Naming of 5 Wellington Road, Woolloongabba: 'Watt Park'
|Principal Petitioner||Barrie Watt, Woolloongabba|
|Closing Date||Sun, 31 Mar 2019|
|No. of signatures||131 signatures (View signatures)|
Residents draw to the attention of the Lord Mayor to the unnamed park at 5 Wellington Road, Woolloongabba. I put forward the name of 'Watt Park' in honour of the Watt family who conducted a body building enterprise under the name of 'Watt Bros' on that land between 1938 and 1973. I am currently the third generation of my family working in Woolloongabba - having followed in the footsteps of my father, uncles and grandfather. The Watt family's connection to Woolloongabba goes back as far as 1923, when my grandfather, John Watt, a master blacksmith and carriage builder, relocated from Upper Coomera with my father Sheriff, and uncles Jim and Jack. The Watt Bros operated a service station and body building enterprise out of premises in Stanley Street (opposite the post office) before shifting to 5 Wellington Road from 1938. Both premises were used during the war years until the business consolidated in one location, 5 Wellington Road. During a 50-year period, the Watt Bros constructed over 500 new buses and coaches for Queensland and northern New South Wales operators. Although passenger vehicles were their specialty, the Watt Bros also constructed other automotive bodies such as trucks, ambulances, hearses and even a tow truck. Highlights of their body building tenure include the construction of:
- Queensland’s first streamlined bus in August 1935
- Queensland's first streamlined pantechnicon in February 1938
- Queensland's first streamlined tow truck in March 1939.
The Watt Bros continued to ply their trade for 50 years until the business was sold as a going concern to Sydney-builder, Custom Coaches, effective 1 July 1973. The ensuing floods of January 1974 unfortunately crippled Custom Coaches’ fledging Queensland enterprise, which resulted in the closure of their interstate division. After receiving several requests from our loyal customer base, I decided to continue the Watt Bros legacy in my own right by renting the Wellington Road factory from Custom Coaches. This was the start of ‘Watt’s Bus & Coach Works’ – which I continue to operate today. These premises were occupied for a further 31-year period until an arson attack completely gutted the factory in September 2005. After this time, the land sat vacant for several years until it was acquired by the Council from the former owners of Custom Coaches. Given that our family occupied this land for a period of 66 years – and, as of 2019, have conducted a business in Woolloongabba for 96 years and counting – I believe it would be appropriate for this area to be named ‘Watt Park’.
The petitioners call on the Lord Mayor to give due consideration to naming the park at 5 Wellington Road, Woolloongabba, 'Watt Park'.