We enjoyed a great morning out at the Commissariat Store in William Street, Brisbane.

It was really interesting to explore an early building, which had been in continuous use for nearly 200 years, and served the same purpose for over for 125 of those years. We had a really enthusiastic tour guide who pointed out all the detail of the original handmade stone structure and surrounding retaining walls. The river runs along the back of the building. We walked across Queens Wharf Road at the rear, to the riverside spot where boats used to dock to off load goods to be held in the Store. It was an eerie feeling to imagine convicts hauling goods off the boat, along a wooden gangplank, across the dirt track which was Queens Wharf Road, and into the Store. The tour guide explained the building was built like a fortress so as to safe guard the goods from being stolen by the convicts.

Those in our party with mobility problems were not disadvantaged as there was easy wheelchair access and a lift between floors.

The scale models of very early Brisbane on the ground floor were also very evocative. It was easy to imagine walking down the rough, but recognisable early William, George, Queen and Albert Streets. There was nothing much after Albert Street. The two upper floors housed various other displays of the penal settlement and the developing Brisbane town. We finished off the tour by browsing in the library and bookstore. It was hard to drag everyone off for coffee and cake in nearby William Street.

Submitted by Jill Hutson, Probus Club of Taringa, 15 February 2016