When the Valley was ‘King’ at Christmas

A monthly update from the Enoggera & Districts Historical Society Inc

Christmas in the Valley circa 1974

For many long-term Hills District residents, a memory from Christmas time years ago would have been the role played by retail stores in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley in preparing for that special day of the year.

For decades up until the early 1980s, the Valley was ‘King’ when it came to shopping at Christmas time and celebrating the season. Who remembers McWhirters (built at the turn of the 20th century and taken over by Myer in 1955), T.C. Beirne (built in 1902 and later renamed David Jones) and Waltons? Who also remembers the fabulous Christmas window displays? Or ‘Myer on the Rooftop’ featuring rides, attractions and an opportunity for children to whisper in Santa’s ear what they wanted to find in their stockings on Christmas morning?

All these department stores ceased operating in the Valley by 1988, with the rise of CBD-based shopping and large centres in the suburbs such as Chermside and Indooroopilly. The buildings which were McWhirters and T.C. Beirne were listed on the Queensland Heritage Registry in 1992 and 2003 respectively.

Does anyone out there have special memories of the Valley at Christmas time? We’d love to hear from you. Visit our Facebook page or email enoggerahistory@gmail.com

And the Enoggera & Districts Historical Society Inc. takes this opportunity to wish its members, supporters and friends in the general community a VERY Merry Christmas and Happy 2021. Please remember ‘the reason for the season’.  2020 has been, for many of us, the most difficult year of our lives. Let’s all stay positive, hang in there and look out for each other. There are better days ahead.

Take care, everyone.

Andrew McMicking


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