Hobart’s History Comes Alive in the Heat.

Yesterday it was 34 degrees here in Hobart -no big deal for some of Australia’s mainland but hot for us here in Tassie! We start Louisa’s Walk outside the Cascade Brewery in South Hobart which is usually quite cool and breezy with winds blowing off Mount Wellington. As we walk along the rivulet sharing Louisa’s story it’s cool and shady BUT when we enter Yard One of the Female factory the heat really hits! The high sandstone walls, that are all that is left of the Yard, really trap the heat and we always advise, when people book during hot weather, sunhats and water. We have developed strategies over the three and a half years we have been performing Louisa’s Walk to place the audience in the little shade patches offered by the Yard. With a welcome breeze yesterday, we all felt quite comfortable.

Equally so, the cooler weather presents a challenge but we think the cold weather gives more of a reality to “The Shadow of Death Valley” as the Female Factory was sometimes known. High stone walls and roofs, meant that no sun penetrated that grim interior. The women were given few clothes and no underclothing – imagine the cold of the Crime Yard as they waded through inches of freezing water when that Yard flooded! As I have said on a previous post, I love taking young girls, in their teens say, so that they can appreciate the freedom won for them by these courageous women of the 19th century. We also have to remember however, that this freedom is not a reality for many in the world today; we are fortunate to have been born into a developed country. For so many, in third world countries, slavery, malnutrition, even starvation, is the norm.

Many who experience Louisa’s Walk are grateful that we are showcasing the plight of the women and helping to lift the profile of the site. We are passionate about what we do. We feel privileged to tell their story but let’s not forget this hard won freedom is not the case for so many in the rest of the world. Come & experience Louisa’s Walk, visit the other Yards on the site and the Visitor Centre run by the Female Factory Historic Site then pause and remember the inhumanity that exists today.
It’s not over.

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