Looking for Old Busselton Gaol Cell Stories

Published on Friday, 2 September 2022 at 11:38:28 AM

Once upon a time there was a door in the Exercise Yard of the Old Busselton Courthouse. When the yard was in use, people ‘staying’ sometimes scratched their initials into it and we want to hear those stories!


The City believes the names and initials are mostly from around the 1970’s. People in the community are invited to share their stories of overnight stays in the Gaol Cells at the old Courthouse.


We hear that there are quite a few people out there who might have had a short stay – mostly for some minor misdemeanour!  We would like to record anonymous stories about these misadventures because they really show the times – when the town was small and everyone knew everyone, and the police might throw you in the lock up … just because… you got in a minor fracas outside one of the four pubs… couldn’t walk in a straight line so shouldn’t drive… hadn’t paid your fines….needed time out… And who knows what else!


The stories will be used in the gaol cells at the Courthouse – either through print or voice recordings giving visitors an insight into the complex’s contemporary history.


The story can be shared through a recording on a mobile - using the video function with the camera turned off the person or in written form. 


The questions below might assist in describing the situation: 


  • describe the incident and time around why you were placed there
  • were there a few of you involved
  • how did it feel to stay in the cell overnight
  • did you stay a few times after all  
  • describe the cell you stayed in if you can remember.


Make sure that your voice is easy to hear and words are as clear as possible.


All contacts will remain confidential unless agreed to otherwise, although permission is needed to make the stories public.


Interested people should contact Cultural Development Officer - Jacquie Happ on 9781 0335 or email: jacquie.happ@busselton.wa.gov.au  


**Objectives outlined in this statement are aligned with the City of Busselton’s Strategic Community Plan (2021 - 2031) Key Themes Lifestyle: A place that is relaxed, safe and friendly with services and facilities that support our lifestyle.


Ends. Media enquiries can be directed to pr@busselton.wa.gov.au

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