Wednesday, 12 June 2013

THE DOUBLE EXECUTION - Ellen Thompson & John Harrison

**NOTE: The following is the exact transcript of an article published in The Brisbane Courier, page 3, from the 14th of June 1887 - I have taken the liberty of inserting related photographic material within the article body for effect.  Ellen Thompson's & John Harrison's presumed guilt or innocence aside, the following article (written by a member of the Press who was present at the execution) provides a very detailed & troubling insight into the act of execution in Queensland around the turn of the century.**

 The Gallows within Boggo Road Gaol's Number 1 Division,
in 1903 (State Library of Queensland).


Shortly after 8 o'clock yesterday morning the two prisoners, Ellen Thompson and John Harrison, who were convicted at the April Criminal Sittings of the Northern Circuit Court of the murder of William Thompson (husband of the female prisoner) near Port Douglas on the 22nd October last, and who were sentenced to death by His Honour Mr. Justice Cooper, suffered the extreme penalty of the law.  Some considerable time before the hour appointed for the execution, the gaol officials, and those whose various duties required their attendance to witness the fearful spectacle, began to arrive, but the attendance of those whose curiosity led them to make application for passes for admission was very small.  The rumours which had been current for some weeks previously respecting the almost unprecedented conduct of the female prisoner and her frequently expressed determination to resist all attempts to hang her had created a great deal of public excitement.  But, although the condemned woman all along placed entire confidence in the belief that the Governor of the colony would at the last moment grant her a reprieve, her demeanour, when it was at last made clear to her that all hope was past, was anything but uproarious or unwomanly.

Both she and Harrison rose at an early hour yesterday morning.  Shortly after daylight the prisoner Thompson was attended by two Sisters of Mercy, whose ministrations she appeared thankful to receive, and to whom she continuously repeated her protestations of innocence of the crime for which she was about to suffer the penalty.   While denouncing the Governor and the Executive for refusing to grant a commutation of her sentence, she admitted that from a legal point of view she might be guilty of the charge of murder, but urged that morally she was as innocent as an unborn babe.  Her version of the tragedy was briefly that her husband and Harrison had been quarrelling, when she, with the intention of making peace between them, in a jocular spirit remarked to Harrison that if he did not shut up, the old man, meaning Thompson, would shoot him.   Harrison immediately took up the revolver, saying, "Will he? Well, I will have first shot," at the same time firing.

Throughout the morning Mrs. Thompson conducted herself with the greatest respect towards the Sisters of Mercy, and also towards Father Fouhy, who visited her in the last half-hour of her life.  She bore up bravely to the last, and even when standing on the scaffold her fortitude was remarkable. Attended by Father Fouhy, she stepped on to the drop, and her voice was unshaken as she said, "Good-bye everybody; I forgive everybody from the bottom of my heart for anything they have wronged me in this world. I never shot my husband, and I am dying like an angel."  Only once, within a few seconds of the fatal moment, was there a perceptible quiver in the unhappy creature's voice, when with almost her dying breath she murmured, "Oh, my poor children; take care of my children will you, Father".  The next instant her body was swinging in mid air.

Harrison, is said to have been a soldier in the British army.   To Archdeacon Dawes, who was with him during his last hours, and with whose ministrations he appeared deeply impressed, he stated that both he and the woman were implicated in the death of Thompson, but that although he did fire the shots which killed him it was done in self-defence.  When standing on the scaffold he spoke not a word, and in the expression of his features could be traced not the slightest evidence of fear or nervous excitement.


The main gaol building is a gloomy place at the best of times with its lofty ceiling and its tiers of cells and the scanty light that steals in through the few long-barred windows and falls on iron-barred doors and iron-barred ratings, and on the cold stone floors and walls.  It is gloomy and depressing even when the sunshine streams in of a summer day, and when lightsome birds wing boldly in through the unglazed windows and perch twittering on the iron-barred doors, but it was gloomier still upon this cloudy blustering June morning when a little crowd gathered quietly on the ground floor and gazed silently at the ready scaffold on the tier above.  For a tragedy was to be enacted with this gloomy building for a theatre, and the ominous-looking scaffold which crossed from side to side for a stage; a tragedy in which two fellow-creatures would be the prime actors, and in which that mysterious thing which men call Law would move as Fate.  And one was to be a woman; a pitifully wicked woman.

She crossed the yard from the little hospital building so quietly that one could hardly imagine she was walking to her death with a companion woman, a female warder it appeared, by her side, and a guard, for form's sake, behind.   She walked with head bent a little and with hands clasped, in neat black garments, and with black bonnet thrust back a little from the drawn and haggard face, the face of a woman whose whole life has been passed in ceaseless toil.  She had been brutal and violent, giving free vent to the bitterness of a despairing heart, shocking all who heard her with her blasphemies, and deafening the ear of mercy with unseemly cries; it was thought that there would have been a struggle on the gallows.   But humanity prevailed at the last moment, and Ellen Thompson, murderess, died quietly and died "game".  Vile as the crime was, however necessary murder for murder may be, there is something that inspires esteem in the courage of the fellow-mortal who fears to die, who longs to live, and who yet, brought to bay, can stand unflinchingly on the edge of eternity.  "I'll soon be in a world where they won't tell lies about me," she observed, as she mounted the steps and disappeared up the inner stairway which leads to the condemned cell.  When she appeared again it was as an actor in an awful scene.

 Ellen Thompson (Queensland State Archives).

One heard the priest's voice raised in prayer as 8 o'clock drew near, the gloom seemed to deepen, and the wind seemed to moan passionately as it came in through the bars.  A sturdy warder, pale-faced, stepped on to the scaffold, there was a rustle, the prayer sounded louder, and in a moment the murderess stood on the trap, under the fatal rope.   She was white as marble, and her teeth set hard, but she never faltered, and she looked such a poor little woman as she stood there waiting to die.   Her hands were clasped still, and she held a little crucifix in the right one; she protested her innocence, she bade good-bye to her children, and then she prayed in Catholic fashion − not passionately, but as one who labours under a burning sense of wrong.  She never moved from where she stood, but she swayed as one fainting when the noose was drawn about her neck, her hand clasped convulsively over her crucifix, and it seemed as though her lips, under the death-cap, moved silently in prayer.  The strapping warder, who stood on the scaffold, held out his hands to steady her, but she braced up in a moment and did not fall.   The executioner shook the rope to clear it, he and the warder stepped to the side corridors.  At 8 precisely the bolt was drawn.   Her last thought was for her children.  Thud!  That was the only sound, for the wind had lulled, and nobody seemed to breathe.  Ellen Thompson fell straight as an arrow through the trap, her knees drew up spasmodically, and then Ellen Thompson's body dangled lifeless.  The rope had cut into the neck, severing the jugular vein, and in a moment a patch of red appeared on the white cap and a crimson stream poured over the black dress, falling in a pool on the stone floor.   It was pitiful before, but it was still more pitiful now, this execution.

The woman who had accompanied her across the yard washed the hands from the blood which stained them.  A coffin was placed on the blanketed earth which two prisoners had brought in and heaped over the crimson pool.  They lowered her tenderly, removed the rope from her neck, and the execution was over.  It had not taken fifteen minutes altogether.  The executioner is a tall, gray-bearded, gentlemanly-looking man, whom no one would take for the holder of such a vile action.  He is businesslike and he never shrank, as the warders did, from the touch of the dead woman. But he felt annoyed when in the interests of science the cap was removed for Professor Blumenthal to measure the head.

John Harrison (Queensland State Archives).

It was 8:20 when Ellen Thompson's plain coffin was carried away and when the trap was shut again, and when the rope lay ready for another victim.   The little crowd that the first execution had sickened waited quietly, and talked in subdued tones; but had it not been the duty of officials, doctors, and reporters to see it all over the crowd would have melted away.  They talked of ghastly things; the doctors of how the bleeding happened; the officials of whether or not Professor Blumenthal should have been permitted to measure; some of the woman's guilt, or some of her possible innocence.   And always everyone kept looking at the stage beyond, beneath which a mound of earth now rose like a grave, and in every man's mind was the conviction that whether the death penalty be right or not, hanging is a barberous and a brutal thing.  As 8:30 approached there was another rustle without, but through the doorway Harrison could be seen, treading the path which his paramour had trod half an hour before.  He passed to the stairway in a moment; surprisingly soon he reappeared as the woman had done and stood where she had stood when she last thought of her little ones.  He looked like a man as he stood on the trap without a tremour, without even a paling of the face or a twitching of the eyelids.  He looked tall, and straight, and sailor-like, in coloured shirt and moleskin trousers, and he looked straight in front, after casting his eyes about.  He had a peculiar face, with rather receding forehead, and with bushy eye-brows, which nearly met, and he had heavy sensual lips which looked rather out of place with his long face and with the sandy beard which grew thinly on the cheeks.  He never spoke a word that could be heard below, though he had shaken hands as he stepped on the scaffold with those who had to slay him.  There was the same formula of feet-tying and cap drawing and rope-setting; the official stood clear again, and even as Archdeacon Dawes prayed, the trap opened again, with a sharp click, and the rope fairly rang as the heavy weight of the condemned straightened it.  And again the same throat-cutting happened; though less profuse, the bleeding was enough to dye cap and clothes, and to drip sickeningly from the dangling feet to the ground.  We reporters came away, and left him hanging.

But beyond these unfortunate accidents the executions were perfect of the kind, killing instantaneously.   After the spasmodic drawing up of the knees neither of the executed moved a muscle, a most unusual thing.  Dr. Ellison states that the spine was dislocated between the first and second vertebrae, at which point the medulla oblongata, or presumed seat of life, is situated.  This was ruptured, and death must have been instantaneous.   The long drop, such as used by the present executioner, aims at dislocation at this spot, for if it happens lower down death results from asphyxiation, and the suffering of the condemned is needlessly increased beyond what it might have been had asphyxiation alone been attempted, which is the aim of the short drop.

Professor Blumenthal found that the respective measurements of Ellen Thompson's and Harrison's brains were: largest measurement, 22¾in. and 21½in., and from neck to root of nose 13in. and 13½in. A phrenological examination showed that in the woman combativeness and destructiveness were both large, the domestic affections were fairly full, the animal or selfish propensities were full, the moral propensities were small, and sexual love−amativeness, exceedingly large.  In Harrison combativeness was exceedingly large, destructiveness large, amativeness rather small but tending to sensuality, as shown by the noticeably heavy lips. His domestic affections were also small.   Judging from this it would seem that the woman was the moving spirit in the plot, and that her passion for Harrison inspired her.  She was active, cunning, and masterful, capable of doing kindly acts and of attachment to her children.  Harrison, on the contrary, cared for nothing but himself, and wanted old Thompson's money far more than he did old Thompson's wife.

Several theories are advanced as to the cause of the severance of the veins which occurred in both cases, the most plausible being one ascribing it to the thin skin of the executed persons, for the drop itself was the same as that used some weeks ago for Pickford, who, although much heavier than the woman Thompson, met with no such injury.  It should also be said that in spite of the disgust which the very idea of the bleeding naturally causes, there would seem to have been far less suffering than had the spine been dislocated elsewhere and the neck not been injured.


The woman Thompson addressed two letters to the Governor as follows:

"H.M. Gaol, Brisbane, 4th June, 1887.− On my knees I beg for mercy. Consider my character and the dreadful lies sworn against me.  When you were visiting Port Douglas I was one of the women who followed you on horseback.   I asked Sir Samuel Griffith for a schoolmaster, to bring my children up the right way, as my husband was so cranky.  I banished all the children so that they would not annoy the poor old man.   I swear by the cross I now hold in my hand that —'s evidence is a lie, and made up by himself. . . . . Do as you think proper with me, but have mercy on the unfortunate man who is innocent.  On my dying oath, my husband's door was shut when I looked up from my own house after I heard the shot and his moans.– ELLEN THOMPSON."

"H.M. Gaol, Brisbane, 8th June, 1887.– I have already made a pitiful appeal to you on behalf of the young man, John Harrison, whom I believe to be innocent.  It meant ruin and poverty for me to lose my husband, and I will never consider it a murder, when I am dying on the gallows; it will be the taking of my life that will be the murder.  Our lives, I know, were completely sworn away through false swearing.  I have three demands to make of the Government: Firstly, in the event of my innocence being proved, that each of my four children receive the sum of £500; secondly, that all my statements be returned to me, that I may destroy them; and thirdly, that Pope Cooper may
never be allowed to sentence another woman in Queensland without first hearing both sides of the story.  I want these requests to be granted in writing, and Mr. Knight and the Rev. D. Fouhy are to be trustees for my children.   If these demands are not granted I will stick out for my rights at the foot of the gallows; if they are I will walk on to the gallows like an angel.– ELLEN THOMPSON."

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

The Tale of 4BC's Spectral Maintenance Man: a new "how to" for the avid ghost researcher...

The R. W. Thurlow & Co. building, 1901
(Taken from The Queenslander, 27th April 1901)

Welcome back to 2013's first (full) article from the Haunts of Brisbane!  Much has occurred since our last ghostly exposé - we all dodged a bullet as the Mayan Calendar allegedly ended (& restarted as predicted), Christmas & New Years came & went without incident, the unbelievable Boggo Road Gaol saga occurred (which we're still attempting to rectify), & yet another natural disaster has befallen us, courtesy of ex-Cyclone Oswald...needless to say, the past 8 weeks have been anything but restful!  As a result, our regular articles focusing on Brisbane's haunted history were put on the back-burner...until now!  So, strap yourself in, put your "ghost sleuth" caps on, & let's welcome in a new year of articles focusing on the darker side of Brisbane's history!

Over the past few months, I've received many emails from individuals, local history groups, & media outlets, all asking, "How do you manage to dig up all the information used in Haunts of Brisbane articles??"  In honesty, consolidating raw data (from multiple sources) into a seamless story that flows from Point A to Point B takes a lot of work...however, gathering the raw data from which the articles are written isn't difficult - we covered this process almost a year ago in an article entitled, "Petrie Mansions - a "how to" for the avid Ghost Hunter..."  Unfortunately, when it comes to the interwebs (& specific ghost/"historical" tours offered in Brisbane), it's very difficult to know whether you're actually being educated with historical fact...or being fleeced with bullsh*t specifically tailored to pilfer your hard-earned money. can you tell?!?

In anticipation, I've chosen a well-advertised, internet-based Brisbane ghost story, which apparently took place in the CBD - amongst a list of local ghost stories on the Brisbane History website, the story goes thus: "A few blocks away on the corner of Adelaide and Wharf streets stood the old Radio 4BC building.  It too has fallen under the demolisher's hammer.  Originally a pickle factory, the building had a staff tea room at the rear.  There was an opening in the tea room floor that had once housed a food lift.  In the time of the pickle factory a worker fell down the shaft while trying to fix the lift.  Years later 4BC night-time radio announcers swore that the room would suddenly turn icy cold and the sound of someone crying for help could be heard coming up the shaft." do we get to the bottom of this story, in an attempt to judge its validity??  If the building was demolished, as per the statement, are we unable to confirm the death??  Was the building actually utilised by 4BC, & was it originally a pickle factory? Did a basement exist beneath the building, necessitating a lift??  Did an employee actually die whilst repairing the lift during its life as a pickle factory?? is regularly the case in workplaces, was an urban legend formulated to scare the night-time radio announcers??  Let's break it down from the top, shall we?

What do we know about the history of 4BC??  According to Wikipedia's listing on 4BC,"4BC was one of the first radio stations in Brisbane.  It was established in 1930 by John Beals Chandler, an electrical appliance retailer and later Lord Mayor of Brisbane.  In March 1937 the station was sold for £50,000 to the Australian Broadcasting Company who took control in April [1937]."  From this, we know that searching prior to 1930 (when the station was founded) is where to from here??  Jumping across to the National Library of Australia's Trove Database, with the search string, "4bc building AND brisbane" - the following comes up at the top of the list, in The Courier Mail on 9th of December 1948: this where the 4BC studio ended up, on the corner of Queen & Wharf Streets??  Is our ghost story already faltering??  Alas, not - with patience, continuing to search through the results on the Trove Database, a further record pops up on in The Courier Mail on the 19th of November 1952: 1952, 4BC purchased Thurlow's building on the corner of Adelaide & Wharf Streets, for the sum of £30,000 - we've now confirmed our first component of the ghost story!  Furthermore, as residents of Brisbane, we know that Thurlow's building was demolished well over a decade ago to make way for a newer 12-storey building (plus basement) - the second detail of our ghost story confirmed!

What do we know about the history of Thurlow's building?  Was it actually a Pickle Factory, did it possess a basement below ground-level, did a lift exist, & did someone die within it??

Again, on searching the Trove Database with the search string, "thurlows building," an article from The Argus crops up from the 17th of September 1952, detailing the sale of Thurlow's Building on the corner of Adelaide & Wharf Streets, in Brisbane.  According to the advert, the building contained a basement, ground and three upper floors (so, a possibility of a lift?).  Most importantly, it also provides us with with details about the prior owner, Robert Woods Thurlow.  For the Brisbane history buffs, this name should ring a bell - Robert Woods Thurlow was a very prominent businessman & merchant in Brisbane (as well as a one-term Mayor of Brisbane in 1896), running R. W. Thurlow & Co., best known for their fine, imported foodstuffs & Crescent Vinegar.  These fine groceries were dispensed from the Company's custom-fitted warehouse & "department store" on the corner of Adelaide & Wharf Streets.   Further digging in the Trove Database turns up another article in The Brisbane Courier's edition of the 7th of February 1901, entitled, "Messrs. R. W. Thurlow and Co. - Opening of New Building" - this article details a party held to celebrate the opening of the Company's new premises. 

We now know that the building was opened in 1901, & was purchased for use by 4BC in 1952 - this narrows our search for the unfortunate accident down to a 51-year window.  Unfortunately, we've debunked the "pickle factory" component of the story...however, given that Crescent Vinegar (a well-loved brand at the time) was brewed on-site, it's no more than a minor oversight...

So...what about this lift & the fatal fall??

That's where our ghost story unfortunately comes to an abrupt halt.  Searching every which way possible, utilising every available search string, the Trove Database comes up trumps...nothing...nil - no record exists regarding the death of a lift repairman at the site...that being said though, multiple records exist of accidental deaths, suicides & murders within the buildings located on the three other corners of Adelaide & Wharf Streets.  At this stage, we can refer to one further article we discovered whilst doing our initial building search - a 3-page spread, complete with amazing pictures, published in The Queenslander on the 27th of April 1901, at the time the venue opened for business.  This fantastic article intricately details the design features of the building, including the lifts & their safety features...& this is where the story gets a little interesting!  According to the article:

"Near the base of this wall [back of building], on a level with cart and dray when "backed," are two lifts - each 8ft. by 8ft. 6in., capable of hoisting a three-ton load - the one passing up to each floor of the warehouse, the other to each floor of the factory. The work of the lift is controlled by means of electric bells, connected with each floor.  As a precautionary measure against accident where other than experienced workmen are employed in the locality of the lift, sliding gates of strong wire, 5ft. high, are placed at the lift apertures on each landing, and are only removable by the lift when flush with the floor, so that to enter the shaft when the lift is not in position necessitates a climb to surmount the gates referred to."

So, lifts definitely existed at the site - we know that for sure.  However, given the safety features installed to ensure people didn't fall down the lift shaft, it's somewhat unlikely that someone died by falling down the lift shaft...although, stranger things have happened!  Either way, without having been able to locate a record of an accident that matches our ghost story, we're unable to either absolutely confirm or deny the existence of a spectral maintenance man at the site...however, we have managed to confirm, & deny, the story's other details regarding the building itself.  This is usually the frustrating point when I shelve a story regarding Brisbane in the hope that one day I'll stumble across the missing clue whilst researching another article.

And...there you have it - another lesson in how to pull apart ghost stories & dig for details to get to the truth...the process isn't difficult, it's merely time consuming! the interests of adding one last little twist, we'll end with a snippet of information that may be coincidence...or may be more!

Cast your minds back to the initial article regarding the negotiated purchase of a building on the corner of Queen & Wharf Streets, for use by 4BC, in 1948 - Empire Chambers.  This building was used for many years as a conference, lecture & dance venue, by a number of different groups.  On the afternoon of the 11th of April 1924, Spring Hill resident Harold Duggleon was standing in the vicinity of the building's's unclear whether he was visiting the building for one of the many events that occurred there, or was working on the lift as a maintenance man.  Either way, Duggleon stuck his head into the liftwell (many were open to an extent back in those days) to look down the shaft...right as the ascending lift carriage arrived on the same floor!  Duggleon suffered a fractured skull & shattered nose as a result of the unanticipated impact, & was rushed to Brisbane General Hospital in a very serious condition.  Unfortunately, no further information is provided regarding Harold's recovery - is it possible that he passed away from his injuries whilst in hospital & ended up haunting the liftwell of Empire Chambers??  Could 4BC's 1948 link with the building have brought about the ghost story at their final premises in Thurlow's Building 4 years later??  We'll never know...but it's fun to speculate, right?

Thursday, 17 January 2013

So...what constitutes "Heritage Work?" Cameron "Heritage Work" Sim knows...

Yep, that's me in the top right corner, painstakingly excavating the back yard of a Court House built with convict labour in 1829, & exposing the cobbled floor of a long-forgotten stables complex pending drainage works scheduled by the local Council.  That day, we openly invited & encouraged the local population to visit us to witness their heritage being unearthed, we recovered numerous & surprising artefacts for display in the local museum, we intricately mapped the entire site by hand down to the square millimetre for future reference, & we then retired back to our site foreman's house for well-earned beers knowing that we'd made a markable difference to the surrounding community.  The photo above was taken a few years back when I was working as an archaeological consultant in Tasmania (voluntarily on this occasion, as I've done regularly since), carrying out legitimate heritage works benefiting local communities - this project ran whilst I was completing my Masters Degree in Cultural Heritage Management on the back of a Degree in Anthropology & Archaeology, & I relished every second of it!

So...where are we going with this, I hear you ask??

Well...quite amazingly, in yet another ill-conceived effort to convince the residents of Brisbane that he actually cares about the heritage values of Boggo Road Gaol (rather than the dollars it can generate), Cameron "Heritage Work" Sim claimed yesterday that, "Our Tour Guides are passionate about the significance of Boggo Road in Queensland’s history – when not taking tours or re-enacting they have been hard at work removing non-original material deposited from years of abuse."  Apparently, Cameron "Heritage Work" Sim's staff have been painstakingly focusing their efforts, to such a large degree on "heritage work" within the gaol's walls, that an entire "blog" article needed to be written to document it on the Boggo Road Gaol Pty Ltd website, entitled "Heritage Work."

"Heritage Officer" Toby Martin
, engaging in crucial "Heritage Work."

So...what critical, ground-breaking "heritage work" is going on at Boggo Road Gaol at the moment, driven by Cameron Sim & the staff of Boggo Road Gaol Pty Ltd??  Have a number of priceless artefacts been recovered from beneath the gaol's foundations??  Has a missing collection of prison documents & photographs been located within the walls of the gatehouse??  Have the cellblocks been stabilsied, single-handedly by the Boggo Road Gaol Pty Ltd Staff, to ensure their survival in perpetuity??  Nope...nothing of that calibre has occurred within the gaol's walls...however...

Cameron "Heritage Work" Sim's staff have been craftily utilising their copious free time not running tours or re-enactments, scouring the gaol in the hunt for stray Blu-Tack™ & cello-tape!  That's right...your eyes deceive you not - the greatest threat to Boggo Road Gaol's future as a viable tourism venue, lies not in the Deed of License issued to a shonky commercial ghost tour operator, but in the alleged wads of Blu-Tack™ apparently plastered to the walls!

Ironically, very few spots of Blu-Tack™ & cello-tape exist around the gaol - from September 2011 until September 2012, the Boggo Road Gaol Historical Society held monthly "Clean-up Days" within the gaol's walls, during which the grime within the gaol was pressure-blasted, hosed & swept out.   Of the few Blu-Tack™ marks that still exist on the walls of the gatehouse, many are attributable to warning signs posted by Department of Environment & Heritage staff through the 1990's when it was under State Government control, & the remainder are likely attributable to Ghost Tours Pty Ltd's operations & promotional posters posted between 1999 & the gaol's closure in 2005...more ironically, no mention is made in the above Boggo Road Gaol Pty Ltd "blog" to the contemporary graffiti easily identified on the cell walls of E-Wing, or candle-wax stains on the benches & floors, directly attributed to Ghost Tours Pty Ltd's "Haunted Sleepovers" during the same period.  Even more ironically again, Cameron "Heritage Work" Sim claims in his "blog" that, "New signage throughout the Gaol is being fixed in place with easily removable adhesive tape and will routinely be checked and replaced as it ages."

Having been university-trained in heritage management, site preservation & conservation technique, & having worked for a number of years as a heritage professional, I can vouch with 100% accuracy that no adhesive tape is "easily removable," & no similar product would ever be recommended for adhering any any any heritage-listed site.  That said, perhaps Cameron "Heritage Work" Sim could also examine the three laminated A4 signs he's adhered to the steel front gates of Boggo Road Gaol...with Blu-Tack™...advertising his tours:

Pray tell...what vandal Blu-Tacked those Boggo Road Gaol Pty Ltd signs
to the front gates of the gaol?!?

Ultimately, if Cameron "Heritage Work" Sim is keen on "removing non-original material deposited from years of abuse" at Boggo Road Gaol, I have a poignant word of advice to share with him as a qualified heritage professional - pack your bags & hit the road, as your statement above more than adequately describes your business's unpalatable presence at the gaol - non-original, & responsible for years of abuse.