Freo's View

FIRST CRUISE SHIP ARRIVES IN FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, cruiseliners, cruiseship, fremantle ports, roundhouse, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on October 11, 2018

 

cruising

 

The first cruise liner of the summer season arrived in Fremantle Port this morning. The Sea Princess started her circumnavigation of Australia in Sydney and will continue this evening north along the WA coast.

It is a shame that the new shade structure, promised by Premier Mark McGowan several months ago, has still not been installed, but the two huge shade umbrellas that used to be there were removed months ago, so no shade for the passengers.

Nice to see that Councillor Rachel Pemberton  has joined the Fremantle Visitors Guides. I saw her up at the Roundhouse, which I opened an hour earlier at 9.30am to accommodate all the international visitors. It was a lovely day in the sun.

Roel Loopers

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

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

 

THE FUTURE OF FREO’S J SHED

 

With the saga about a tavern at J Shed on Bathers Beach now finally closed it is now time for Fremantle Council to look at a long-term plan for historic Arthur’s Head because the Bathers Beach Art Precinct idea has clearly not improved activation of the area, and that is what Council supposedly was hoping for when approving the 21-year tavern lease with Sunset Events.

There are a few simple facts about the art precinct and that is that quite a few artists have tried but could not even earn enough to pay the rent, and only a few real professionals such as Greg James, Jenny Dawson and Glen Cowans have survived and contributed to the area, and to a lesser extend also the messy looking David Giles gallery where many Sunday painters gather.

We also know that hospitality operators looked at the No 1 glass wall studio at J Shed but did not believe it was financially viable to start a business because they would have had to invest in sewerage, toilets and building a commercial kitchen, and the costs were prohibitive. It was also questioned if a hospitality venue would be a good neighbour next to a semi-industrial art workshop where grinding, welding, wax and bronze melting takes place.

Activation is a buzz word in Fremantle, as was placemaking for a few years, but what does it really mean and how much of it is needed at Arthur’s Head? Already the Roundhouse attracts some 150,000 visitors a year and that is the number of people actually going through the door, while many who walk up to the limestone cliff face just wander around without entering. It is a coming and going that make the place look popular, and the Glen Cowans gallery next to it offers fantastic underwater photography that is admired by many visitors from all over the world.

If Fremantle Council is seriously interested in activating the area why does it not use the lawn next to the Roundhouse and the A Class reserve in front of J Shed more often for events, one has to wonder. Why for example is the far west end of High Street not used as a stage for the Street Arts Festival to attract people there and help the activation Freo councillors keep dreaming about? Why is there no weekend art and craft market in the area?

Where is the investment in the area when Bathers Beach still does not have public toilets and where the connectivity from The Fishing Boat Harbour to Victoria Quay is still not resolved properly? Why are the Pilot’s Cottages not lit up at night, that would also discourage homeless people from using them?

Why also do we live with scaffolding and fencing around the cliff face since May, and work has still not started on it when tourists numbers and cruise ship visits will increase during the warmer summer months? Why has it taken so long, nearly half a year!, to find a solution?

Fremantle Council needs to walk the walk and put ratepayers’ money to good use at Arthur’s Head, because the area looks run down and uncared for and that is unacceptable for this heritage and tourist precinct. Forget activation, prioritise tender loving care first!

Roel Loopers

VISIT FREMANTLE’S HISTORIC MUSEUMS

Posted in city of fremantle, culture, fremantle prison, history, maritime, museum, roundhouse, Uncategorized by freoview on September 24, 2018

 

Fremantle Prison

 

 

Not sure what to do on this longs weekend Monday or during the school holidays? Why not visit our great Fremantle museums!

The World Heritage Listed Fremantle Prison conducts tours throughout the day, the display at the Shipwrecks Museum about the Dutch history of WA is fascinating, and at 1pm witnessing the cannon fire behind the Roundhouse is a booming experience.

And at the Maritime Museum is a very good exhibition about the French captains Baudain and Freycinet.

Roel Loopers

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FRANKENSTONE AT FREMANTLE ROUNDHOUSE

Posted in art, arthur head, city of fremantle, culture, heritage, history, roundhouse, Uncategorized by freoview on September 23, 2018

 

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The event below is only going to happen at the end of November, but since it is a fundraiser for the Fremantle Roundhouse, WA’s oldest public building, I want to make you all aware of it now, so that you can book your tickets @ $ 30.00 from http://www.eventbrite.com.au early.

Check out the Facebook page for details!

2018 is the 200th anniversary of Frankenstein and the birth of science fiction!

Come celebrate an important date in modern writing and global pop culture. Please join arts-music performers Genrefonix at the momentous Fremantle Roundhouse for a live multimedia show that will reanimate one of WA’s most historic sites. We’ll unearth amazing connections between this ‘panopticon’ style ex-prison and Mary Shelley’s gothic masterpiece, and have a rockin’ good time while we are at it! Come celebrate the amazing and forgotten heritage of WA’s most significant colonial landmark.

Frankenstone will begin in the relative serenity and abundant hospitality of the Old Custom’s House Atrium at 8 Phillimore Street (Fremantle), before leading audiences upward to the momentous Roundhouse to witness it’s many secrets unleashed through music and film.

Roundhouse architect and man of mystery 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, both emotional and intellectual, are exposed through a theatrical retelling and reimagining of the recorded facts, revealing a contorted sketch of a dark, talented genius mired in pathos and hellbent on reanimating the past.

Featuring a mix of new Frankenstein film sequences shot in the Roundhouse and rockin’ live music/sound effects Frankenstone will unchain the past. Pivotal historic bonds with Mary will be revealed, and their dramatic consequences rendered bare against stark walls of limestone.

The show is 45mins long, with audiences most welcome to enjoy the hospitality of Old Customs House before and after the show.

All proceeds from Frankenstone will go to the Fremantle Roundhouse to assist with upgrading event facilities, allowing the venue to live again for the people of WA.

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LIGHT SHOW FOR FREMANTLE PRISON

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle prison, heritage, roundhouse, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on September 20, 2018

 

I am delighted to hear that Fremantle Prison is considering adding light and projection shows to their already very good and popular offerings.

Fremantle needs a few more tourist attractions to keep visitors in our city longer, and we have not much on during evenings but live music in pubs sometimes.

I am hoping that the Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides will also offer light and projections shows inside, and on the exterior of the Roundhouse, as stage two of the project to install new interpretive displays in WA’s oldest public building, so we can activate it at night.

In that context I also welcome the announcement by Premier Mark McGowan to protect Lotterywest and ban Lottoland from operating in our state. Lotterywest contributes so much to our community with grants for amazing projects, heritage conservation, etc. and we can’t really do without their funding.

Roel Loopers

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HERITAGE GUIDES MISREPRESENTED AT PLANNING COMMITTEE

Posted in arthur head, bathers beach, city of fremantle, heritage, j shed, roundhouse, Uncategorized by freoview on September 5, 2018

 

A disturbing fact turned up in the minutes of the most recent WA Statutory Planning Committee, that dealt with the application for a tavern at J Shed on Bathers Beach.

It is recorded in the minutes and clear that former Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides president Cheryl Greaves misrepresented herself to the state government committee as a spokesperson for the Roundhouse volunteer guides organisation, when she was not authorised to do so.

7.3 Proposed Change of Use to Tavern and Additions to Existing Building at Lot 2051 Fleet Street, Fremantle (J-Shed) (Item 8.5) Presenter: Ms Cheryl Greaves – Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides Association Ms Greaves made a presentation to members on behalf of the Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides Association in support of the recommendation by the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage. Ms Greaves discussed the historic importance of the Arthur Heads Reserve and that it is a dedicated A Class reserve because of its heritage significance and that the nature and scale is not fit for the reserve and the application should be refused.

While the on-line minutes of the WASPC still have to be authorised at the next committee meeting I assume that they are correct.

Current Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides president Frank Duffy confirmed yesterday to me that Ms Greaves had asked for permission to speak on behalf of the volunteer organisation but that request had been refused.

Cheryl Greaves was a very controlling president of the Roundhouse volunteers group and a stickler for rules and regulations when she was in charge. Everything had to be done by the book, so it is astonishing that against the express directions of the present committee she decided to address the WASPC without the authority to do so.

No matter how passionate we all are about protecting Fremantle’s heritage and character, we can not walk around and claim to speak on behalf of an organisation and its members, when all we do is express a personal opinion. It is very bad form, unprofessional and not acceptable.

 

Roel Loopers

 

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MARGARET RIVER STUDENTS VISIT FREMANTLE

Posted in children, city of fremantle, education, heritage, roundhouse, Uncategorized, volunteers by freoview on July 27, 2018

 

 

school at Roundhouse

 

The Fremantle Roundhouse was full with students from the Margaret River Primary School this Friday.

150 of them, with teachers and parents, made the day trip to good old Freo to visit the Fremantle Prison, Maritime and Shipwreck museums and the state’s oldest public building the Roundhouse prison.

I helped out with the time ball at 1pm as we were short staffed, but it is a truly delightful volunteer job to talk to people from all over the world and with local and country students about Fremantle’s history.

We are always looking for new volunteers, willing to commit themselves for a day a week or a fortnight.

Did you know that Centrelink does allow this to be a work for the dole occupation and what better one to do! No stress, great and funny colleagues and getting to know all those lovely people from our global village. Come and try it!

 

Roel Loopers

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ARCHITECTURE COMMENDATION FOR ROUNDHOUSE FESTIVAL HUB

 

Hub commendation

 

THE HUB next to the Fremantle Roundhouse, created by Fremantle-based Harris Architects, was awarded a commendation at the recent WA architecture awards.

The Hub was created for the High Tide Biennale as the festival hub and has since become very popular for weddings on Arthur Head and school groups on excursions having their lunch break in it.

It is a delightful, light and open structure that mirrors the Roundhouse, so I am one of many who hope and wish that the City of Fremantle will allow The Hub to remain permanently on the Bathers Bay look out.

Roel Loopers

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