Hi, I'm Snitch the Rat. I bet you're wondering what is my story and what was I in for?
Well let me tell ya a bit about yours truly. I came in here with those first prisoners, way back in 1848.
We came up the Hunter River on a boat from Newcastle, 40 prisoners, and all the vermin that followed folk around in those days. Fleas, cockroaches, flies and of course rats, all of us on the lookout for a tasty meal. We loved them humans...
Christmas time it was, but there were no presents for the new arrivals n'less you count the floggings, bashings and whippings handed out by them terrible prison officers. Oh yes, them were dark days for prisoners.
Compared to those days the last prisoners here had it easy. Yep I've seen all of it, seeing as I'm a ghost and all.
To hear some of me stories about the Gaol, download the app.
You can also check out some of the great activities I've helped put together below.
Enjoy this short sample of Snitch’s Gaol Exploration, our audio tour for children
Snitch's online activities
Argh… the good old days. I remember when the prisoners was marched out the front gate in the mornings, down to the farm to tend the plants and bring back the goodies from the cows. It was many moons ago now but I can still almost taste the fresh cream licked off the end of my nose, argh what a time. Maybe yous’d like to have a go at making butter the old fashioned way, just like the prisoners used to. It won’t take you long and the taste will be scrumptious.
Now youse say cleanliness is next to godliness, well I can tell ya that in the early days at Maitland Gaol those prisoners were neither! But in my time here I learnt plenty of tricks to keep up me sleeve for a rainy day, or even if it’s not raining. Keeping your mits clean is important, now more than ever. This ol’ trick will make your soap go further than you could have thought possible, so why not give it a try.
I always dreamt of being a detective, in a way I did sort of become one listening and learning about the different ways prisoners did things. I really enjoyed the times when the prisoners lost their library books. Written words were fascinating to me and me friends. I put together this word detective puzzle for youse. Can you work out which word isn’t in the puzzle?
When those prisoners said ‘I spy with my little eye…’ I usually shot through pretty quick, in case the next words was rat. But in me older and wiser age I enjoy a bit of I spy with me gaol house buddies. We’ve put this sheet together for yas to see if you can find all the things we see at Maitland Gaol. There’s all sorts on it, the pesky autumn leaves, coffee mugs, handcuffs and keys the sorts of thing any good rat could find without too much trouble in an old gaol. See what you can find by downloading the sheet below.
As I’ve said before, I love words. Some says they can paint a picture with the right words and I don’t disagree. Me and me friends often enjoy word games as we while away the long and lonely hours at this here old Gaol. So I thought maybe yous’d like some word games too. This one is a match up game see if you can match up the answers to the questions and don’t none of youse be afraid to ask for help, you can reach your old mate Snitchy at me email address (above) – argh, the modern world eh!