Image: JS Brand
Part of my exercise routine each day was to run up Brand’s Steps on the far edge of the park. They were sandstone blocks laid by convicts over a hundred years ago and back then the top of the stairs was where the gallows stood.
The convicts referred to the area at the top as Calvary.
Over the years, the stones have weathered and often as I’d run up them, puffing like a steam engine, I’d imagine the poor soul in shackles trudging up the steps his end awaiting him at the top.
There were plenty of stories of ghost sightings, the jangling of chains and all that but the one that I knew first hand was the feeling of voices under my step, that sensation of hearing “Ugh” for step I took. I am sure each stone has its own story connected to the wretches who laboured over the construction never knowing that what they saw as the path to eternity would one day become the path to enjoyment and good health.