We will, in fact, be returning to our roots. Before our grandmother, Eva Brown (nee Cocks) married Reg Brown, our grandfather, she lived virtually next door to today's high rise shopping centre known as Toowong Village. Her family ran the iconic Cocks and Sons grocery emporium situated at No. 31 Sherwood Road. Their home was right next door to the store.
'The storekeepers, their shop and the manner in which an assortment of products were sold, packaged and delivered by horse and cart to the homes of their customers are still clearly remembered today. The stock at Cocks and Sons included foodstuff, garden implements, grain, and even day old chicks. Household items such as china and cutlery were also on sale.' The Cocks Family Tree, compiled by Deb Drummond for the Toowong and District Historical Society Inc. Booklet available from the Society and Toowong Library)The grocery store operated on Sherwood Road from approximately 1910 until 1965. Our great-grandfather, Richard Cocks, kept his trotters in the paddock at the back of the store.
Richard's wife, Mary Ann (Annie) Cocks (nee Winterford), our great-grandmother, is best remembered for the raintree she planted in her front garden in the early 1900s; this tree became part of local folklore and was fondly referred to as 'Mrs Cocks' Tree'. The Bird Spire sculpture seen today, is positioned in front of where the old raintree stood until its removal in 2010. A stunning side table made from the wood salvaged from the tree trunk can be seen in the Brisbane City Council Archives.
As the Brown families lived in neighbouring Taringa and St Lucia and the Armstrong family was from Toowong we are hoping to meet people who may remember the families or who are able to offer any information at all, no matter how irrelevant it may seem.
We look forward to sharing the 'real' story about our grandfather's arrest and conviction with residents from his former neighbourhood.
Deb and Jan