Alfred Shaw and Co, Queen Street, Brisbane

Alfred Shaw and Co, new crockery shop in Queen Street Brisbane and the stores situated in Fortitude Valley, John Oxley Library. The public toilets behind Alfred Shaw and Company, in Brisbane’s Queen Street appear to have been used as a Beat in the early 1890s.  A young employee, John Anderson, and an older customer, Job Allen, were caught having anal sex in a staff cubicle in January 1892. The phrase ‘which end’ was used among the boys in the shop. The phrase clearly related to sexual position: 

Medhurst (the employee who caught the two men together): ‘What game is this you and Allen were at in the water closet together[?]’

Anderson: "Which end?"

Medhurst: ‘If were know you’d get ten years’.

The last line is a clear reference to the minimum penalty for sodomy.

Collection of John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland image 160411
Location Node: 
Queen Street
Brisbane, QLD 4000