Home - Chermside & District History

About Then and Now: Catching the Changes


This section compares and contrasts photographs of present day buildings, places or people with previous photographs of the same subject. It is easy to photograph present subjects but oftentimes difficult to find a photo of a previous one.

If we find a building that is going to be replaced then we attempt to photograph it before it is removed, which sometimes happens overnight. We then photograph the new scene. Many photos of previous buildings or people have been donated to the Society and these are invaluable for our archives.

Sometimes we are able to photograph two separate subjects on different sites such as an old building and a new version of the same type. This technique can be used when showing changes in fashions of clothing, cars, lighting, houses, etc.

Public Toilets in the Parks Respond to Safety Needs

Publicl toilet early post-WWII
This 1950s toilet was built to last with brick walls and reinforced concrete roof, and it did last, till it was demolished with difficulty, in 2008. The entrances to the water closets were concealed behind a 340mm thick brick wall which had metal screens at the front. The emphasis was on privacy and it also gave molesters a hiding place but at the time that was not of great community concern. The three screen doors in the front middle secured a storage section.

The 1970s

This public toilet was attached to a sporting facility with another toilet at the other end. It was probably built in the 1970s and features a brick screen wall hiding the entrance which was to fulfil the privacy requirements of the time. However it also enabled molesters to hide and wait for victims or to go in after the victim and still be concealed. The bright murals on the building were done by street artists as a deterrent to the graffiti vandals. This is a case where the strategy has been very successful as it has been left more or less untouched for some years.

The 21st Century

This toilet, built in 2008, faces into a small car park alongside a busy road and is an example of the modern open style which does not provide any hiding places for predators. Even the hand washing basin is on the outside and the place is very well ventilated to counter the hot Queensland summers.