . . Queen Victoria Silver Jubilee Memorial Technical College . . .

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