Back in the Olden Days
A fleet of ferries on the Swan were operated by Jack Olsen and Claes Sutton who operated as “Swan River Ferries Ltd”. Their vessels’ names all began with “V”. The Valfreda, Valkyrie I and II, Valhalla and the Valdhana ran along the southern shore of the Swan, between jetties at Point Belches (now the Southern end of the Narrows Bridge), Mends Street and Coode Street. This was before there was a bus service along the stretch of land between the Swan and Canning Rivers. The Government ferries ran from Barrack St across the river to Mends St.
After the war finished the long awaited bus service began and the Valhalla was sold to the Government.
It was during that time that I remember travelling across the river to the Zoo in the Valhalla. Pre-war my father had been a 14 year old crew member on the old “Duchess” which was the other ferry I remember travelling on back then. Back then? Late 1940’s and early 1950’s.
When the Narrows Bridge was opened in 1959 the bus service to South Perth was opened up and the ferry service declined. Amongst other changes, the Valhalla went out of service and disappeared.
So much for history.
Instead of travelling downstream, I headed upstream. Up past the Maylands Boat Yard. And I saw it.
I had to double check, blink several times to ensure it wasn’t a mirage But it was real.
Old and almost derelict but being restored.
I wonder when I shall see it back on the river.