Recreating Ipswich History, 63 Years On

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Who knew that a simple bike ride to softball signups on a Saturday afternoon would create such a special memory 63 years down the track?

That’s the case for seven young-at-heart Ipswichians, who were reunited to re-create this iconic photograph of themselves – taken in 1954 on Whitehill Road, Newtown.

Glenda McGuire (nee Pennell), Dot Bell (nee Pennell), Doreen McIntyre (nee Johnson), Pam McKinnon (nee Pennell), June Fox (nee Diamond), Merle Lambert (nee Herrmann), Marge Pampling (nee Johnson) were students at Raceview State School at the time of the original photograph, signing up to play softball at the sporting fields on the corner of Chermside and Jacaranda streets.

It was on this bike ride that a photographer from The Queensland Times drove by, asking the girls to form a line for a quick photograph.

Some of the ladies hadn’t seen the photograph until Ipswich City Council’s 2017 Ipswich in Spring guide was delivered to their letterboxes.

June Fox (third from the right in both images) said she got a pleasant surprise when perusing her mail and reading the guide.

“I got a terrible shock when I saw it among the pamphlets in the letterbox,” June said.

“I nearly fell off the lounge.

“When I turned to that page, I got a shock to see that! I couldn’t believe my eyes. That is the first time I have ever seen that picture. I’m 76 next month so that was a long time ago.”

All seven ladies were happy to reunite for the Ipswich City Council to take a replica photograph, 63 years later.

However, it was best decided to pose standing next to the bikes – not riding them downhill like in the original!

Libraries and Tourism Committee Chairman Cr David Pahlke said it was great to see these ladies reunited to take a trip down memory lane thanks to Picture Ipswich.

Picture Ipswich has over 14,500 images, documents and oral histories of Ipswich and its residents. This important resource has bought these ladies together after almost 63 years,” he said.

It’s great that the public go online or come into the Library to check out Picture Ipswich and discover some of the city’s proud history, and maybe spark some exciting memories along the way.”