Thursday, 12 June 2014 12:27

10th June 2014 - Speech in Council - Walter Taylor Bridge & Brisbane Greeters Featured

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Councillor MARX; Thank you, Madam Chair.

I rise today to speak briefly about the Walter Taylor Bridge tours. Councillors in this chamber will know that that was a subject that was brought up some months ago that this tour was available to all local residents. It took me quite some time but I managed to finally get a booking for it and that was done on this weekend just gone. In fact, the tour has been so popular they've had over 2,000 visitors.

I was fortunate to have a gentleman by the name of Blair who was one of the Brisbane greeters who took myself and my family on this particular tour. I have to say he was awesome. The history that he knew about the place, not only just the bridge but all the surrounding areas and all the bridges in Brisbane and everything else, we could've probably talked for about three or four hours. As it was, we went for almost two.

As everybody will know, in particular Councillor SIMMONDS, the bridge was conceived, designed, built and funded by Walter Taylor. One of the things that Blair mentioned to us was that the support cables that are part of the bridge were actually reused from the Sydney Harbour Bridge. So even back then they did reuse and recycle.

The Green family were the family that lived in the bridge and in fact they brought up six children in that apartment, if that's what you'd like to call it. I'm not quite sure actually what you'd call it. I presume you would say it's a home but it was not a home that we would know. They had very narrow stairs that go up for a little wee kitchen, a very small dining area and then they had the three bedrooms where the three girls were in one, the parents were in another, and then the three boys were in a third bedroom.

They didn't have a backyard or a front yard as we would know it. They had like a little concrete balcony type thing that actually looked out over the bridge and I remember when we first came to Australia driving over that bridge all those years ago and seeing washing hung out on the bridge and just being actually amazed that people actually lived there. One of the first families that went through the tour with Blair was the actual children, the Green family children.

So he learnt a whole lot more stories that, of course, that he wouldn't have known unless they'd told them, one of which was that they at the front on that concrete deck there's a little drain hole right in the corner and they used to plug that up and then turn the hose on and that was their little swimming pool that they would have in summer, probably not something that we would get away with today.

In fact, the Green family descendants did live in that particular apartment as late as the year 2000. So an amazing history part of Brisbane and another great initiative that the Council offers to residents to not only do this tour but make use of the Brisbane greeters. Thank you.

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