Freo's View

FREMANTLE ROUNDHOUSE CLOSURE DISGRACE!

 

closure

 

The closure of the Fremantle Roundhouse today is the third day out of four the very popular tourist attraction has been closed to the public. It was closed on Friday and Saturday, supposedly due to bad weather, although the weather was in no way extreme and intolerable, and today the sign states that WA’s oldest public building is closed  due to a shortage of volunteers.

Fact is that the current president and some committee members of the volunteer group have been procrastinating instead of tackling the major issues of funding and volunteers.

I was a volunteer at the Roundhouse for nine years and loved talking with tourists from all over the world, but I resigned two weeks ago after a rude email from the president in reply to my email suggestions for improvements and changes. I was told that my emails to committee were a waste of energy and he reminded me I was not on committee, indicating I should just shut up.

It is now time for the City of Fremantle to immediately take over the management of the Roundhouse as this significant building has to be open to the public.  I am happy to get involved again under new more progressive and committed management.

A school group that arrived at 1.30pm today stood in front of the closed doors and that is very disappointing.

Roel Loopers

ROUNDHOUSE CLOSURE A REAL WORRY FOR FREMANTLE

 

 

It is a real worry that the Fremantle Roundhouse is closed today, and I was told it was closed most of yesterday as well.

A sign on the door says it is closed due to bad weather, but a few showers have never forced the Roundhouse volunteers to close all day in the nine years I worked there.

Fremantle Council now needs to take urgent action because it is not acceptable that the oldest public building in WA and one of Fremantle’s most significant tourist attractions is now randomly closed, presumably because of lack of volunteers.

In the nine years I was on duty only on the worst winter days did we close an hour early at 2.30pm, but all day closure only ever happened on Christmas Day and Good Friday.

I hear that at committee level of the volunteers it has been suggested they might have to wind up and hand the management of the building back to the City, but what then when there is no contingency plan in place?  Even if they staff the Roundhouse with volunteers from the Visitor Centre they would still need some of the current volunteers who have the license to fire the 1pm cannon.

Both Fremantle Council and the Roundhouse committee are to blame for not having been pro-active enough in trying to get new volunteers and annual funding. With enough State, City and Federal funding Roundhouse guides could get paid and the tourist attraction would be on the same level as Fremantle Prison, the Maritime Museum and the Shipwreck Museum, which all receive government funding.

The Roundhouse is very significant to Fremantle’s  and Western Australia’s history and the City can’t just sit back and let it close due to procrastination and lack of vision.

Roel Loopers

 

EAST FREO Z CARD FOR HERITAGE TRAIL

 

Heritage card

From the Town of East Fremantle: We recently launched a new Heritage Trail map with watercolour depictions of the local architecture around town.

You can pick up a Z-CARD from Town Hall or text the word ‘Heritage’ to 0475 111 222 for a digital copy.

Thanks to the team at Z-Card PocketMedia Solutions for working with us on this project!

This should inspire the City of Fremantle to do something similar. The Freopedia QR codes on building which were started by the Fremantle Society were unfortunately not continued and the East Freo smartphone Z-Card is an even better idea, so what about it This Is Fremantle?

Roel Loopers

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THE FREO ROUNDHOUSE EVEN ROUNDER

Posted in arthur head, city of fremantle, heritage, historic, roundhouse, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on June 3, 2019

 

Roundhouse

 

I borrowed the round hand mirror from the Glen Cowans Photography Gallery yesterday to take this unusual photo of the Fremantle Roundhouse and High Street.

I always like the looking backward and forward of reflections, so here is another one for you.

It was very busy up on Arthur’s Head yesterday with a very large number of Asians visiting Fremantle, so we are very popular with our neighbour countries.

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE PORTS HERITAGE PRESERVATION A PRIORITY

 

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It is good to finally see some restoration work on heritage buildings at Fremantle Ports. They started on the former Immigration Building and are also doing some work at B Shed.

But the neglect of A Shed that has been rotting away for years now is not acceptable, and since the public has no access to other sheds along Victoria Quay we don’t really know how bad it is elsewhere.

Fremantle Ports is keen on activating Victoria Quay, and that is a good thing, and they are also keen to start with development there, but that is unlikely to occur until the final Westport Taskforce report has been delivered and the State Government has made a decision about the future of Fremantle Port and Victoria Quay, so that is a long way away still.

Up to then it is the duty of Fremantle Ports to look after the heritage there. It is not acceptable to have a demolition by neglect attitude, so they need to prioritise the maintenance of the old sheds.

Roel Loopers

 

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J SHED ARTISTS CREATE OWN SIGNS

 

j shed 3

 

The Fremantle J Shed artists at Bathers Beach have had enough of Council constantly talking about activating the historic precinct while they ignore their own placemaking advise of low hanging fruit of supporting and promoting existing businesses, instead of just pipe dreaming about the big projects for Arthur’s Head.

So the arty J Shed mob have started to put their own way finding signs around to make visitors aware there is creative light at the end of the Whalers Tunnel, and by the way, also a gorgeous beach.

Roel Loopers

VINTAGE BIKES AND GOOD OLD MEMORIES

Posted in cars, city of fremantle, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on May 18, 2019

 

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Arthur Grady Day was on at the Fremantle Maritime Museum this morning with lots of vintage motorcycles, cars and buses.

Arthur Grady was the first person to ride around Australia on a motorbike.

Nice also to bump into Val who has been very involved with the Fremantle Society. She pointed out to me that she used to ride to school on the Kalamunda bus that was on display.

Roel Loopers

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MOON CHOW FIRST CHINESE MIGRANT TO FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, history, immigration, Uncategorized by freoview on May 18, 2019

 

Moon Chow

 

At the end of the Australian Heritage Festival it is nice to tell a little bit about Fremantle’s history not many people are aware of.

It is generally assumed that most early migrants/settlers here were English but quite a few came from different countries. For example Chinese man Moon Chow was one of the first to arrive in Fremantle in 1829.

He became a well-known boat builder and carpenter. He died in 1877.

Because of the accident that caused Moon Chow’s death compulsory night lights and vehicular speed limits were introduced in Fremantle for the first time.

Roel Loopers

 

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A-SIGN TSUNAMI IN HIGH STREET

Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, hospitality, pollution, sign, Uncategorized by freoview on May 17, 2019

 

sign tsunami

 

Is this A-sign tsunami at Bar Orient in Fremantle’s historic High Street really necessary?

Four signs haphazardly placed on the footpath for just the one business is well over the top and pretty inconvenient for pedestrians. It’s overkill!

Roel Loopers

FREO’S SWANSEA CYCLES LEGEND ON SHOW

Posted in bicycles, city of fremantle, heritage, history, Uncategorized by freoview on May 17, 2019

 

Swansea Cycles

 

This is a good exhibition for bike-friendly Freo. On in the Woolstores shopping centre this weekend, so go and have a look and if you happen to have a Swansea bicycle bring it along!

Working from their backyard in Mosman Park, the Baldwin brothers launched Swansea Cycles in 1927.

Success meant a move to Fremantle where over the next 40 years Swansea became one of Australia’s largest bike makers. They provided basic transport and the means to sporting success for many.

Swansea owners are invited to bring their bikes back home to Freo.  Have your Swansea dated and added to our register by a club expert and take away a commemorative registration tag.

Roel Loopers

 

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