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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Our walk down the hill continued...

The Saturday before last, DH and I visited Brisbane City Hall. This rather beautiful building has been part of our lives growing up in Brisbane. When I was a child I can remember going with my mother to pay rates and utilities' bills there. There were also free  immunisation clinics there when I was a child. I can also remember being left in the City Hall Creche  when my parents went to a daytime movie on my dad's Wednesday day off.

And also when I was a child, no 'trip to town' for the day,was complete without taking some lunch to the Red Cross room in  the basement off Adelaide St. Here, mum and I would find a table and my mother would purchase a pot of tea for her and a glass of milk for me.
The quite stylish furniture of the Red Cross room during the 1950s

Another special childhood memory of City Hall for me was the wonderful Christmas in Storyland Play that was put on there each December. For many years, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra played concerts there. My dad was a subscriber to these concerts and sometimes he would take me along, although I found the symphony after interval a bit long when I was 12!! lol
As a schoolgirl, our classes would travel into city hall for school concerts put on by the orchestra...these were fun. Years later, I would also take my classes in to enjoy similar concerts of the school programme.

When I was 12 years old I finally got to go up into the clock tower and look down on the other buildings...but it wasn't long before City Hall lost the title of tallest building in Brisbane...it is certainly dwarfed nowadays!

One extra special shared memory that DH and I have of our City Hall is the Brisbane Eisteddfod. We were both in school choirs and our dear mothers would sit through an evening of hearing many choirs sing the same song...over and over! lol It was so exciting being led by our music teacher through the curved corridor to the large door near the stage...he would tell us to be very quiet. Then he would get the signal that it was our turn to go on stage. the door would open and we would file on. Oh how I loved those nights in that beautiful auditorium!!!
As I wrote in my previous post, the hall has been closed for 3 years while it was repaired/restored/refurbished.
The photo below shows the auditorium during the work... (photo from the BCC website)


Now here are my photos from the other week...

The dome ceiling: lighting can change the colour of this dome. 'They' must have known I would be visiting so the lighting was in my favourite colour :-) The mouldings around the ceiling are gorgeous...
 DH and I went upstairs and entered the auditorium there so we could look down on all its grandeur.

Look at that beautiful floor...many balls have been held over the years in this place too! Seating is brought out for events of course.

Looking to the left of the stage area

DH sitting and just watching me try to take a panorama photo...not too successfully either!

The door where choir members would file through to come on stage...

The magnificent organ. For my Year 12 Speech Night, one of our teachers, Mr Marks, was given permission to play this organ. Mind you, he already was one of the organists at St John's Cathedral so he was pretty experienced.
Now back in the downstairs foyer of City Hall are 2 marble staircases which fascinated me as a child. I was sure they were just like the ones in the castles of Disney cartoons such as 'Sleeping Beauty'. lol
Here's the one on the right...

Here is that same staircase in 1962...and that is me!


ha ha! And here I am again!

As well as those childhood memories, the association with City Hall has continued through my adulthood and I'm sure this will continue. Before I went back to working full time when my children were older, I used to go to the free weekly lunchtime variety concerts in City Hall. A City Hall staffer reminded me the other Saturday that these concerts are still on ...every Tuesday to be precise. Maybe I might see you there!

One more photo, taken as we walked from the main entry and turned towards Adelaide St...I suspect that I've walked past this plaque for many years without seeing it!


I have one more post to write about our visit to City Hall...and that's to show you some of the photos that I took in the Museum of Brisbane (upstairs in City Hall) Exhibition. 

9 comments:

Jindi's Cottage said...

What a wonderful restoration...that dome ceiling is gorgeous...

Susan said...

its lovely to see the City Hall; finally finished - no childhood memories for me - but its good to have it there all the same. I do Choir one or two Eisteddfods when my girls were in Primary school - I remember Anna Bligh talking - the education minister at the time and I said to my husband - she will ne Premier one day - I was very impressed when she spoke.
Thanks again Maria.

Marit Johanne said...

It is a beautiful building. And it was so nice to hear about your childhood memories.

allotmentadventureswithjean said...

Maria I have really enjoyed your two part travel post around the city. Brought back memories for me too. City Hall looks wonderful since the renovations. I went with a friend to have morning tea at the Shingle Inn tea shop and didn't realise you had to book.

Naturally Carol said...

You were such a gorgeous happy looking girl! Lovely photos!

Nanette said...

I'd forgotten about the Red Cross Café! I used to travel by bus from Cleveland to Brisbane twice a week for physio on my own when I was 8 or 9! I used to go sit in the café afterwards until it was time for my bus home, I felt safe in there, and I had a shilling for my lunch, it bought me a cheese roll and a piece of fruit. I always loved the City Hall Building and it's good to see it looking so wonderful. I remember the Shingle Inn too...yummy lemon curd tarts ! Thanks for the trip down memory lane Maria.

Vireya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vireya said...

Beautiful building, and wonderful to hear/see your memories of it.

I deleted my earlier comment as it was based on me not noticing that an "X" was missing from that first date! It wasn't 1910, it was 1920. Should have read the whole thing and noticed the MCMXX against the Aldermen. Or worn my glasses...

Maa said...

I see your just a few years older on that staircase, Maria. !! I'm glad to be able to catch up with you again ... it feels like coming home. Hugs Sue