Works Managers' Office
“…a building rendered conspicuous by the large bell-tower which surmounts it. In this building the timekeeping staff is also housed, and other necessary clerical work is done” Australian Town & Country Journal, 1903
The start and end of each workday at Eveleigh was once signalled by the resounding toll of a large brass bell, encased in a decorative tower, perched atop an elegant two-storey building that represented a longstanding and recognisable division between Eveleigh workers and administrative staff: the Works Managers' Office.
“If you had to make your way to the timekeepers office to get a special payment or a holiday pay or something like that, we were almost frightened to go and get it.” Jack Bruce, former Eveleigh worker
Constructed in 1887 as an original element of the Eveleigh Workshops, the Works Managers' Office was the centre of administrative control of the Workshops, containing both the Pay Office, and the Timekeepers' Office, responsible for handling the payroll and timekeeping for all departments. The Works Managers' Office and Timekeepers' Office was home to Eveleigh’s management and administrative staff including the General Works Manager as well as works engineers, cost clerks, time estimators, timekeepers, clerical assistants and planners.
With a work force of thousands, timekeeping was a serious business at Eveleigh. The strictness of timekeepers overseeing hours of the workshop workers unsurprisingly made friendships between these two groups difficult.
“A notice has been posted up all over the works limiting the time which any employee may take off during working hours to attend the lavatories. It is provided that any employee exceeding the limit by one minute is to be docked half an hour’s pay for each minute. The employees have to provide themselves with checks, and at all the lavatories there are timekeepers, armed with books and watches.” Barrier Miner, 21 January 1910
The Works Managers' Office was the first Eveleigh building renovated as part of the ATP in 1994, renamed as the International Business Centre, as which it remains known today.
1903 'The Railway Workshops at Eveleigh, Sydney.', Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1919), 8 July, p. 28. , viewed 27 Apr 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71483243