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Diorama Hut Exit. Photograph, Dr Jack Ford
Diorama - Hut Entrance. Photograph, Dr Jack Ford
Diorama Hut Exterior Sign. Photograph, Dr Jack Ford

Dr Jack Ford and his wife, Brenda, visited the site of Eureka in 1993. Jack took five photographs including some of the diorama, and these are his thoughts during the visit.

“Unfortunately, I did not take photographs of the building that housed the exhibit, probably because I thought just how sad and pathetic the entire memorial display looked. It comprised a reconstructed slab hut and, nearby, a partly-rebuilt fence that represented the hastily-built Eureka Stockade.

The signage that detailed the events surrounding the Eureka Stockade was affixed to the exterior wall beside the entrance to the interior diorama. In the photograph of that sign, you can see the dark, bare timber colour of the slab wood that held the signage plus (on the left side) one of the numerous holes in the slab walls. This made the display very cold and draughty in its interior.

Once inside, you were confronted with an earthen, gravel and leafy floor, which became muddy, after rain, as it was on the day of our visit. The diorama was held in a low-slung. glass and cement display case. with no lights-on. It was dark inside the hut so the diorama was not easy to see unless you inserted a coin into a metal pay-box. Then lights would turn on and a recording of shouting and gunfire (representing the battle noise) would play. I remember the whole experience to be short and underwhelming. The diorama comprised two mannequins dressed in British uniforms facing a painted backdrop. To get an idea of the scale of the diorama, you can see Brenda’s elbow & part torso in one of the two photographs of the diorama. The narrow, walk-through path plus the diorama comprised the entire, cramped interior of the hut

After you exited the diorama’s slab hut, you could walk across to a partial representation of the stockade’s fortifications, complete with two wagon wheels. This space was also gravelled to distinguish it from the rest of the green-lawn park.

Finally, you walked up the hill, from the hut and outside display, to visit the old Eureka Stockade monument & cannons. This is still in existence today.”[1]

Jack & Brenda at the Eureka Stockade Monument Photograph, Dr Jack Ford
Jack storming the barricades at the replica of the Eureka Stockade, Lake Penhalluriak in the background Photograph, Dr Jack Ford
  1. Dr Jack Ford