Then and now: A birds-eye view
The images below use aerial photographs from 1946 to illustrate how the landscape of Western Creek has changed over the last six and a half decades. The 1946 aerial photos are, as far as I know, the earliest that exist of Brisbane. They are used extensively in planning, development and other applications that call for a historical record of the built and natural environment. You can explore them for yourself via the City Council’s PDOnline Interactive Mapping page (follow the links from “PD Online – property development and application search tool”).
But here, you get something more. I’ve done what the Council should already be doing, and imported these images into Google Earth. Don’t they look a treat? Now, for the real magic, just hover your cursor over an image, and the modern landscape will appear in its place. (If you are using a smartphone or tablet, try tapping the image and then tapping a blank space around it.)
I could stare at these images going back and forth for hours. In just an instant they reveal so much. I’ve provided some commentary, but really I think they speak for themselves.
The mouth of Western Creek, with Milton Park and Frew Park visible in the distance. The creek has been drained but the footprint of the original stream is still visible in the foreground. Also, the drain is much narrower than the Milton Drain that we know today.
Milton Park (foreground), Frew Park and Gregory Park. Notice the changed alignment and size of the drain through Milton Park, and the open drain through Frew Park.
Gregory Park, with Rosalie Village in the background. Haven’t those fig trees grown!
Rosalie, looking from above Howard Street. Western Creek had been drained and buried, but much of the land around its path remained undeveloped.
Norman Buchan Park and the Governor’s residence (Fernberg). The most striking feature is the open drain running through the park, but notice also the roads. In 1946 Baroona Road connected to Boundary Road, and the way to Macgregor Terrace was via Warburton and Kaye streets.
Rainworth School (right), St Pauls Villa (middle) and Rainworth Park (right). An open channel runs past the school’s playing field, but elsewhere the creek has been covered up.
The area between Main Avenue and Sixth Avenue. The vegetation around the open streambed was evidently cleared prior to 1946. It has grown back, but largely as weeds.
The area beneath Stuartholme Road and Birdwood Terrace. I think this one speaks for itself.
The area between Boundary Road and Macgregor Terrace. This is why I am grateful that the Governor lives here.
Last modified: June 18, 2017