Top of town images
A few weekends ago I visited my family in the town I grew up in. I decided that I wanted to go take some pictures of the business area known as “The Top of Town”. Back in the day this area was the place to have your shopfront. But the years have not always been kind to the commercial centre of Ipswich and it’s had its ups and downs financially and popularly. There have been makeovers and redevelopments but in my memory, there has also been a palpable sense of decline. Some towns have been lucky (or canny) enough to keep their original commercial centres alive, but despite many efforts Ipswich struggles with this.
There does seem to be an upswing going on at the moment. Buildings have been renovated and painted, new businesses have moved in and a couple of old stalwarts are still going (the open air mall just down the road is another matter entirely). Cafes are opening and staying open longer than 12 months. I liked wandering through the Top of Town as a teenager because it held all the interesting shops. There was Lifeline and Vinnies (home to a few choice bargains I still possess including my treasured vintage fake fur coat – it’s like a teddy bear, but it’s a coat) and Beatbox music with its selection of secondhand vinyl records and CDs among others (alas Beatbox no longer calls its old shopfront home).
There are changes afoot still. The oldest Baptist Church in Queensland is soon to be home to community centre of sorts and the proud possessor of McDonalds drive through – very handy for all the lappers in town. I took a few photos of this building because even though it’s heritage listed, its environs are going to change substantially.