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.

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