Gates open this weekend

THE Willow Court Barracks and adjacent areas will be open to the public this weekend thanks to the ongoing efforts of the Willow Court and Barracks Working Group. Entry will be by gold coin donation this Saturday and Sunday. The open days coincide with the annual Lachlan Festival being held this Sunday.

Working Group chairman John Boutchard said the committee had organised a number of activities for the weekend, with the major focus being on Sunday. “These will include readings from histories of the site and atmospheric presentations by members of the Derwent Valley Players. A free bus service will also be provided between Willow Court and the Lachlan Festival Grounds for patrons wishing to travel between them,” Mr Boutchard said.

Mr Boutchard said the Working Group would start its “If the Walls Could Talk” project this weekend. “This project aims to record the oral history of the former Royal Derwent Hospital, which included the barracks and surrounding wards.  Ex-staff and patients’ families with stories and accounts from their time spent or their family’s experiences at Royal Derwent Hospital are being asked to share them for future preservation and protection before they become lost,” he said. Anyone who would like to share their stories and memories of their time at the hospital can contact Aiden Sullivan on 0458 941 102.

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