Sunday, October 07, 2012
Wentworth is a NSW town not far over the border from Mildura. It's a hot, dry, dusty town and it's main claim to fame is its gaol, long since defunct as an actual penitentiary. It's a museum now. Last time I visited it, over 20 years ago, you could dress up in costumes and be photographed in a cell, and somewhere I probably have a photo of me doing just that (must find that one!)
It's an interesting glimpse of social history. For quite some time after the gaol ceased its original function, it was used as a school. Small changes were made - a pink peppercorn tree was planted in the old exercise yard to provide shade for the children (somewhere I think there must be an ancient statute that decrees that every Australian school must have a pink peppercorn tree in the yard somewhere) - but on the whole they used the old gaol facilities. I wonder how that felt!
I was amused by the mortuary slab, just lying on the floor in a room, with the handwritten notice.