Topic: Waitara Lock-Up, Memorial Place (1875)

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1875 Waitara Lock-Up 2019

2019 View: By Hamish Crimp

This wooden building was constructed in 1875 as Waitara's first permanent lock-up.

The Provincial Council called for tenders for building a lock-up at Waitara in May 1875, and the building is thought to have been constructed soon after - although the successful tenderer is currently unknown. 

The lock-up was originally located on Police Reserve land, Part Section CXVI Waitara West, near the corner of Stafford Street and West Quay (now part of the meatworks site).

In 1910 it was decided to make alterations to the existing police station, and to construct a new lock-up - much of the Police Reserve was now surplus to requirements, and it was decided to sell it. However, the land couldn't be sold without being authorised by an Act of Parliament, so a special provision was included within the Reserves and other Lands Disposal and Public Bodies Empowering Act 1910 to enable the sale of the land to Thomas Borthwicks and Sons for £600.

It seems the lock-up was included with the sale of the land, as it was used by Borthwicks as a saddlery for over eighty years - until it was discovered by members of the Waitara Historical Society in the early 1980s. In 1984, the Society approached Borthwicks about aquiring the lock-up to use as part of a proposed historic village on Memorial Place - they had already aquired Waitara's second lock-up, constructed in 1911, the year before (see linked topic). Borthwicks were happy to donate the historic building, and it was relocated to Memorial Place and subsequently restored by volunteers.

That both Waitara's first and second lock-up's survived is extremely fortunate. Together the two buildings are a rare pairing of lock-up's constructed in succession, and cover a significant and continuous period in Waitara's policing history.

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Waitara Lock-Up, Memorial Place (1875)