Roger gives his boots to history
BUILDERS working on the restoration of Hobart’s City Hall are taking part in an ancient pagan tradition not performed in a hundred years.
In August, workers repairing the flood-damaged floors of City Hall discovered an array of battered, well-worn boots underneath the floor believed to have been left by the original builders in 1915.
Hobart City Council associate director of city projects Phillip Holliday said builders leaving boots beneath the floorboards was part of an old pagan tradition.
Yesterday, many of those boots were respectfully placed back beneath the floorboards with Macquarie Builders site supervisor Roger Hensens, who is leading the team on the current works, adding his pair of leather boots to the collection.
“Hopefully these boots will be found in a hundred years’ time when they may need to replace the floorboards again,” Mr Holliday said.
Historian Ian Evans, an expert in historic folk magic, said the practice was meant to ward off evil spirits.
The replacement of the floorboards marks the end of the second stage of works, which began a couple of years ago with repainting and included an upgrade of the toilets. The City Hall is undergoing a re-imagining and the council needs Hobartians to have their say on its future.
“We are encouraging people to have their say about the future and share their memories,” Mr Holliday said.
Early suggestions include making the City Hall a live music venue or a place for community groups and schools to hold regular theatrical events. To share your thoughts visit https:// yoursay. hobartcity.com.au.