Category Archives: Perth

A Bit of Perth


Just a small shopping centre. Harmless. Opposite Observation City, the tallest blot on the Coastal skyline.

Yet 50 years ago, things were very different.

This was the notorious Snake Pit of Scarborough; haunt of Bodgies and Widgies.

A Bit of Perth


Overlooking the ocean at Cottesloe, this decrepit building is probably reaching the end of a long and distinguished life.

I have no idea who lived their lives here or when it was built.

There is the scent of some research in the air.

After research (ie, finding the name of the house, “Le Fanu”, from Cottesloe Council documents and then use of Wikipedia); the House was originally known as Banksia, and was built as the private residence of Henry Diggins Holmes and his wife Marion. “Large residence of dressed limestone, now roofed in asbestos. Gables on all four sides have Tudor details. On south-east is a bay window with conical turret topped with elegant finial. Surrounding verandahs supported on simple square timber posts. Garden enclosed by limestone wall. There is a lower floor on north side.” The House is described as being in Federation Style, with a Queen Anne turret, in an otherwise Romanesque form. It was sold in 1945 to the Church of England and named after then-archbishop of Perth Henry Frewen Le Fanu. It became a private residence in 1973.

A story in Post Newspapers in January 2008 described the House as “crumbling into ruins”. The 17-room house “…is probably the most expensive chunk of real estate in Cottesloe – but it has serious complications,” the story said. “It has the highest possible heritage listing – and presents an expensive challenge for any new owner because it cannot be demolished.” The House has an asbestos roof, rotten roof timbers, crumbling bricks and collapsing limestone walls.

As at August 2008 the House was for sale, for a reputed asking price of $10 million. It is owned by Frankie Drake-Brockman.

A Bit of Perth


It’s OK. That fin belongs to a dolphin at Cottesloe.

A Bit of Perth


Along the coast, one can see some interesting sights.

This may just be one of the stranger.

The cattle have taken over the homestead.

A Bit of Perth


Scarborough Beach is an iconic part of Perth.

The 150th anniversary of the State’s foundation coincided the 75th anniversary of the foundation of Rotary International.

So, in 1979, this clock tower was erected.

A Bit of Perth


I caught up with the Shark Watch helicopter.

Off on another trip up and down the coast.

Sky Watch Friday


 

Perth is having its 19th consecutive day of +30C. Thirteenth night of a minimum in excess of 20C. Heading for records in both categories.

On the beach there are thousands of people trying to cool in the ocean.

Also in the ocean is danger to those people.

There are “rips” and undertows which can drag swimmers out to sea. Then there are other dangers. Dangers with teeth and very large jaws.

Volunteer members of Australian Surf Lifesaving Clubs have, for more than a century watched over Australians on the beaches. Towers have been built so that an eye can be kept on sea conditions. Sometimes a shark was spotted.

These days with swimmers moving further out to sea there is more chance of interaction with sharks.

So helicopters are now used to extend the eyes of the watchers. While the pilots are professional, the ground-based volunteers are still the same, selfless, skilled young people who spend some of their time protecting their fellow beach-goers.

So today’s Sky Watch is not so much the sky, but the watchers in the sky. At Scarborough Beach on the Perth coast.