Tag Archives: chimney

ABC Brisbane Radio Interview

Peruvian Blue Chalcedony Castle Ring

The lovely Terri Begley from ABC Radio Brisbane contacted me recently, after she read my blog post about the Newmarket Brickworks Chimney. I wrote that post as that lovely chimney has given me inspiration for some pieces (including my smokestack ring above). She asked if I would do an interview with her about it for a segment called ‘Stop The Train’. ‘Stop The Train’ is a local program which takes a passenger’s eye look at some of the great sights there are to see as you travel around Brisbane. It’s well worth a listen, as there are some fascinating places tucked away down the train lines!

I was very flattered, but had to tell Terri that I was totally NOT an authority on the subject – however, Terri wanted to talk to someone who is passionate about the chimney rather than an actual history boffin, so as a total (but enamoured) amateur, I was happy to help. I met Terri at the base of the chimney and we had a chat about what makes it such a special piece of architecture, and why I love it.

Newmarket Brickworks Chimney

After a bit of a hiccup (where this chimney interview was bumped to make way for the momentarily more topical “Stop The Train” piece about the church at Lang Park), the interview went to air yesterday, Monday 1 July. You can hear the ABC Brisbane Podcast of it here. I didn’t even say ‘um’ and ‘ah’ too much!

It was a bit of fun, and I’m glad I took the time to do this, even though my brain’s initial reaction was a shortlived “What? Hey? Um. No way!” I realised it was good to get out of my comfort zone, so I pushed past that ‘no way’ stage, and it was totally cool to share my enthusiasm and (limited) knowledge about such a beautiful old structure. Thanks so much for the opportunity, Terri. Love your work!

Newmarket Brickworks Chimney

My fascination with constructions in Brisbane continues! Not far from our house, and in the grounds of Flipside where my younger son and I go to learn circus skills, this divine brick chimney is all that is left of the brickworks which stood in Newmarket from 1912 to 1987. As a rare example of a load bearing chimney stack, it was allowed to survive when the Brisbane Brick Company was demolished, and is now heritage listed.

Newmarket Brickworks Chimney

The chimney stands 50 metres tall, and when you look at it now, you can see where the opening to it has been bricked in. It is a remnant of an industry which struggled to survive in a timber-dominated building market. The brickworks was originally set up by a frustrated group of builders and architects who were unable to find good quality bricks nearby. It used the Hoffman kiln method of brick making. (If you’re interested to read more, there is a fabulous blog post on the history of Brisbane bricks here.)

Brisbane St Andrews Presbyterian Church

(photo credit Trevor Bunning)

Mr Anderson, former Manager of Newmarket Brickworks, was the works foreman for the construction of St Andrew’s Church in Brisbane (pictured above), and he sourced the bricks from his old firm. The brickworks also supplied brick to the University of Queensland. During the war it was occupied by the Defence Force to make uniforms and other army equipment.

There are brickmakers in the distant past of my husband’s family, pioneers who came from England to Adelaide in the 1800s, and as I researched them I could only imagine what hard and yet satisfying work it must have been! I had given thought to bricklayers, but not to the people (and methods) that created the bricks themselves.

My photo doesn’t really do this beautiful chimney justice; it is a magnificent creation, built the way things used to be, with much care and attention to aesthetic detail. It was part of my inspiration for this ring, and the one below. I fell in love with this chimney the first time I laid eyes on it, although I had no idea what it was at the time, and still each time I see it it gladdens my heart.

Castle Turret Sterling Silver Ring