Local Stories

The First Shop in the Early Settlement of Kingston (Information collated by David Amiet: May 2012)

As far as we know the first permanent building established for the purpose of conducting business as a general grocery store was what became known as “Cordingley’s Store”.

“The first business was a general store opened by Mr. Eldridge in 1904. John and Mabel Cordingley took over Mr. Eldridge’s store in 1906 and also operated a blacksmith alongside. As well as the two businesses they worked the mail run for Logan Reserve, Chambers Flat, Park Ridge and Browns Plains. A two story building which was their shop and residence was destroyed in later years by fire. In 1944 the Cordingleys’ moved to the other side of the railway line. From here Mr. Cordingley conducted his blacksmith business. The house faced the railway line on Kingston Road.”

Above Information from Mary Howell’s book: Logan Regional History (downloadable from the Net – Logan City Website.)

John Cordingley’s father; Joseph; also had a blacksmith’s shop at Browns Plains.

“There was a combined general store, news agency, and blacksmith situated next to the railway crossing. This was operated by John and Mable Cordingley. Close by was a butcher’s shop, separating the two shops, was a small creek which we locals knew as Cordingley’s Creek. Today the name has been forgotten and the creek is an overgrown drain. It’s all rather sad, as I can remember it with clean flowing water, the school children fishing for rainbow fish and gudgeon with bent pins tied to lengths of cotton.”

From: “Kingston in 1939” by Ian Rohl


Above: Photo of John and Mabel Cordingley taken in the 1940’s. From: “Ridge to Ridge: Recollections from Woodridge to Park Ridge” by Mary Howells. 2006. Logan City Council. Pg 79

John Cordingley also was the mail contractor and delivered mail to the Browns Plains and Park Ridge area for 38 years.

“With a jingle of harness, John Cordingley would drive his horse and cart past our house on his way to deliver groceries and mail to Browns Plains, Greenbank and Logan Reserve.”

Above Recollections From: “Kingston in 1939” by Ian Rohl

7 December 2016: Some Additional Material Sourced by David Amiet

Some additional information has come to hand which may add some more detail to the story of Cordingley’s Store. This information comes from some written recollections from Marjory Love, a long time resident and well known Kingston identity who passed away a few years ago.

“When Ray and I were married, we purchased our groceries at the only shop in Kingston which was situated at the old Railway Crossing, near where the timber yard was located (near the overpass). At that time the shop was owned by Mrs. Mabel and Mr. John Cordingley. From memory, they had 2 children: a daughter by the name of Doris and a younger brother named Charlie. Their home was situated on the other side of the railway line.

Mr. Cordingley operated his blacksmith business in a big old shed right next door to their home.

Mrs. Cordingley used to hold weekly get-togethers for the ladies of the district in her kitchen. Most of the ladies would be kept busy doing fancy work and making articles to sell at the yearly Fete which was held at the Kingston Hall, located in Mary Street, Kingston.

Mrs. Cordingley also prepared the Hall for a Church Service which was held regularly. She took an active part in the community and you could say that she also acted as the town nurse.

Their shop was 2 stories high and after the Cordingleys retired, the business was run by several different people and I knew two of them personally. One was a Mr. Hough and the last owner was a Mrs. V Jones * NOTE: See photo below. Unfortunately, the old wooden shop was destroyed by fire and a lot of pleasant memories went up in smoke. Another replacement shop was never built on the old site as by that time local residents were purchasing their groceries at Woodridge.”

The above recollections were written by Marjorie Love on March 8, 2010.

Editors Note: Although the above account adds to our information relating to the Cordingley’s and their store, there are still many unanswered questions that we would love to find out more information. If anyone could tell us of the date of the fire that destroyed the store or any more information about Mr Hough or Mrs V Jones and what was the date when the Cordingleys retired we would be grateful to add this to our story.

  Below: Cordingley’s Shop at Kingston

A damaged photo showing the front of Kingston’s Store, possibly from the 1940’s. Possibly at this time, the proprietors names were Reason and Mitchell?

 Below: Inside Cordingley’s Shop at Kingston

Can anybody help us to identify the lady in this photo???

It has been suggested that the name of the lady behind the counter in the above photo is Viona Jones?? If anybody has any information on this lady’s identity, please contact the Logan City Museum.

Exterior view of Cordingley’s Shop

Cordingley’s Shop shown on the right of this photo.

If anyone has any stories, memories, recollections, photos etc relating to “Cordingley’s Store”, the Logan City Museum would love to hear from you so we can add to the information bank related to the development of the suburb of Kingston. Anything we can preserve will allow future generations to be able to see the origins and changes that have occurred in the growth and development of Logan City. Our Contact Details are available on the Home Page.

The Cordingley Family

Four members of the Cordingley family are buried at the Kingston Pioneer Cemetery and the details can be found below.

Kingston Pioneer Cemetery, Bega Road (two separate lots)

This land was set aside in January 1893, with trustees of Charles Kingston, Steven Rogers, Thomas Armstrong, Alan James Campbell, and Alfred William Kingston appointed in July 1893. The whereabouts of the cemetery register are not known.

Kingston Pioneer Cemetery

A number of Cordingley family members are buried in the Kingston Pioneer Cemetery. The table above records their individual details.

Document Name: Kingston Pioneer Cemetery Page 1 Document #: 3189197 File #: 127624(P2) HowellM/Howell

Woodridge State School During WW2

Logan City Museum member, Patricia Pope is a historical treasure. She is a lifelong resident of Logan and has a wealth of information and recollections of Logan across the years. She is an active member of the museum and is always willing to contribute to our activities and to share her stories with us to help preserve our past.

Patricia was a student at Woodridge State School during WW2 and shared with us the following amusing story. Readers must be reminded that in 1942 there was a very grave fear that the invasion of Australia by the Japanese was a very real possibility and that preparations for defense against possible air raids were in full swing.

“at the school slit trenches were constructed for use as air raid shelters if bombings were to occur. They were angled to help diminish damage if a bomb landed in the near vicinity. The school devised various rings of the school bell to inform students of what procedures to follow in the event of an air raid. For example, two separate rings might mean that everyone should seek shelter under their desks; 3 rings might mean proceed to the air raid trenches (in an orderly manner) and so on. The students were drilled on these procedures and were well trained to react to these bells.

One day an Inspector came to the school and decided to test the alert system and proceeded to ring the school bell. Unfortunately, the combination of rings that he made was the one that directed all students to go across to the adjacent paddocks and bushland and to disperse. Apparently, the children needed no further prompting and took off in every direction !! Naturally enough it took the Inspector and all the teachers several hours to round up all the pupils !!”

Unfortunately, we don’t have any photos of the trenches at Woodridge State School or any other photos from the school from that era. We would love to hear from you if you have any photos that you think might be a useful addition to our photographic collection. (See our Contact Details on the About Page)

See the attached photos for an idea of air raid trenches in Brisbane schools at this time.

Children Sheltering in a Slit Trench

Patricia Pope in March 2011

Australian War Memorial photograph of Adelaide children practicing building an air raid slit trench

 WW2 Airfields in the Logan Area

Not many people are probably aware that a number of airfields were constructed in the Logan area during the second world war. These were constructed as emergency airstrips which were to be used as alternatives to the airfields at Archerfield and Eagle Farm if needed or as landing training strips. They were simple graded strips of bare earth and were located in Woodridge, Marsden, Park Ridge, Loganlea and Waterford. The locations were as follows:

  • Woodridge: located parallel to Wembley Road from Jacaranda Avenue to the creek. Length of landing strip was 4800;
  •  Marsden: located at right angles to Chambers Flat Road, opposite the intersection with Browns Plains Road. Length of landing strip was 5200;
  • Park Ridge: located parallel to Chambers Flat Road between Bumstead and Chambers Flat Road. Length of landing strip was 4500;
  • Loganlea: cross strips centered north of Ellerslie Road. Length of landing strip was 4800;
  • Waterford: a single strip located adjacent to Beutel Street and extended towards Bompa Road. The Americans used this as a training take-off and landing strip. Length of landing strip was 4194;

Location of WW2 Airfields in the Logan Area

 The airstrips were constructed in 1942 by the well-known firm Thiess Brothers. A young surveyor by the name of Clem Jones surveyed the sites. He was later to rise to prominence as one of Brisbane’s best known Lord Mayors.

By 1943 the airstrips were largely abandoned by the RAAF as they were considered to be too steep and undulating but it was decided to keep them cleared and graded as decoy strips in case of any Japanese bombing raids.  

Museum member, Patricia Pope remembers the Woodridge airstrip very well as it was constructed right next to her families property. She recalls her father complaining to the authorities about the lack of fencing between his property and the airstrip and the fact that his cows and chickens would wander onto the airstrip. Eventually, the authorities built a barb wire fence between the property and the airstrip.

In early 2011, museum members David Amiet and Graham Filkins ventured onto the area, assisted by Patricia Pope and successfully located the remnants of this fence. Several old fence posts and strands of barbed wire were recovered and will be preserved at the Museum.

 The Logan City Museum has a number of maps, aerial photographs, and photographs which illustrate these airfields in some detail. If you would like to find out more information about this fascinating topic, please come and visit the Museum. Please let us know if you read about the WW2 airstrips on our website.

If you have any feedback or information about this topic we would love to hear from you. All comments and feedback are most welcome.

Patricia Pope and David Amiet examining remnants of the barbed wire fence at the WW2 Woodridge Airstrip in February 2011

WW2 Recollections from the Logan Area As Told by Mr. Ian Rohl 

Ian Rohl at the Logan City Museum in May 2009

Ian Rohl was born at historic Mayes Cottage at Kingston and attended Woodridge State School during WW2. His Grandfather, Josiah Mayes was an Air Raid Warden for the Kingston area during the war years and the Kingston Station Master, Bert Wruck was the Chief Air Raid Warden for the area. Together they conducted several air raid drills for the local area and visited houses to ensure their house lights were not visible to the outside and that all curtains were drawn etc. Their duties were taken very seriously and people believed that Japanese air raids were a very real possibility.

WW2 Qld Civil Defence Certificate awarded to Josiah Mayes in 1945

It is interesting to note that no air raid siren (like the ones we are all familiar with from the Hollywood war movies and referred to as Moaning Minnies) was in use in the Logan area. Instead, drills and practices were announced by the steam whistle being blown at the Kingston Butter Factory.

 It is interesting to note that when examining the Kingston Butter Factory Minutes from this period that a suggestion was made regarding “camouflaging the roof of the Butter Factory”. Apparently, the suggestion did not become reality as the project would have cost too much. Another suggestion that was put forward is also worthy of mention: “that Winston Churchill be invited to inspect the building.” We believe he was probably too busy at the time to visit Logan !!!!!

 Ian Rohl recollects his father digging a slit trench in the “chook pen” in the backyard of their house in Jeuers Road. Unfortunately, the soil was heavy clay and after a couple of weeks and a storm or two, it was full of water.

 At Mayes Cottage, Ian Rohl’s Uncle, Dick Mayes constructed a family air raid shelter in the side of an embankment at the rear of the house. He covered it with hand cut timber. Not long after completing this project, Dick joined the RAAF and was sent to Canada to become a pilot as part of the Empire Air Training Scheme. On completion, he was sent to Britain where he flew Wellington and Lancaster aircraft in missions against the Germans. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions and survived the war. He passed away in 2010.

 At Woodridge State School, Ian recollects a school air raid shelter that was constructed against an embankment and covered with timber from cut trees. The timber was roughly 6″-9″ in diameter. Ian believes the total population of the school (including teaching staff) could have sought shelter within. This would have amounted to approximately 40 people.

 A public air raid shelter was constructed for use by the local population on Kingston Road, roughly opposite where Kingston House is located. It was on the right-hand side of the road as one was headed towards Brisbane and was close to Ian’s home at the time which was at 514 Kingston Road. Again, the shelter was dug into the side of an embankment and covered with cut timber. Ian believes it would have provided shelter to about 40 people in the event of an emergency.

 Ian recalls that one day he looked out of his classroom window and saw a Kittyhawk flying past just yards away and BELOW the height of his window!!!! His teacher was not at all impressed by the noise all these aircraft were making and had the students close all the windows to reduce the interruptions to their studies. Ian used to watch mock dogfights taking place in the skies over Logan and seeing Kittyhawks and later Lightning aircraft along with Flying Fortresses engaged in these practice skirmishes.

USA Curtiss-p-4De Kittyhawk Fighter

 Ian remembers the large numbers of Americans who came to Brisbane and recalls seeing large convoys of American trucks, equipment, and troops making their way from Brisbane through Logan on their way to Camp Cable. As most roads were still dirt in those days, he recalls they were engulfed in huge clouds of dust.

Ian is a former President of the Logan City Historical Museum and has a wealth of knowledge relating to the history of our local area. If any reader has stories relating to our local area we would love to hear from you and hopefully preserve these memories for posterity.

The above information was gathered during an informal interview with Ian Rohl by David Amiet at the Logan City Museum on Tuesday the 17th May 2011.

  1. David Amiet says:

    Thanks for the photo Georgia.

  2. Lesley Barnsley says:

    Great to see you are preserving the ‘old’ memories of the area.

  3. Michael Taylor says:

    I recall a Gentleman by the name of Charley Grose who in the 50s lived in the airfield barracks on the corner of Bardon and Gilmore Roads. There was a large persimmon tree at the barracks and all us kids would raid this tree when in fruit. We lived further on down Gilmore Rd where the airstrip ended

  4. Debbie Brownsey says:

    Information about the Cordingley store it was later brought by Viona Jones both my two sisters work in the store in the late 60’s early 70’s until Mrs Jones death in 1972. If you would like more information please contact via email.

  5. Donna Warren says:

    Hi I’m looking for information about Miss Mabel (Mabel park schools were named after her- as far as I know) any information would be great.thanks.Donna

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