Behind The Storefront
Elevating the Ordinary in Goombungee
It’s often said that all the best things are discovered by accident. What looked like it would be a straightforward renovation job, turned into a surprise glimpse into the past when a team from Advanced Buildings uncovered some not-so-ancient history in Goombungee, Queensland.
During an uncomplicated roof renovation and replacement, asbestos sheeting was found and due to be safely removed from the façade of Goombungee Antiques & Café. Extensively used in building works in the 20th century and earlier (particularly in Australia), our renovating teams are always on the lookout for this dangerous building material – but in this case, it was in fact hiding and protecting a local antique.
Having been safeguarded for decades by the asbestos facade, our team discovered the carefully hand-lettered and rarely-preserved original shop signage underneath. The painted announcements are in remarkably good shape, though slightly faded the paint is generally intact! Outlasting its original commercial purpose, the frontage promotes merchandise from yesteryear – the paintwork has now been sealed, in an effort to preserve the unique discovery for many more years to come. Store and café owner, Daryl Moore, said he was “very excited” and that as soon as he saw it “…there was no way I could remove it. I didn’t want to cover it.”
The refreshing story was recently featured in The Toowoomba Chronicle, and the newspaper reported that following some research into land titles, records and licenses, the sign most likely originated in the 1940s. The medical brand Sitrue – the “wonderful headache banisher” – was actually advertising in the newspaper, The Brisbane Courier as early as 1926, so perhaps this treasure is even older than that.
These sort of traditional hand-painted advertisements conjure a certain sentimentality and nostalgia, which computerized signage just can’t match; it reminds us of the power and ability of the human hand and artistry in this generation of ever-advancing technology. The local community have embraced the new shop-front, and it’s becoming a real point of interest in the town – and the coffee isn’t bad either! As a lover of antiques himself (well, he does sell them), store owner Daryl Moore, was delighted to be gifted this precious piece of history that was once lost, but now has been found.