RADIO STATION TOWNSVILLE
COASTAL RADIO SERVICE (CRS)
65 MOREY STREET, SOUTH TOWNSVILLE
TOWNSVILLE, QLD
UNDER RAN CONTROL DURING WWII

 

The strong reinforced concrete building located at 65 Morey Street, South Townsville, which now serves as Souths Football Club House, was once used as Townsville Radio Station for the Coastal Radio Service and under the direction of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) during WWII.

The building has a corrugated-iron hipped roof and sits on a concrete plinth. During World War II the Radio Station, until then operated by AWA, became an important link for Australian military communications. Three more masts were erected in a triangular pattern with an array of aerials to cater to the very large increase in shipping in the region.

There is a narrow timber door in the centre of the northern end of the building with another off-centre door at the other end of the building. There is a large concrete trough located beside the building which was used to cool the radio valves.

Further north west along Morey Street is a very large strange looking concrete structure which was once the base of a 250 feet high steel radio mast.

 

Former concrete base for a 250 feet high steel radio mast located
in Victoria Park adjacent to Morey Street, South Townsville

 

The first ship to shore radio broadcasts from north Queensland were made on about 7 August 1913 from a temporary timber radio mast which was replaced in 1917 by a steel 250 feet Telefunken mast that had been captured from the Germans at Rabaul during World War I. This new mast sat on a mass concrete base and was held upright by three guy wires anchored to large reinforced concrete blocks. Apparently one of these concrete blocks is still located near the club house. The concrete club house building was originally erected for the Coastal Radio Service from around 1913-1917.

All of the masts in Victoria Park were eventually dismantled in about 1960 when the Overseas Telecommunications Commission was relocated to Pallarenda. One of the later masts was bought by the Haughton Sugar Company and was used as a radio relay station in the Burdekin Valley.

The first commercial radio station broadcasts in north Queensland were made from the transmitter room of this building in about 1935 by Amalgamated Wireless Australia (AWA), Radio Station 4TO.

The US Army established Camp Victoria Park, in Victoria Park at South Townsville in north Queensland, Australia during WWII. It is believed this US camp, possibly a motor pool, was adjacent to the Townsville Radio Station which was unded RAN control during WWII.

 

REFERENCE BOOKS

Townsville Heritage - Local Heritage Database

"The Seawatchers - The Story of Australia's Coast Radio Service"
by Lawrence Durrant

 

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This page first produced 3 January 2009

This page last updated 14 January 2015