HDP: Travelling Around Australia, Week 27

In making a dash across north Queensland to the coast, we came to a grinding halt when we learnt the history of some of the outback towns. The first one being Mount Isa, Underground Hospital  Museum in the far west of the state.

In 1942 during a time of war and after Darwin Hospital had been bombed, Mount Isa Medical Superintendent discussed the need to have an air raid shelter for patients at Mount Isa. With the assistance of the Mines, Mr Wally Onton, along with volunteers, an E shape structure carved into the hill was created, which was fitted out as a full Emergency Hospital.

Underground Hosptial, (1 of 7) September 2015

The entrance to the Underground Hosptial

Underground Hosptial, (2 of 7) September 2015

The rock walls and unsealed floor still ramain

Underground Hosptial, (3 of 7) September 2015

The beds which after the war and before air conditioning, the Nurses used as a rest area where it was cool and dark

Underground Hosptial, (4 of 7) September 2015

How it was actually set up during 1942

Underground Hosptial, (5 of 7) September 2015

These instruments look a bit scary to me, but I’m sure they were the best at the time

Underground Hosptial, (6 of 7) September 2015

The Nurses uniform which has now become a thing of the past

Underground Hosptial, (7 of 7) September 2015

And a baby’s cot

Fortunately, it never had to be used for the purpose for which it was built, though for the rest of the war and some years after, it provided a cool place for the nurses on night shift to rest and a storehouse for the above ground hospital.

Our journey continued and we were once again, very surprised at Charters Towers.

A chance discovery of gold in 1871 by a young Aboriginal horse boy named, Jupiter Mosman, soon turned Charters Towers into a bustling metropolis boasting the second largest city in Queensland at the time!

Charters Towers, (1 of 14) September 2015

It’s buidlings are amazing

Charters Towers, (2 of 14) September 2015

The Bank of New South Wales changed its name to Westpac in 1982, so in essence, it no longer exists

Charters Towers, (3 of 14) September 2015

The City Hall and all commerce buildings were close to the mine site

Charters Towers, (4 of 14) September 2015

The Bank of Commerce, built in 1891, changed to World Theatre in 1996.

The ‘World Theatre’ originates from when Charters Towers was the second largest city in Queensland and was affectionately referred to as ‘The World’.

The Stock Exchange Arcade was the first Stock Exchange in Australia and trading commence on Saturday 20 April 1889.

Stock Exchange, (1 of 1) September 2015

The Stock Exchange Arcade

Charters Towers, (6 of 14) September 2015

Inside the Arcade now serves as a beautiful place to enjoy a coffee surrounded by specialty shops and history

Charters Towers, (8 of 14) September 2015

Back then…

Members of the Stock Exchange had private review of the stocks twice a day at 10am and noon. The public and non-members were allowed to buy and sell stock at 8pm every evening when ‘cards’ were ‘called’ from a lectern in the centre

Charters Towers, (7 of 14) September 2015

The Excelsior was a hotel which burnt down and the local council has restored it and it now houses the town’s library

Charters Towers, (10 of 14) September 2015

This is the original Police Station which has been restored as per the original plans and is the active Police Station today

Charters Towers, (11 of 14) September 2015

The Post Office Tower and main street (Gill Street) at Charters Towers

We then came across the Queensland Ambulance Transport Brigade (QATB) Museum still in Charters Towers.

Charters Towers, (12 of 14) September 2015

Still in good working order, a Ford Ambulance

QATB notice, (1 of 1) September 2015

The Ambulance’s history

Charters Towers, (13 of 14) September 2015

The old siren still in place

Charters Towers, (14 of 14) September 2015

The original Ambulance Station

QATB Records, (1 of 1) September 2015

Ambulance calls from August 1921 – one of the many volumes the Museum holds

Well, I learnt a lot of Australian history this week!

I hope you leant something new too 🙂

I’ll keep writing to a minimum and give you links to places so it’s easy reference for you to look up if you’re interested in a particular location.

As we’re travelling around Australia for X amount of months, I’ll keep the Hump Day Post (HDP) (on Wednesdays) for our journey and will continue to take part in the Weekly Photo Challenge (on Saturdays) – where possible. I’ll repeat this every week, just in case you’ve just joined me 🙂

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About Retired2Travel

My passion has been for many, many years landscape photography so when the chance came up to retire early, in order to travel, I took it! It made sense then to marry the two (travel and photography) and create this blog. I hope you enjoy it :)
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11 Responses to HDP: Travelling Around Australia, Week 27

  1. macmsue says:

    You must have done a heritage walk, we had no chance to look around much, I did a face plant off a footpath in the main street which cramped our style a bit!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amy says:

    Thank you for this special tour!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. kazg10 says:

    Beautiful shots Sonia, what a grand hotel 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. RuthsArc says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed taking this tour with your, learning about the history and seeing your lovely vivid photos. The underground hospital reminds me of “Chislehurst Caves” outside London which were used as an air raid shelter during the Second World War, when 15,000 people slept down there regularly during The Blitz.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Ruth, glad you enjoyed the tour. I daresay underground hospitals would have been popular during WWII, but it’s seeing them where they were that makes it interesting, isn’t it?

      Like

  5. GF-Chopstix says:

    Such beautiful architecture. Thank goodness medicine keeps advancing!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I do love the old architecture and felt the same when I saw the instruments!

    Like

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