The Courier-Mail - - OPINION - bris­ba­neopen­house.com.au

IT SITS on Wick­ham Tce at Spring Hill in Bris­bane like a lonely ex­cla­ma­tion mark to our savage past. The Old Wind­mill Tower was con­structed in 1825 as a pun­ish­ment tread­mill for con­victs, who were also re­quired to grind corn and wheat for the young colony. It was ex­haust­ing and dan­ger­ous work that claimed the life of Michael Collins in 1829 when he slipped be­neath the sand­stone grinders.

Old draw­ings of the mill show it had two wind-pow­ered sails.

Later, in 1841, two Abo­rig­i­nal men iden­ti­fied only as Mul­lan and Nin­gavil were hanged at the wind­mill for the mur­der of sur­veyor Granville Stapyl­ton and his as­sis­tant Wil­liam Tuck near Mt Lin­de­say, 140km south of Bris­bane.

Queens­lan­ders get a rare chance to see in­side it this week­end and to climb to the top, just as Dar­ren Lock­yer (pic­tured) and I did this week. Lock­yer, for­mer league Test cap­tain, State of Ori­gin and Bron­cos star war­rior, is a Bris­bane Open House am­bas­sador.

To look to the fu­ture, it some­times pays to look to the past, Lock­yer says as he steps ef­fort­lessly up the nar­row wind­ing stairs to the top. He won­ders whether her­itage groups may one day re­store the miss­ing sails.

Lock­yer says more than 90 pri­vate and pub­lic build­ings will open their doors to­day and to­mor­row for Open House. Groovy ar­chi­tects‘ of­fices, oo­dles of churches and mod­ern build­ings such as 480 Queen Street and Sky­tower in Mar­garet St will open their doors. Ad­mis­sion is free.

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