Mark Higgs and Bob Thelning outside the historic 5 Surveyor Street. Photo: Gemma Varcoe.One of the first homes to be built in Queanbeyan is set to be auctioned off this Saturday, and for the current owners of 5 Surveyor Street, Bob Thelning and Carol Thompson, the sale will be bittersweet as the couple regretfully relinquishes a piece of the city’s rich history.
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Purchasing the home in 1986, Mr Thelning and Ms Thompson possess a wealth of knowledge pertaining to the origins of the house and they cite their late neighbour for the century’s worth of historical tales.

“There’s a million things I would have liked to ask her if she was still alive today,” Mr Thelning said.

“We were told that this home was part of the first sub-division of land in Queanbeyan, and that I believe was in about 1895.

“From what we understand, the home was built before World War I and the guy who built them became an alien to Australia and was interned for the duration of the war. So whether he was a German or an Italian, I don’t know who was on who’s side at the time, but he was interned and the house was confiscated. But at the end of the war he was released, gained citizenship and got his house back.”

The quaint three-bedroom cottage is located in prime position, metres from Queanbeyan’s Town Park and just around the corner from the CBD. It features many historical attributes, from the bull nose verandah and pressed metal ceilings, to the high pitched roof and rustic garage.

But modernity has paved the way for the home, and over the past three decades Mr Thelning and Ms Thompson have extended the structure, updated the bathroom and kitchen, and installed a wall-mounted air conditioner in the study.

“Our whole aim has always been to remain sympathetic with heritage, but to still have a modern, family home,” Mr Thelning said.

“It’s comfortable, it keeps you happy if you look after it and I’ve always called it home because the place we have now up in Sawtell is a house. It doesn’t have the same personality, the same warmth.”

Alongside the benefits of the home’s cosiness and close proximity to schools, parks, and the town centre, Ms Thompson also point towards the surprise that the building offers once inside.

“A couple walked through the door to inspect the home, and the bloke said ‘My god, it’s the Tardis!’” Ms Thompson said.

“It’s much, much bigger than it appears from the street and it goes on forever.”

In his first time as auctioneer, Queanbeyan cricketing legend Mark Higgs is set to auction off the 5 Surveyor Street home on-site onSaturday, May 28, from 10am.

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