Glenora, or what’s commonly known as “Ward G” is the last surviving single storey building which surrounds the oval “Now Woolworths”. This area of Willow court was often referred to as the “Oval precinct” Now, unfortunately, its known as an eyesore to a large part of the community.
Whilst the Oval precinct has always been a vulnerable part of the site due to its openness, size and ease of access. Its always been earmarked as a great development location, particularly around the old age living sector. Which is why it wasn’t a huge surprise when it was sold to a developer.
All signs of the new deal were looking great, lots of excitement surrounded the oval precinct for the first time in a long time, Then in March 2012 a fire destroyed Franklin, “Ward F 1938-2012”. Cyclone fencing quickly surrounded the remaining wards, and the removing of 10 years worth of rubbish and vandalism followed. Then nothing, all activity on site stop.
During this period, I steered clear of the oval precinct. Due to the fact that the site was being looked after by security and it was a construction site. This was until one Thursday i decided to stop by for a look, and saw the state in which G ward was in, a crumbling ruin of its former self. While G ward was always heavily vandalised due to its location on site, it was always structurally intact.
I had heard rumors that a flooding from a broken water pipe had caused the foundations of the building to slip, whether this happened before or after the verandah/sun rooms, bathroom and change room sections of the building had been torn down im unsure. But a logical mind would think that these alterations to the building would have a large ripple effect throughout the building.
A large section of the front right hand side room “Known for its large mural” has the floor missing which shows the rotten floor joists and the crumbling foundations, Which many have shifted and fallen over. New pieces of timber have been added in certain parts to create much need strength. The large rear window which over looks the flats has had 2 40×40 SHS steel lengths dynabolted to the brick work to create a prop. Brick work on one corner of the building has appeared to fallen away with other parts not looking very sercure. There have been numerous attempts at starting fires within the building which have failed due to the fire burning through the floor and putting itself out.
I have always been drawn to G ward during my time on site, whether that be because of the paranormal, history or the fact that it was a home for many children, which effects all of us in our own way.
Whilst these buildings don’t have the age or appeal of the Barracks it doesn’t mean they don’t hold the same importances to the site. Willow court to me is unique in the way that you can see the different age periods and practises that came with the evolution of mental health care. Each ward is unique, Each ward tells the story of that time period, Each ward tells the story which is Willow court.
I do hope that i’m proven wrong and that G ward is saved, but work will have to begin now to save it.