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Fort Scratchley to fire again


One of Newcastle’s most iconic landmarks is set to return to its pre-COVID glory next month.

From Monday 2 November Fort Scratchley will once again open its doors to weekday visitors.

After restrictions forced the venue to operate only on weekends, its army of volunteers are keen to welcome a regular stream of visitors once again.

The fort will open its doors every day except Tuesdays, with a daily gun firing to take place at 1pm, weather permitting.

Morse code demonstrations will also return to the schedule, every Wednesday.

Fort Scratchley Historical Society’s Mary Tarrant said historians were looking forward to sharing their knowledge with visitors once more.

“We are so happy to announce that Fort Scratchley will reopen in November with full activities and hours, with only a small reduction to the Tunnel Tours due to COVID-19 restrictions,” she said.

Fort Scratchley is a former coastal defence installation located in Newcastle East.

Built in 1882 to defend the city against a possible Russian attack, it is now an interactive museum run by volunteers.

While its guns were never fired in anger until 8 June 1942 when it was under threat by a Japanese submarine, the city now impresses with peaceful demonstrations when the occasion warrants. The Australian Army vacated the site in 1972.

Admission to Fort Scratchley is free.

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