Bowser and Lever originally had a quarry at Windsor, on the corner of Lutwyche and Newmarket Roads. The land was resumed for the Australian Navy to use as a fuel depot. Bowser and Lever then bought land from the Thompson family at the corner of Rode and Webster Roads, Chermside. They moved their operations to that site to quarry porphyry or Brisbane Tuff.
In the early days of the quarry, there was a lot of hand work and it was done by spoilers. They cut the rock manually with a spoiler's hammer. They were a unique group of men who knew which stone would split easily. The split stone would be used for gardens and edging while the rest was crushed for decorative work or used as road base. One of the last batches was put on Sandgate Road at Nundah.
During the war, the American Army took away many loads of gravel to use in the roadways in the new camps in places such as Burleigh Heads and Byron Bay. Later purchasers of the gravel were the Main Roads Department and the Brisbane City Council.
Bowser and Lever owned the original quarry, and in 1961-2 Pioneer Concrete took over and Bowser and Lever became a division of Pioneer. That part of Pioneer's business was taken over by RFA Australia in 1975. The quarry closed in 1977, partly because of problems with neighbours, none of whom had been there when the quarry opened in 1939. One prospective land buyer was told that the quarry was not operating - and it wasn't - over the weekends!
Alan Wood was the manager from 1970 to 1977 when the quarry closed because of the growth of housing, in some cases right on the property boundary. The Queensland Government resumed part of the quarry land for the Somerset Hills School.
Some of the employees were Andy Johnston, Mrs. Hutton in the office and an Aboriginal employee, who worked the crusher, did spoiling and labouring work. He was a very good worker.
Thanks to Alan Wood and Andy Johnston for Information and photos for this article.