Would you let someone house sit if they left your home in a mess? Surely not, but that is what the National Trust have been doing with the Royal George Hotel in George Street, East Fremantle. The National Trust is a government-funded organisation that has been established to look after historic buildings, but it is an utter disgrace that they are neglecting the beautiful old heritage building they have now had in their care for years.
Vandals have yet again forced open doors at ground level to gain access, with the real possibility that one day someone will light a fire in there and the building will go up in smoke.
The National Trust is good at taking on new buildings and the CEO is keen boasting about it, but in reality they haven’t got the capacity or money to look after all the buildings which are supposed to be in their care, hence a building like the Royal George has been vacant for years, and apart from boarding up the windows nothing much else has been done to restore the building to its former glory and make use of it.
The George once housed artist’s studios and art gallery and a Thai restaurant, but it is now an eyesore in very attractive George Street. It is a disgrace the National Trust should be ashamed about!
I am sad to hear that renowned Fremantle glass artist Matthew Goodlet died from a stroke on Wednesday. Matthew had a studio behind the Royal George Hotel in East Fremantle for a long time and also had a studio in Balingup. Matthew was a delightful non-pretentious man and a great artist, and he died far too early.
The news that the developers and architects who proposed to change the Old Royal George Hotel in George Street, East Fremantle into a restaurant, wine bar and short term accommodation venue, have withdrawn from the project will delight many who opposed the idea, but it also raises the question of how and when the Royal George will be developed and saved from demolition by neglect. The building has been deteriorating for years and is in urgent need of good maintenance and should be developed with urgency.
This is a truly iconic building in that part of town and deserves to be looked after better and become a feature for the community. What will the National Trust come up with now?
I knew one day my double Dutch writing to newspapers would wake up people, so I am delighted to read in the Fremantle Herald that the Woonerf concept is going to be tried in Fremantle. The idea is to set up virtual living areas, like sofas, chairs, tables, etc. in the middle of the cappuccino strip, that will automatically slow traffic down and creates a better quality of sharing the street between pedestrians and cars. Trials have been very successful in Holland, Germany, Canada, the UK and also in Victoria.
# More good news comes today that the Pricess May Park will be handed over to the City of Fremantle. This will hopefully also mean a new long lease for the very family friendly Clancys Fish Pub.
# Proposed new development at the back of the old synagogue near the markets need to be scrutinised in detail though, so show us the plans please!
# I was told a worrying development yesterday, about regular break-ins at the Royal George hotel, where thieves steal the copper piping, including gas pipes, which poses a real fire threat to the old building and historic archives stored there.
WOONERF. Woon means living in the Dutch language, and erf is traditionally a forecourt where the family gathers on a farm (boerderij).