A Thrifty Link To The Past

Image: Store Frontage Destruction Source: Telegraph, 29/12/1939 pg. 9

Image: Store Frontage Destruction
Source: Telegraph, 29/12/1939 pg. 9

Prior to the hardware being built on the site, there were five premises on this stretch of Bridge Street from the Western Line Hotel to John Street. H. G. Kath’s grocery store, H. B. Shennan’s machinery shop and a hairdressing salon also owned by Mr Shennan. In December 1939, a fire tore through the businesses in the early hours of the morning. Deciding that the businesses were a lost cause the bucket brigade focused on keeping the flames from reaching the nearby kerosene, petrol and diesel store. Some of the machinery from the salon and the machinery shop were saved by the helpers but within an hour the stores were reduced to a heap of debris.

After the fire Miller Murdoch and his son Allan, commenced a garage at this site, which was later used as a welding business by Lloyd Island. The front section of the building is believed to be one of several structures that were originally on the Army Airfield Base at ‘Wilthorn’ Siding during World War II. When the war ended in 1945, a number of structures were sold for removal. Local business people and community groups purchased a number of these buildings, which were then deconstructed and re-assembled in Oakey. A large shed was added to the rear and the building became TT Hardware. Originally Oakey Hardware, the store was renamed “Bernborough Hardware & Produce” in 1988, and in 1994 joined the Thrifty-Link Hardware Group.


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