Thursday, January 16, 2014

Q Station history


I thought I'd share one more set of photos

from the Q Station at Manly,

this time focusing on the history of the 

quarantine station, 

mostly using photos I took on our first visit in 2012.


The quarantine station was in operation

from 1835 until the 1970s,

although only 3 ships were quarantined after 1950.

Its purpose was to keep disease out of Sydney.

When passengers from ships carrying disease

arrived at the station,

they were made to shower in carbolic acid!

Peepholes were cut into the shower walls

so that supervisors could check that 

people showered properly!

During the Spanish Influenza epidemic

people were gassed in an attempt to save

them from contracting the flu.


Luggage was sent through a state-of-the-art 

cleaning process involving much steam and heat


before being carried up the steep hill

by funicular railway.

One can only imagine what state the luggage

and clothing were in afterwards,

not to mention the poor men working

in the steam room.


Those unfortunate enough to be ill

stayed in the hospital,

perhaps never to leave alive.

If they were well enough to sit up, 

they might have appreciated

the amazing view over the harbour to South Head.


Throughout the quarantine station

there was clear differentiation between passenger classes,

even in the hospital

where first class passengers were

cleaned and fed using china rather than enamel.


Those who didn't contract a disease 

were free to enjoy the facilities

appropriate to their class.


This lounge was originally the first class dining room,

which can be seen in the photo below.

First-class passengers had many privileges

compared to the other passengers.

Immigrants from Asia were completely isolated

to another part of the station.


Of course the precautions taken with illness;

attitudes towards class and race;

and travelling standards 

varied over the years

but these were some of the things I remembered

from our tour two years ago.

Both visits we stayed in the 

3rd class accommodation,

which was unfortunately burnt down

in the last few decades,

but fortunately rebuilt to provide

comfortable accommodation today.


2 comments:

Amy at love made my home said...

Fortunately all of this was waaaayy before our time in OZ, but I do remember when you landed in Australia, the aircrew coming through the planes with cans of bug spray, spraying everything and everyone in sight before they opened the doors - no idea what they did to the luggage, can't imagine that they steamed it! Thank goodness we don't have to deal with these sorts of things now when we travel! xx

Fiona said...

Yes, imagine travelling across the world and finding that you had to stay in quarantine for weeks or months instead of saiing right into Sydney!
That bug spray doesn't sound too good ...!