The Shot Tower

Shot tower

Today I am going to tell you a little bit about The Shot Tower, we visited this place while in Tassie but on the day we went there it was closed, naturally.

Anyway the Shot Tower is on the Channel Highway about 11.26 kilometres from Hobart, it is one of the states most historical industrial buildings. It was completed in 1870 by Joseph Moir, the tower is the only circular stone shot tower in the southern hemisphere.

It is said that the tower was completed in eight months but realistic it would have been more like eight years he then had to discover how the secrets of shot making. He made his first shot in September 1870.

It was no doubt with some pride that Joseph Moir himself inscribed the keystone over the Tower entrance which records his achievement and reads.

This Shot Tower was built by the proprietor, Joseph Moir in the year 1870, in its erection he acted as Engineer, Architect, Carpenter and Overseer. With merely the assistance of two masons it was completed in eight months, when the secrets of shot making had to be discovered. After many persevering efforts the first shot was dropped on the 8th September 1870”

The Shot Tower is 48 metres high, has a 6.37metres diameter base and is 3.81 metres at the top. The walls are .86metres thick at the base decreasing to .52 metres at the top. The staircase within the tower was the original scaffold and is made up of 31 landings and 287 steps. The small unglazed openings spaced at intervals in the tower walls give natural lighting to the stairways, the openings were originally glazed during the erection of the tower.

Tim would have liked to be able to climb to the top of the tower but as I said the day we visited it was closed.

Shot Tower1

On the 8th August 1956 the Tower, Tower House and just over 3.23 hectares was acquired by the Crown and gazetted as a Historical Site. On the top floor of the factory building a museum area was set up with photographs, information panels and short video describing the shot making process. The museum was open when we were there and we had a look around it but the tower itself was closed. There is also a tea room located at the area which also was closed on the day we were there.


About me and my siblings

SiblingsSo lets talk about my siblings as all will know I have three sisters and one brother all younger then me which is ok with me I have no problem being the eldest, however, I have to say I often feel left out I don’t know why I just do.

I married Tim way back when and I guess that is why I have been pretty independent, I had Tim and I had Kathy-Lee and Natasha and later of course Jessica and my girls took up my time so I didn’t have time to hang out with my sisters Jeannie and Sue. Sue in fact when she was only 16 decided to go and live with Rex her boyfriend at the time who was 32 yeah you read that right she later married him but then when her youngest Kelli was only a toddler she left him and they later divorced.

Sue lived about a 40-45 minuted drive from the rest of the family and we didn’t see her very often to be honest way back then I felt that Rex didn’t like our family and that was why she didn’t come to many family functions not even Christmas, I don’t know for a fact that was how he felt it was just the feeling I got.

Also Sandra and David are a lot younger then me, I was 15 when Sandy was born and 16 when Dave was born so when I married Tim and left home they were still pretty young I was nearly 22 when I married Tim.

Of course now that we are all older and such we still all see each other often and talk often, hell I am going to dog sit for Dave at the end of the month and I spoke to Sandy last night and saw Jeannie on Friday with Sandy and Dave at breakfast at the local shopping centre.

I know I am lucky to be so close to my siblings as I know some people are not, people like Tim he hasn’t really spoken to any of his siblings since his step-father passed away and as some will know Tim doesn’t talk to his father any more.

A to Z from me about stuff

Hi am pinching this from Lauren who can be found here:, she pinched it from Erin who can be found here: and now I am using it because it is a post I don’t have to think much about to write.

A- age: 53

B- biggest fear: Losing a loved one

C – current time: 12.55pm

D – drink you last had. Pepsi Max

E- every day starts with… Blogging (more or less)

F – favourite song. Don’t have one

G – ghosts, are they real? Sure are

H- hometown. Gateshead (suburb of Newcastle)

I- in love with Tim ( husband)

J – jealous of: Nothing and no one don’t do jealous

K – killed someone? Only in my dreams

L- last time you cried? A few nights ago (don’t know why)

M – middle name: Nita named after my great aunt

N- number of siblings: 4, 3 sisters & 1 brother

O- one wish. Happiness for those I love

P – person you last called. Mum

Q – question you’re always asked: W hat’s for…………lunch or tea (dinner)

R – reason to smile. My family

S- song last sang. Can’t remember

T – time you woke up. 7.45am

U – underwear colour. Black

V- vacation destination. Anywhere

W – worst habit. Not being able to say no to the family

X – Xrays you’ve had Knees, Hips and back

Y- your favourite food. Pizza

Z – zodiac sign. Scorpio

Now….. you go, if you feel like it if not then don’t

Port Arthur A Timeline


Today I am just going to share with your all Port Arthur a timeline……………we start in 1830 and go through to 1877.

1830 Port Arthur penal settlement is established as a small timber station.

1831 Wooden huts for convicts and soldiers and cottages for officers are completed.

1833 Charles O’Hara Booth began 11 year term as commandant and the semaphore signal system began.

convict ere port arthur

1834 1st group of boys transferred to Point Puer (boys prison/reform school)

1836 Foundation of the Church laid and Guard Tower constructed.

1837 1st public service held in the Port Arthur Church

1841 Introduction of probation system lead to growth in convict numbers

1842 Construction of the Corn Mill and Granary (later to be the penitentiary) commenced and the completion of the brick hospital was done.

1844 At the end of commandant O’Hara Booth’s term Port Arthur included 1100 convicts and 634 boys at Point Puer.


1848 1st stone of Separate Prison was laid

1849 Point Puer Boys’ Establishment closed and approximately 3500 young prisoners had passed through it.

1853 Transportation to Van Diemen’s Land is abolished, James Boyd became commandant

1868 Completion of the Asylum is done

1877 End of the convict era at Port Arthur

van deimens lanf

A Stressful Morning

Talk about drama this morning it was a little more crazy and chaotic in the house, started with me as usual telling Leo over and over to get dressed for school and to change his socks and put his shoes on, nothing new there.

Then Tim got up went into his office and couldn’t find his phone, or glasses he has two pairs a cheap pair of reading glasses and $400 pair of bifocals he wears to work and other places as well.

So we call the boys in to see if they could tell us what happened to them and of course both boys at first said nope don’t know, have no idea. Now I might add that Natasha had come home from work she thought she could drive Blain to school but got a phone call as she pulled up and had to leave again but since she was here she got into the act and was going off at the boys about Papa’s lost things.

Now we found the phone after ringing it and then we found the cheap glasses but still couldn’t find the good glasses after a bit Blain retrieves them for a shelve when asked how he knew where they were he said Leo told him, I sent Leo from the room and asked when did Leo tell him he just stood there with his arms folded and said nothing. I came out and spoke to Leo he said he told Blain about hiding them after he did it so I go back and speak to Blain he said the same thing more or less.

After all this Natasha got on her high horse about Tim calling Blain and liar (which he did) and how it was all Leo and nothing to do with Blain and how we should apologise to Blain. I did go and tell Blain I was sorry for going off at him for something he may not have done, but with Papa going off his head it made me feel tense and frustrated.

Now here’s the thing after all was said and done, Blain tells me he was in the room with Leo when the things were hidden and knew all along where they were and like Leo he didn’t want to get into trouble so he lied just like Leo.

Leo was willing to take the fall for Blain and had told me Blain knew nothing about the hiding of Papa’s things so I think Natasha owes Leo an apology for going on that it was all Leo when the truth be told it was both of them, which is what I thought to start with. Also she went on about us accusing Blain for something he had no part in but in fact he did have a part he said he was the one who hid one pair of the glasses not Leo.

Blain told Leo that both me and Papa thought it was all Leo all along and only accused him because they (we) didn’t want Leo to think we were picking on him, this pissed me off as this was not the case, yes I d id think Leo would have been more likely to do it but also thought Blain knew more the he was saying and may have been involved.

I also told Tim that he wasn’t helping being so angry and going off his head, I wanted to calm Leo down before I took him to school as if he goes to school in a bad mood he gets into more trouble.

Tim was snapping and snarling at me all the way to the school and over to the hospital, he has an appointment to have a camera down to check out his hernia, when I asked him why he was in a mood he goes well I am going to have a day procedure, I snapped back and how many have I had over the years, he said nothing…………..he also kept going on about what time he had to be there, I got him there 15 minutes before he needed to be there. I hope he comes home in a better mood.

So all in all I have had a somewhat stressful morning.

The Places I Have Lived

As all know that I live in a suburb of Lake Macquarie in the state of New South Wales, which is on the east coast of Australia.

I was born at Western Suburbs Maternity hospital, as mentioned in the last post about me that we lived with my grandparents for a while by a while I mean 18 months before we moved to a Dept of housing place in Blacksmiths about 20 minutes from my grandparents mum and dad didn’t really like living that far away from my grandparents and when I was 5 ½ we moved from Blacksmiths to Gateshead still a Dept of Housing place and just in time for me to start school.

Gateshead is only 5 minutes from where my grandparents lived so that made mum happy as she was and still is very close to her parents. When we first moved to Gateshead we lived in Gateshead but a few years later we moved to Gateshead West which is now just known as Gateshead, then in 1980 we moved again to a different part of Gateshead West, these moves were due to the increasing family we went from a 2 bedroom, to a 3 bedroom to a 4 bedroom which is the house mum & dad are still living in.

When I married Tim we moved into a flat above the Gateshead shops only a few minutes from my parents place then when Natasha was a baby we got offered a Dept of Housing place here in Warners Bay we have been in this house since May 1988 and we have no plans on moving this is home. Oh yeah when I meet Tim he was living only a few streets from my parents place, he was sharing a house with a couple of girls.

The one thing about living in the Lake Macquarie/Newcastle area is that you can pretty much get from point A to point B within 20-30 minutes. This is something Tim really likes as he is from Sydney and there it can take ages to get from point A to point B, also in Sydney if you take a wrong turn it can take ages to get back on track here if you take a wrong turn it will often only take a few minutes to get back on track.


He doesn’t listen and he doesn’t look but still I love him

Tim in Tassie

As all know, I love Tim but sometimes he drives me crazy he doesn’t think, doesn’t listen and doesn’t look. The other night he asked me to get something for him when I do the shopping tomorrow, so I told him to write it on the list on the fridge.

Now for the last few years I have had a shopping list note pad on the fridge but since it isn’t the list I take with me I write things that we run out of on the list and Thursday night when I do the shopping list I take the sheet of paper into the lounge room where I am writing out the shopping list and add the things from it to the shopping list and cross out what has been written and using a fridge magnet I attach the sheet of paper to the fridge for future use.

So I use one sheet off the pad a number of times I write on both sides of the paper and as said I attach the sheet to the fridge with a magnet.

Now for some reason whenever Tim writes something down he uses a fresh sheet of paper doesn’t matter that I have a sheet there with things written on it already he still writes on a new sheet of paper.

So the other night when I see him go to use a new sheet I walked out and said use this sheet that already has things written on it, what does he say, “oh I didn’t know there was a sheet already being used” open your eyes and look Tim it is there right next to the pad you were going to write on.

If it was a new thing I was doing I would get that he may not realise but what the hell Tim I have been doing things this way for a few years. He also had the nerve to say that I never tell him what I am doing and he had no idea what all the sheets of paper were on the fridge for.

He also has a terrible habit of walking away when someone is talking to him if he isn’t interested in what is being said or he tunes out and just doesn’t listen then he complains that I didn’t tell him something, it isn’t that I didn’t tell him it is that he wasn’t interested so he didn’t take it in.

So what I have to end this with is that love can be so annoying…………………………….

Richmond Gaol


Ok about time to tell you that I am going crazy this morning with two little boys running around and going crazy and of course not listening to what nanna says.

Now let us move onto something different from me and my family, Old Richmond Gaol, located in Richmond in Tasmania. Never heard of the gaol that’s ok me either till we went there and we went to Richmond for something different but ended scrapping the first thing and touring the gaol.

Richmond was named in February 1824 and within a decade the region had the third largest population in the island, later on Richmond would become an important centre for the military.

Now Richmond gaol was built in 1826 and it is the only gaol with the original buildings, it hasn’t been restored like most old gaols. It was in the mid 1820’s that there was a burst of building activities requiring a large number of convict labourers and so a local place of imprisonment was needed for those who committed offences while employed on the new public works. Also there were surrounding rural properties which belonged to gentlemen farmers which had a large number of assigned convicts who acted as slave labour. So what better way to keep all those convicts in order then to have the threat of a stretch in the local gaol or lash of course.

The first gaoler was W J Speed and ex-schoolmaster from Clarence Plains who had many personal family problems he was appointed on the 1st February 1826 but only served as gaoler for 4 years before being removed from office after charges of keeping rations for himself. The man also abandoned his wife and the mother of his 12 children, denying his marriage and tried to get his wife committed to the Lunatic Asylum in Sydney. He was 66 when he was appointed gaoler and 70 when he was dismissed.


The gaol held many Aborigines usually without charges being brought against them, their only real crime was being an Aboriginal, members of the Stoney Creek tribe were placed there in late 1828. Yummarra, the tribal chief managed to escape only to be recaptured later. At the request of Governor Arthur the conciliator and protector of the Aborigines George Robinson visited the gaol he was compelled at one visit to complain about an assault upon an aboriginal female by a soldier sentry who attacked her with the butt of his musket.

The of course there were bushrangers in 1827 the gaoler requested arms as he felt it was likely that the gaol would be attacked, the sheriff expressed doubt as to whether Speed would be able to make a defence, however, the gaol was not attacked.

In 1832 a Gaoler’s Residence, Watch House and Javelin Men’s Room were constructed because of a letter from Lt Barrow which pointed out that 42 men in irons as well as others waiting for trial occupied a room .72m x 4.11m with some prisoners having to sleep in the cells and passage ways.

Now I mentioned that Yummarra escaped but of course he was not the only one to escape from the gaol. The insecurity of the gaol was highlighted through a number of escapes in 1834, with one break-out being achieved by going through the floor boards and cellar with eight men escaping. Another escape involved the piling up of bedding to such and extent that the prisoners could simply jump over the paling fence. In 1849 six men escaped by stacking bricks from an old privy against the corner wall to climb over it, after removing stones and lintels from their cell windows.

Leg irons

In 1839 the Gaoler Randall Young was gaoled in his own gaol for debt, he was replaced by a Samuel Whittacker who proved from his want of energy method and regularity totally unfit for the Office of Gaoler what that means I don’t know. However, he was replaced by a William Jemott in May 1844 and this man had a disagreement with the hangman of Hobart concerning carrying of water to the gaol the matter was referred to the Visiting Magistrate and resulted in the Gaoler being threatened with being locked up in his own gaol for disrespect.

When the transportation of convicts ceased and the operation of the gaol moved pasted its peak the Colonial Secretary suggested to the Sheriff that the gaol could be better used as a Watch House so the gaol passed from the jurisdiction of the Sheriff to that of the Police.

On the 10th June 1861 Richmond became a Municipality and the gaol again passed hands to the the newly formed Municipal Police. The opening minutes of the Richmond Council moved that the present force continue for one month and it was determined that one Sergeant was to act as Watch House Keeper and that the Superintendent was to reside in the Gaol House and keep a horse ready for immediate use. Various people were designated as Gaoler at Richmond up to 1880.

Council minutes show that councillors were quick to sieze any opportunity to keep the Gaol in repair and prisoners were detained for the purpose of erecting stables, with enticements offered of money, sugar, tea and tobacco to be shared between them.

A circular from the Colonial Secretary in 1877 suggested the centralisation of the Police and the closure of the Municipal Force at Richmond by the Police Act of 1898. The gaol, however, was still in need of repairs and another inmate with roofing skills was utilised to do the repairs.

In 1943 the Richmond Council agreed the Gaol should be returned to the State Government and as a result the Richmond Gaol became a State Reserve on the 18th December 1945, under the control of the Scenery Preservation Board. In 1971 the National Parks and Wildlife Service was formed and Richmond Gaol was then classified an Historic Site.