An accomplished, well travelled writer and reviewer, Michele resides in Brisbane. Witty and highly articulate, her rivetting reviews show life through the eyes of a highly Gifted Adult viewing a world where she has an IQ in the top 1% of that world.
Sitting in a park, enjoying it's retirement and barely glanced at, is Queensland's most ancient building, The Old Windmill. It is situated in Wickham Terrace where our top medical specialists have rooms and take our money, plus Medicare. Perhaps they consider the mill an eyesore.
It is a staggering 171 years old and can thank heritage listing for its firm grip on prime inner city real estate with views. It's high location is strategic. Back in 1824 they knew it needed wind to turn its sails and do its windmill thing.
A windmill is a structure that cleverly converts wind energy into rotational energy or angular kinetic energy which is complex and mathematically fiddly. The earth itself has a calculated rotational energy of 2.138x10 to the power of 29. Just the thing to mention at a Hell's Angel's meeting. But, I can talk bikes too.
At the mill, convicts worked on low wages to grind grain into maize beneath the mill stone. The sails of the windmill are covered in cloth which can be adjusted to maximise wind harnessing.
The old mill has had a fascinating history of costume changes and new identities. It was actually once the Queensland Museum. It's been a broadcasting base, a watch tower and even a fire station. It's an all rounder.
When I'm in Ireland, I'm careful what I call old here because they can whip out places such as Trim Castle, County Meath which dates back to a recent 1176 and they keep doing it. You get to a point where ancient castles make you yawn as you're living in a cottage older than the first fleet. Australia can't help it, it wasn't yet discovered and declared uninhabited.
I've pondered what they can do with the old mill- a bed and breakfast maybe? However there is one terrible, terrible aspect of the mill's past which deters me. In 1841 they took two young Aboriginal males there and hung them for murder from the mill, despite doubts about their guilt. That puts me off. May they rest in peace.
"Oh windmill, windmill, our hearts are yearning, longing for a chance to be free..."
The convicts didn't get paid, it was punishment, and if one person stopped on the treadmill, all of them men could have been crushed to death. It happened more then once, as it was a matter of life and death that each convict on the treadmill had to keep up with the same pace. The history of the Mill is pretty grim, but it's also an amazing piece of Australian history.