29 July 2012

The Ghosts of the Boggo Road Exercise Yards


Most of Boggo Road's No.2 Division has been quiet 2005, and the prolonged closure has left the spaces behind the high walls feeling even more quiet and isolated. Among these spaces are the exercise yards, which were once the social hub of prisoner's lives. Long hours were spent here, talking, resting, playing games, mustering, exercising, and a hundred other things that the men did to pass the time of day. Today the yards are silent, the toilets are no longer working, the fences and shelters are slowly rusting away, and the presence of the thousands of men who ever entered the yards has long gone. Almost. I say almost because if you look closely enough, there are actually some physical traces of those men still there today.

Each yard has a shelter shed in the centre, supported by metal posts that were once painted blue. Prisoners used to scratch their names, hometowns and the date into the paint on those posts, and although time has left those scratchings rust-speckled today, they do survive as reminders of when the prison was alive a quarter of a century ago. The BRGHS have recorded these for posterity, and a small selection of our photos are shown below to mark the passing of 20 years since the last male prisoner left Boggo Road.
Two Yard, Boggo Road. The shelter shed, with table, benches and TV box,  is in the centre. (BRGHS)
Two Yard, Boggo Road. The shelter shed, with table, benches and TV box,
is in the centre. (BRGHS)
'The Machine was here'. Cherbourg names from 1987. Boggo Road exercise yard (BRGHS)
'The Machine was here'. Cherbourg names from 1987. (BRGHS)
'Remember December'. A reminder of the time in December  1986 when a major riot gripped No.2 Division and prisoners  lit fires and mounted the roof of F Wing to draw attention  to allegations of brutality and arbitrary discipline.
'Remember December'. A reminder of the time in December
1986 when a major riot gripped No.2 Division and prisoners
lit fires and mounted the roof of F Wing to draw attention
to allegations of brutality and arbitrary discipline. (BRGHS)  
 
A hello from Toowoomba in 1985. Boggo Road exercise yard (BRGHS)
A hello from Toowoomba in 1985. (BRGHS)
'The Boat', 1988, Boggo Road exercise yard (BRGHS)
'The Boat', 1988. (BRGHS)
Political symbols of white frustration, Boggo Road Gaol yards. (BRGHS)
Political symbols of white frustration. (BRGHS)





























01 July 2012

My Night Alone in a Boggo Road Cellblock

What happened when I spent a night alone in a (supposedly haunted) Boggo Road Gaol cellblock?

This story can be read at 'About Those Ghosts...'

What happened when I spent a night alone in a Boggo Road cellblock?