Going around ‘The Swich’
What does Ipswich look like to an outsider?
Recently the QT welcomed Anna Saxby from Brisbane, who would walk to work from the Ipswich train station.
She commented on the architecture in our city, so QT Magazine asked her to share her thoughts on what she thought of the place.
Here’s what she wrote:
ON MY first week working in Ipswich, I noticed two worlds collide.
Brisbane St hosts the only church with a McDonald’s drive-through I have ever seen. The old art deco Baptist church turned Studio 88 casts a zigzagged shadow over the little Maccas sign that directs hungry motorists “this way”. I grew up in Bundaberg so I’m no stranger to revamped churches or McDonald’s, but the two together? Now that’s a unique aesthetic.
Ipswich is dotted with architectural peculiarities. This makes the walk through town to my internship at the Queensland Times office both colourful and curious.
I did a double take the day I spied the plastic diorama of a sportsman bolted to the Trophy’s Art Us facade. The sportsman is extremely ripped and his shorts are much too short. He is striking a pose with one hand on his hip and his right hand brandishing a trophy.
No doubt he has won my heart. I wished he wasn’t bolted down, then maybe he could have walked the rest of the way down Brisbane St with me.
I also wished I was wearing flatter shoes, like him. At the bus stop outside Ipswich Dry Cleaners I stopped and rested my feet. Heels look so fancy but they are also hurt.
The laundromat is surrounded by palm trees and coated in white paint with red racing stripes.
Most mornings when I walk past the dry cleaners, there’s no one in there washing their clothes. It looks like an empty Californian bungalow, but in Ipswich.
Across the road, there is a tall blue tower with a spiral staircase tightly hugging it.
There was one like this near the water tower in Bundaberg. It was made of brown bricks so didn’t match the sky like this one. I wondered if I’d ever know what these towers do and who I could ask about their purpose. Who looks after spiral staircase towers?
In my last week working in Ipswich, I noticed a faraway sign that said “Learn to dance”.
The big, dark letters look over the train line and face the back courtyard of Go Sing Chinese restaurant.
I wondered if people were dancing in there as I walked past, and as commuters rode the train through the underpass, and as the wooden dragon signs sat in the restaurant courtyard.
I’ve walked from the train station to the QT office and back twice a day, two days a week for six weeks.
I’m no stranger to the spiritual Maccas drive-through any more, or sport statues or sky-scraping staircases.
I still think Ipswich is a peculiar one, architecturally, but I’ve been a fan since day one.
Ipswich is a world of its own, and by way of the Queensland Times, I collided with it.
LOCAL SIGHTS: Some very recognisable shots of the Ipswich CBD.
To this non-resident’s eye, the Ipswich CBD has some fascinating architecture.