Albion Mill silos rescue urged

By on February 10, 2014

THE future of the Albion Mill silos is being decided by Brisbane City Council after an application from developer FKP to demolish the four landmark cloverleaf silos.

The fire-damaged Albion mill and silos.

FIRE DAMAGED: Look closely and the billboard proclaims it a “hot spot”.

The historic 1930s flour mill was destroyed by fire in November 2013 and site owners FKP lodged an application to demolish the four silos (built in the 1960s) in December 2013.

Submissions closed February 4 with two objections lodged.

“While the silos do not have the heritage listing of the formerly adjacent mill, that does not mean that they do not have some heritage value to the community,” wrote one anonymous objector.

“The quarry, the brickworks and the flour mill were the drivers for settling the Albion area and population growth in the 19th and 20th centuries. These activities and the pioneers who established them are essential to the modern history of the suburb and Brisbane.

“After losing Campbell’s tower in 1989 and the mill in 2013 the silos represent the last tangible link to the area’s heavy industrial and Scottish pioneering past. Now – as the last standing visual reminder – the loss of the mill has increased rather than decreased the heritage value of the silos,” the objector wrote in a two-page submission.

Another objector, David White, said: “The disastrous destruction of the brick mill building – which many attribute to the neglect of the owners – represented a very real sense of loss for many, if not most, residents of Albion and adjoining suburbs, who have regarded the demise of the old mill over several years with deep sadness, regret and disappointment.”

“Without the silos, the proposed units would have no distinguishing or identifying feature whatsoever,” Mr White wrote.

History of Albion Mill

In a Heritage Impact Statement prepared by Environmental Resources Management, a private company based in Spring Hill, the history of the mill, built in 1931, was outlined:

“Flour production commenced in 1932 with an output of seven sacks of flour per hour (flour production is measured in hours). A year later this output had doubled. Bakers white flour, meal flour, bran and pollard were all produced for the commercial market and sold under the brand name “Anchor”. This was also the name of Gillespie’s flour in New South Wales. All output was sold for the commercial market under this brand name until 1955 when self-raising flour was packaged for the retail market under the brand name White Wings.”

UPDATE: Council has cleared the silos for demolition.

About Felicity Moore

Felicity Moore is a journalist with 20 years' experience in Australia and the UK across newspapers, magazines, websites, television and radio. Felicity also edits and writes for the parenting blog.

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