Historic Fremantle Roundhouse, the oldest public building in Western Australia, is extremely popular with visitors from all over the world this week.
By 1.30 pm today, so after only three hours of being open, we already had over 900 visitors through the door. Yesterday they had well over 900 visitors and the day before just under 1,000 visitors.
Over 100 people watched the firing of the cannon today.
It is an amazing effort by the mainly elderly volunteer tour guides to keep the Roundhouse open every day of the year but for Christmas day and Good Friday.
Next year the Roundhouse will be part of the Fringe Festival with performances in the old gaol, so stay tuned.
The volunteer tour guides operate on donations from guests only so if there are corporate sponsors out there which would like to donate, don’t be shy and contact the Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides!
Nice to see two tall ships in Fremantle harbour this morning with the Young Endeavour sailing ship joining the SS Leeuwin at B Shed berth.
W.A. Heritage Minister Albert Jacob announced this morning at Kakulas Sisters that the entire historic Fremantle West End has been State heritage listed. The boundaries are Market St, Collie St, Marine Tce, Little High St, and both sides of Phillimore Street.
I assume this means both sides of Marine Terrace are listed as it does not specify that in the media release.
This is the biggest single place heritage listing in Western Australia.
The Minister said it had been hard work by the State Heritage Office who had to liaise with 400 individual property owners and that WA had lost many heritage buildings during the 60s and 70s but Fremantle had done well preserving so many of its historic buildings.
The reason for the boundaries were to target the Gold Rush aspect of the West End and other significant buildings are already on the State Heritage Register, including the entire Arthur’s Head.
Mayor Brad Pettitt said it was significant day for the Fremantle that the council had been working on for decades. We wanted higher density and infill in the East End but make sure that the West End is protected, but adapted and used, the Mayor said.
Michael Finn, the owner of the Princess Chambers building said that traders welcomed the infill in Fremantle and that density becomes diversity, but that progress had negatives and positives
There is always a lot of orange when Dutch people get together and today’s Dirk Hartog Festival at B Shed on Fremantle’s Victoria Quay was not different.
There was however not a single bit of cheese to be seen but Linda and Isa-Bo of Treacle Treat were very busy making poffertjes, stroopwafels, kroketten and bitterballen, while the Indonesian stall reminded us of the close connection between that country and the Netherlands.
Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt and State Treasurer Mike Nahan opened the historic day that celebrated the arrival of Dirk Hartog at Shark Bay 400 years ago.
The Dutchies also had a huge party at Little Creatures on the weekend.
But let’s forget about all those so-called important historic Dutchies and their connection to WA. No doubt the most outstanding one of the lot is obnoxious Dutch Fremantle blogger Roel Loopers who was awarded Fremantle Citizen of the Year in 2013 by Premier Colin Barnett.
How popular this choice was was shown with one person complaining to the City of Fremantle CEO that Loopy was not a fit and proper person to receive that award. There is only one very Dutch response to that. Klootzak! ; >)
There is a big weekend of entertainment, fun and history coming up for Fremantle this weekend, so get ready for it!
On Saturday the first FREMANTLE FOLK FESTIVAL organised by Clancy’s Fish Pub will be held all day at Princess May Park with a great line up, so check out the Facebook page and buy your tickets soon!
On Sunday the Dirk Hartog Festival on Victoria Quay at Fremantle Port will celebrate that the Dutchman set foot on WA land 400 years ago at Shark Bay on October 25.
There will be entertainment, Dutch food, historic displays and talks, etc. so come along and say Goeden middag.
And if there is time left from 2-4 at the Fremantle Arts Centre Wildwood and Elli Schoen will be playing in the courtyard.
Maybe I am just a sentimental old fool but it makes me really sad to watch the demolition of the old luffing crane near the E Shed Markets on Victoria Quay in Fremantle.
It is outrageous that the crane was not offered for sale years ago when Fremantle Ports decided it was going to let it rot and not maintain it. The excuse that it now has to be demolished for safety reasons is rubbish. It could have been put in front of the Shipwreck Museum or at J Shed for example to add another attraction for tourists.
I am all for progress and have nothing against good change, but the disgraceful demolition by neglect in WA needs to stop, or we’ll soon see the old George Hotel in East Fremantle go down for “safety” reasons as well.
If we don’t respect our past we have no hope in hell creating a better future!
Work on the demolition of the old luffing crane next to the E Shed Markets in Fremantle Port will start this week and that is a real shame.
The Babcock and Wilcox crane is now beyond repair according to Fremantle Ports, and that is no surprise as they have neglected it and did not maintain it for years. Demolition by neglect is nothing new when it comes to the heritage of our state.
I could imagine this crane painted in great colours and the silhouette lit up at night with lots of small lights all along it making a great feature at the proposed new Victoria Quay development. A stunning artwork that would have stood out at night and during the day.
No one seems to have long-term vision for anything. On the hop and give it the chop is how this state is run. Very disappointing!
Brainless idiots are out and about again and have slammed a a rock through one of the floodlights at the Fremantle Roundhouse on Arthur Head just under the gun deck mast. While at it they also threw a lot of rocks from the cliff face onto the path below which could have caused serious harm to people.
Along the dune path some solar lights have also been damaged again.
Five hundred visitors came through the Roundhouse today, a sign that the season has changed and it’s warming up.
Was an absolute delight to see the exteriors of the historic Fremantle Warders Cottages in Henderson Street restored to their old glory.
I have been so frustrated about the disgraceful neglect of these important heritage cottages for many years and I will never forget the early action by the Fremantle Society, under my presidency, when we did our SHAME campaign one early Saturday morning, attaching old socks to the fences spelling out the word Shame a few times.
The future of the cottages is still uncertain as the State Government wants to strata title them, against the wishes of Fremantle Council.
The eyesore next to the Fremantle Markets is now gone and it would be good if the City of Fremantle took the 11 parking bays aways and make the Henderson Street Mall a real mall without car access. There are two large parking areas just a minute walk away and the Parry Street car park is just a three-minute walk from there.
Fremantle is now an even more beautiful place with the Gunners Cottages and old Boys School renovated and soon to be occupied, and work under way at the Townhall as well. We should be proud of our heritage and always look after it as a priority!
The neglect by the National Trust of the historic former Royal George Hotel in East Fremantle is a bloody disgrace and shows the organisation’s dismal failure of protecting the heritage buildings in it’s care.
The Royal George saga has been going on for many years, when artists were forced to move out and the building has been vacant since, making it a target for vandalism and homeless people.
Every now and then we are assured that yet again new developers are looking into the viability of renovating the building and making it habitable again, but it always turns out to be hot air and empty promises.
The Town of East Fremantle appears powerless to force the issue and demand that the site be renovated and activated.
It is an utter disgrace and something needs to be done at state and federal level to force the issue because the status quo is no longer acceptable and is endangering the beautiful heritage-listed building.