HomeCouncilHeritage honoured in Childers store repaint

Heritage honoured in Childers store repaint

June Robinson 80 Churchill Street Childers
June Robinson, owner of 80 Churchill Street, Childers, shows some of the building's distinctive shopfront features, including the original tiled entry.

The long history of 80 Churchill Street, Childers will be honoured with a fresh repaint in a heritage colour scheme, with support from Bundaberg Regional Council’s Our Stories Our Places grant program.

Currently operating as a jewellery store, the building has been owned for almost 50 years by June Robinson, who bought it with her late-husband Earle in 1976.

“My late husband and I, we were newsagents here from 1970 until 1984,” June said.

“You knew everybody, you talked to everybody, you heard everybody's funny stories, and some were sad, some were happy, and there were lots of wonderful incidents.

“That was 14 of the happiest years of my life, it was wonderful being part of the street.”

June’s family has lived in the Childers area for generations and she said she had taken a keen interest in the history of the area.

“I've always been interested in historical things, I've collected them forever,” she said.

“Right from a little child, anything that was old, I had to take home and try to make it new.

“The historical part of Childers really does interest me.”

Building history

On 23 March 1902, much of the south side of Childers’ Churchill Street was destroyed by a fire that burned through the original timber-constructed buildings.

Bundaberg architect F H Faircloth was commissioned to design a row of five new masonry buildings, three of which were owned by chemist Thomas Gaydon, and two by Alfred Gorrie.

Alfred Gorrie operated one of the stores as a baker and confectioner, while the other was occupied by hairdresser and barber William Lloyd, who’s premises had been destroyed in the fire.

When June and Earle bought the property in 1976, the two stores were still on one deed, which they later separated when they sold 82 Churchill Street to the bakery occupant.

It is the former barbershop that they ran as a newsagent, and which now houses the jewellery store.

The buildings were designed with features such as decorative posts supporting awnings, large glass shopfronts and separate roofs over each shop façade.

F H Faircloth enhanced the features using classic revival pediments, lanterns, urns and balustrades.

These features contribute to Childers’ distinctive heritage streetscape that is notable for its cohesive architectural style.

“I think you'd go a long way before you would find a whole street of heritage buildings,” June said.

“We've got the most wonderful skylight inside.

“You might notice up and down the street, there's little bits of beauty, there's skylights and there's stained glass windows, and that's our little bit of decoration.

“And of course, the tiled floor, there's not too many of those around, and that's very special.”

Our Stories Our Places grant

The Our Stories Our Places grant program supports private owners undertaking heritage or character improving works on eligible properties, with Council contributing 50% of the cost of the conservation works up to a maximum of $10,000 per project.

June received a grant for $4,250 to assist in repainting the exterior of the building in a heritage approved colour scheme of Colorbond Classic Cream with architectural features to be painted Indian Red and Colorbond Pale Eucalypt.

Many of the buildings in Childers, including 80 Churchill Street, are protected by State Government heritage listing, and so the proposed work was also assessed by the Queensland Department of Environment and Science to ensure the colour scheme is compatible with the heritage value of the building.

Applications for Our Stories Our Places grants will be accepted on an on-going basis until 31 May 2024, while funding remains available.

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