Sunday, October 12, 2014

October 12. Day 285. Go to goal

Normal people will do anything possible to stay out of jail. Not me. I went into a lottery to get inside Boggo Road Gaol. The now defunct prison was one of the buildings taking part in Brisbane Open House Weekend offering residents the chance to get inside the walls of properties with normally restricted public access. Most of the properties you could just turn up to but the anticipated interest in the gaol meant there was a ballot and I scored a golden ticket (well two actually). It's a building that interests me immensely because my paternal grandfather worked there as a warder. I never met him but his stories were part of my childhood and I now live just down the road so having a good sniff around made absolute sense. Leading the tour was Jack Sim, local historian and tour guide extraordinaire, a man who can make history come alive. He had the group, especially the kids, eating out of his hands as he fed tidbits of information about the building and its former occupants. It's really hard to believe this was an operational gaol until the 1980s. I'm glad I never had to spend time behind those intimidating gates in the prison's operational days but a tour was a captivating way to spend a Sunday morning.

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