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Title: Heavitree Gap Police Station
Photo No: PH0875/0165
Citation address:
Photographer: Clark, Darren
Date taken: 2012
Place: Alice Springs (N.T.)
Collection: Darren Clark Collection.
Description: On 21 April 1886, Mounted Constables Wilshire and Wurmbrand with Native Constables Peter, Willie, Wilkie, Collins and Fred loaded all Police property on a wagon and moved to Heavitree Gap. The constables erected a tent for stores were thereby constituting what is now regarded as the first permanent police presence to be established in central Australia. In 1888/89 John Fleming and Thomas Pope built a store and a two roomed thatched dwelling with a verandah all round. These two rooms form the nucleus of the present day reconstructed building. Fencing for a horse paddock was also completed. The Executive Council on 2 September 1909 ordered the closure of the Police Station and gaol and the prisoners confined therein removed to Stuart (Alice Springs) where a new Police Station and gaol had been constructed in 1909. Although intended to be demolished with the other buildings when the police moved to Stuart, the two-roomed stone building, small kitchen and store room were retained as quarters for the Junior Constable who, amongst his other duties, attended the station's plant of horses and camels. In August 1956, at the first meeting of the newly constituted Northern Territory Reserves Board, the site was first suggested for acquisition and by June 1957 the necessary actions had been put in place. It was dedicated to the Reserves Board by notification in NT Gazette No 12 of 19 March 1958. A report was prepared on the condition of the buildings on 10 November 1959 which indicated that the quality of the initial construction had been poor and that subsequent crumbling of walls and plaster, rotting of timbers and theft of materials made it an unviable proposition to restore. Notwithstanding such advice and the estimated high costs involved, by 1966 the Reserves Board had resolved to proceed with reconstruction and was seeking ways in which it could be achieved. Work commenced in 1967, being undertaken by local builder, John Taylor, who worked on a wage basis with materials supplied. It was reported as being completed and occupied by a staff member in the Board's Annual Report of 1971, a situation which remains to the present. As well as conveniences such as power, water, kitchen and bathroom facilities that are not part of its heritage significance of the building several extensions were added in 1979 that are also not part of the heritage fabric. On 21 April 1986 the Alice Springs Police Club in conjunction with the NT Police Force and the Conservation Commission erected a commemorative cairn at the Reserve. This cairn was to commemorate the centenary and establishment of the first permanent police station in central Australia.
Copyright owner: Northern Territory Library.
Digital format: 3750 x 5000 pixels : 24bpp ; 56.28Mb.
File type: image/tiff.
Hardcopy format: 1 photograph : digital, col.
Appears in Collections:PictureNT

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