Air Raid Shelter (former Castlemaine Perkins brewery)

McDonald Printing Group Pty Ltd

Type
Civil defence facility
Region
Darling Downs

93-99 Mort Street, Toowoomba 4350

A concrete air raid shelter survives off Mort Street, Toowoomba, south of the former Castlemaine Perkins Limited brewery which is now a printing business. An entrance towards the street has been bricked up, but the size and shape of the structure is typical of the public air raid shelters built in early 1942. Ventilation holes are still visible at intervals along the top of the wall facing the street.

History

In the Protection of Persons and Property Order No.1, gazetted 23 December 1941, Queensland’s Premier William Forgan Smith, with powers conferred by Regulation 35a, ordered the Brisbane City Council to construct 200 public surface shelters in the city area (235 were built). Another 24 local governments in Queensland’s coastal areas were ordered to produce surface or trench shelters for the public (135 non-trench shelters were built).

A large number of businesses also built air raid shelters, as the owners of any building in the coastal areas where over 30 people would normally be present at any one time were required to build shelters either within the building, or adjacent to it. As the brewery would have had a large number of employees, it would have required an air raid shelter. Toowoomba was also the headquarters of the Australian First Army, formed under Lieutenant General J.D. Lavarack in April 1942.

Source/comments

Maryborough Railway Station Complex and Air Raid Shelter, Queensland Heritage Register 600702

Public Air Raid Shelter, Landsborough Railway Station. Queensland Heritage Register 602709

McCarthy, D. 1959. Australia in the War of 1939–1945. Series 1 - Army. “Volume V - South-West Pacific Area - First Year: Kokoda to Wau."

Title Deeds, DERM.