Highlights from our October Meeting

June and the administration team of the Ipswich Heritage Club would like to thank everyone who helped make our October meeting a success.

We were once again hosted by the Ipswich Club and owe a big thank you to Fenton and Lisa for the delicious catering and great service. We would also like to thank MP Jennifer Howard for attending, Michael Munt of Biztopia for sponsoring the evening and the Queensland Times, our media partner.

We were honoured to have Mayor Andrew Antoniolli attend and present our first awards. One of the Ipswich Heritage Club’s goals is to support our members throughout the process of restoring their heritage properties and one way we will be doing so is by acknowledging the restoration and renovation projects of members, large or small.

Doyenne June Frank with Val Petersen and Mayor Antoniolli

The first of our awards was granted to Val Petersen in acknowledgement of the restoration of Elamang in East Ipswich conducted by her and her late husband, Ben. When Val and Ben purchased Elamang, it was several flats, having been converted by the Queensland Times for use by it’s employees. Today, thanks to Val and Ben, Elamang is a stunning six bedroom, Victorian residence.

Elamang. Photo by Open2View Photography. 2016

The second award of the night was presented to Kathryn and Michael Simmons for their extensive restoration of Frampton Villa on Whitehill Road.

Mayor Antoniolli with Michael Simmons, Kathryn Simmons and June Frank

Since purchase in 2014, Kathryn and Michael have undertaken the monumental project of restoring Frampton Villa. Kathryn and Michael have completed much of the work themselves, all while working and raising two young children.

Frampton Villa on Whitehill Road – 2014 and 2017

Finally, the Ipswich Heritage Club presented an award to Dan and Edwina Ferrett of Tokal on Harlin Road. The new fence Dan and Edwina have erected enhances the property and frames the house beautifully in a way the former, wire fence failed to do.

Mayor Antoniolli, Edwina Ferrett, Dan Ferrett and June Frank
Tokal house on Harlin Road

The highlight of the night was Geoff Thompson’s presentation on “Bleak House – the house that moved twice”. We were very grateful to Geoff for presenting and sharing both his research into Bleak House and family memories.

We hope everyone had a great time. Our next meeting will be held at 6pm on November 3rd at the Ipswich Antique Centre. We would love to see you there.

In the meantime, we are still seeking photos and information on heritage properties which were turning into flats during wartime. If you have any such photos or information, would like to find out more about the Ipswich Heritage Club, or would like to share your story, please contact us at admin@ipswichheritageclub.com.au or 0434 345 871.

Meet our first Members


Meet Michael and Kathryn Simmons. This passionate and energetic young couple are currently holding the heritage restoration flag high. So who are they? In their own words, “We are the crazy people who buy the houses that no one else wants because they are too much work! ”

So here’s a brief-ish outline…In 2007, both in their early twenties and still at university, they bought their first heritage property. A little, rundown workers cottage in North Ipswich. They have been slowly completing work over the years, having recently restumped and replaced the roof.

In 2008, they purchased Bowerlea at 2 South Street. “It was very run down but all of its beautiful original detailing had been retained.”   Michael and Kathryn graciously opened Bowerlea as part of the National Trust Great Houses of Ipswich in 2014. After spending 7 years restoring it to its original glory, and realising they had completed their journey with Bowerlea they decided to sell in 2015.

Later in 2015, Michael and Kathryn purchased Frampton Villa at 48 Whitehill Rd Eastern Heights. You would be excused for not knowing of or even noticing this residence as it had spent approximately 60 years as a hostel and rehabilitation centre.

When in fact this was originally a colonial home built in 1870-1890 as the ‘interim’ house for James Foote family while they built the ‘proper’ residence further down the road. The ‘proper’ residence has long since gone.

Michael and Kathryn having the vision of bringing this property back to life undertook this renovation with great gusto. “We spent 6 months undertaking extensive demolition and restoration of the front half of the house to make it habitable.”

To date they have opened the verandahs, reinstated most of the lacework and original style cedar doors and joinery, replaced verandah boards, reinstated window hoods, and landscaping!

All the while working full time and raising a family…..

“We still have a lot of work to go, including restoration of the semi-detached kitchen and original servant quarters…this will be another 5 years at least” Kathryn said… laughing.

You can follow their work via Michael’s Instagram account; @frampton_villa_restoration