Narryna - What Happened in Lockdown
Hobart's Narryna museum kept itself busy during the COVID-19 lockdown period, using a time of enforced closure to address long-deferred maintenance issues.
The scale of works meant museum visitor access would not be possible owing, but the enforced closure allowed a range of works to be completed including:
- Roof repairs and repainting including a replacement box gutter
- Stonework including replacement pier caps for the Hampden Road gates
- Joinery repairs with an internal stair rebuilt and the windows made operable, most having been sealed since the 1950s
- Repainting saw the house's external joinery — windows, doors, frames and fascia — return to their original colours based on physical investigation. The new/old colours have a surprising contemporary resonance!
Support from the Tasmanian Government's Public Building Maintenance Fund – a COVID-19 stimulus program aimed at Tasmanian building trades – provided a much-needed injection of money to complete the work.
Narryna's small but delightful garden setting also received attention. A 19th century kitchen garden has been recreated through a Tasmanian Community Fund (TCF) grant. A split paling fence was built on the kitchen garden's eastern side. The kitchen garden soil was replaced to ensure the produce will be safe to eat. Volunteer Neil Clark laid out the kitchen garden's brick paths and installed an irrigation system. The new Garden Committee — Ann Cripps (Chair), Frances Watson and Karyn Rendall — has planted out the kitchen garden. Narryna is now working with Dr Louise Zarmati and her UTAS education students to develop quality interactive school programs based on the kitchen garden.
Narryna was restored for use as the Van Diemen's Land Memorial Folk Museum in 1955-57. Recent works are believed to have been the first major expenditure on the house in 60 years. They will allow the historic property to operate in a more versatile way and thereby contribute to the community museum's long-term sustainability.