Freo's View

FREMANTLE ROUNDHOUSE GUIDES 20TH ANNIVERSAY

Posted in arthur head, city of fremantle, heritage, historic, history, roundhouse, tourism, Uncategorized, volunteers by freoview on December 14, 2018

 

RH 3

RH 2

RH 1

 

It’s lucky I had a very quiet start of the day volunteering at the Roundhouse yesterday, as I browsed through some of the information displays on the wall and discovered that the Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides, who look after WA’s oldest public building, were established 20 years ago in 1998.

I am no doubt a bit biased, as one of the volunteers, but I still believe it is significant that a small group of mainly seniors for twenty years have opened the Roundhouse every day of the year, but for Good Friday and Christmas Day, for visitors from all over the world, and fire the cannon every day as well.

I have been volunteering for eight years now and loving it, but there are quite a few who have been there much longer. One of them is my good old mate Nan Jackson. I often tell visitors that Nan actually built the old jail. She is the one in the photo close up at the stocks

Happy anniversary FVHG and thank you to everyone who participated in the last two decades. It would not have been possible without you!

Roel Loopers

WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF ARTHUR’S HEAD?

 

I hear that J Shed artists have been told by the City of Fremantle that license/lease negotiations will be on hold until Fremantle Council has debated the future of the shed, and presumably the entire Bathers Beach Art Precinct, at their monthly meeting in February next year.

While this has created some uncertainty and stress for the artists, whose future at J Shed is not secure again, it is not necessarily a bad thing that Council wants to revisit plans for Arthur’s Head, as the Bathers Beach Art Precinct in its present form is flawed and not working as well as it could.

I would like to see a real Masterplan with long-term goals for the historic precinct and the City spending money on infrastructure such as public toilets at beach level, an outdoor deck at Unit 1, and making the area into an attraction instead of an afterthought.

It is clear from the Sunset Events fiasco that ‘applicant driven’ ideas can grow out of proportion, as was also the case with talking about a large burger restaurant for the small Esplanade hub. Council struggles to contain these ideas so that they are actually what the elected members wanted to achieve and don’t get kidnapped by commercial profit thinking.

Arthur’s Head is an amazing precinct with huge potential to make it into a real tourist attraction for visitors and the Fremantle community, but that requires financial commitment and creativity from Council and not just filling up vacant spaces ad hoc.

It is time to get back to the drawing board, conduct some intense community consultation, make the Roundhouse a much bigger drawcard with proper marketing and evening events, light up the Pilot Cottages at night and create better connectivity between Victoria Quay and the Fishing Boat Harbour.

The historic significance of Arthur’s Head needs to be the main consideration, but that does not mean a good arts and culture component can’t be part of the future there. A stunning sculpture park on the A Class Reserve in front of J Shed could be amazing.

Roel Loopers

 

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HUGE WEEK FOR FREMANTLE. ENJOY!

 

 

It is going to be a pretty big week for Fremantle so come along and enjoy all the fun!

It starts of with the Long Table Dinner all along historic High Street on Thursday evening, with the added bonus of a Christmas Market in Henry Street.

On Friday and Saturday evening the fantastic Frankenstone will light up inside the Roundhouse, and the Bazaar at the Fremantle Arts Centre starts and will run all weekend.

On Saturday from 1.30pm the Fremantle Folk Festival will be held in Princess May Park, Clancy’s and DADAA, so make sure to go there as well.

And on Sunday the Growers Green Farmers CHRISTMAS Market will have their big Christmas market.

Maybe it’s time to book a sicky for next Monday, hey? ; >)

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE PRISON LIGHTS UP AT NIGHT

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, fremantle prison, heritage, historic, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on November 21, 2018

 

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Christmas has started early at Fremantle Prison with the old entrance building now all lit up in different colours at night. It looks great!

Thank you to Ivan Dzeba from Benny’s bar&cafe for making me aware of it!

Roel Loopers

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FRANKENSTONE AT FREMANTLE ROUNDHOUSE

 

 

FRANKENSTONE will be an exciting global pop fundraiser at the Fremantle Roundhouse on November 30 and December 1, so make sure to book your tickets now!

2018 marks the 200th anniversary of ‘Frankenstein’ and the birth of science fiction. Celebrate this important date with the performers of Genrefonix at one of WAs most significant colonial landmarks.

Frankenstone is a live multimedia performance that will reanimate one of WAs most historic sites and reveal little-known connections between the ‘panopticon’ style former prison and Mary Shelleys gothic masterpiece.

Expect the unexpected, along with fresh Freo-Frankstein film sequences, rocking live music, chilling soundscapes, true facts and reimagined fiction, and much over the top theatrics!

The Roundhouse, WA’s oldest remaining public building, is a 12-sided panopticon prison and WA’s first permanent structure, will once again stand alone. Bare and ominous; a gothic lightning rod atop an outcrop of solid misery, drawing true romantics to unspoken secrets within its walls and inviting the stout of heart to contemplate frightening truths lying in long-lost dungeons below.

In the show Roundhouse architect Henry Reveley (1788-1875) is cast as key protagonist in a gothic tale so wild that only WA’s most infamous building could contain in it. Henry’s lifelong bonds with Mary Shelley, both emotional and intellectual, are exposed through a theatrical retelling of the recorded facts, revealing a contorted sketch of a dark, talented genius – presented, tongue in cheek, as WA’s own Dr Frankenstein……

Henry not only brought the spirit of Shelley’s “novel of ideas” with him from Europe to the Swan River Colony, he co-owned it. He drank from the deep reservoir of radical thinking that Mary’s circle had created through her influential father, mother, husband, friends and acquaintances. He lived, loved and worked in their vortex, his soul trapped, his actions untempered. Like Mary he too was stalked by family secrets, death, sadness and financial worries. Henry escaped however, to establish a remote outpost down under where his program of public works could conceal his true passion for natural philosophy and investigations into animal electricity.

Frankenstone’ presents an engaging patchwork of influential thinkers and historical figures, morbidly stitched together to deliver compelling conclusions for the true heritage of Western Australia. WA’s Netflix generation will be thoroughly comforted in the knowledge that a real gothic touchstone lies hidden in plain sight in Fremantle’s West End.

The show begins in the relative serenity and abundant hospitality of the Old Custom’s House Atrium, at 9 Phillimore Street Fremantle, before the audience is led up to the imposing Roundhouse to witness its many secrets unleashed through music and film. At the show’s dramatic conclusion audiences can once again seek refuge in the Atrium and raise a glass to our fallen romantic heroes and villains.

The event is a fundraiser written and produced by Genrefonix in partnership with the Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides Association. All proceeds from ‘Frankenstone’ will go to the Fremantle Roundhouse to assist with developing special event resources to bring the venue to life once more.

Date: Friday 30 November and Saturday 1 December

Shows: 7.15pm and 8.30pm

Location: Meet at Old Customs House Atrium, 8 Phillimore Street Fremantle

Tickets: Eventbrite

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FREMANTLE HERITAGE PATTERNS

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, heritage, historic, photography, Uncategorized by freoview on October 15, 2018

 

heritage patterns

 

There is always something new to discover in Fremantle when one is observant. I took this photo today of the heritage patterns at the Warders Cottages in Henderson Street.

Roel Loopers

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DARK CLOUDS OVER FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, historic, photography, rain, roundhouse, Uncategorized by freoview on October 10, 2018

 

rain

 

There were some very black clouds over Fremantle when I drove onto the South Mole at 7am this morning, so there is still a bit of rain to come, by the look of it.

On my daily pilgrimage to Chalkys for my Espresso fix the light of the rising sun just hit the Roundhouse, with the very dark clouds as backdrop, which made for a dramatic photo.

Roel Loopers

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LOOKING FOR ARTHUR’S HEAD CLIFF FACE SOLUTION

 

 

Something is finally happening at Fremantle’s historic Arthur’s Head, with two engineers in a cherrypicker scanning the limestone rock face below the Roundhouse today.

Scaffolding and fencing was put around a large part of Arthur’s Head in May, out of concern for rock fall, but it isn’t a very good look for the popular tourist destination.

The question now is how much longer it is going to take before the City of Fremantle and Heritage Council agree on a permanent solution and commission the required repairs.

Roel Loopers

 

NEW MAST FOR LOVELY LEEUWIN

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle port, historic, leeuwin foundation, sailing, Uncategorized by freoview on September 13, 2018

 

 

The tall ship STS Leeuwin is coming out of winter hibernation, with a new mast fitted on Wednesday afternoon.

The ship, at berth at B Shed in Fremantle Port, is a three-masted 1850s style barquetine. It is 55 metres long and 33 metres tall and has 16 sails. It was launched in 1986.

Book your Leeuwin Ocean Adventure for an unforgettable experience of a lifetime.

Roel Loopers

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FREO’S HISTORIC VICTORIA HALL FOR SALE!

 

Victoria Hall

 

The City of Fremantle will offer historic Victoria Hall for sale from September this year.

The building, designed by Talbot Hobbs, is one of the last Goldrush period buildings east of Kings Square and was built in 1896/97 as the St John’s Parish Hall.

It was renamed Victoria Hall to celebrate the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria.

A previous Fremantle Council planned to demolish the building to allow for widening of High Street, but the Builders Labourers Federation put a Green Ban on it and saved the building from demolition.

The sale of Victoria Hall is in line with the adopted 2018/19 budget and comes as a result of the Fly by Night club moving out, as it has not demonstrated ongoing sustainability. The City will waive outstanding rent debt.

Victoria Hall was bought by the City of Fremantle in 2001 and restored for an estimated $ 2 million.

Net proceeds from any sale will be placed in the Town Hall Conservation Reserve and the Heritage Reserve of the City.

Roel Loopers

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