The upgrade of the Fremantle High Street mall is well underway with new street furniture and now five new light poles to put some brightness into the dark area at night.
Daniel Sharp, the officer in charge of street lighting at the City of Fremantle, told me this morning that the lights are of Italian design, so I am looking forward to seeing them at night soon. They are on so keep an eye out for them if you walk through the cbd.
I do not understand the logic that the Fremantle Whalers Tunnel is closed at 7 pm every day of the week, but Saturday, where it stays open till 9 pm. That’s what they have to do a Wilson Security officer told me on Monday.
Bathers Beach has seen an real increase in activation with many more people using it than even two years ago, but direct access from High Street is not possible after 7 pm six days of the week. That is stupidity!
The City of Fremantle spent thousands of dollars to light up the Arthur Head cliff face on the beach side and BID spent thousands as well to light up the heritage buildings along High Street, but the most logical connectivity is denied to backpackers, visitors and local residents after seven in the evening. That is bureaucracy gone mad, and for what reasons I wonder.
We constantly hear Councillors calling for activation of the West End of Fremantle, even introducing a highly attractive night ghost town that is named Bathers Beach Art Precinct. The area is now so popular at night that it has become an open air public toilet where artists of the Captain’s Lane cottages literally step into shit every time they open up in the morning.
All Elected Members were this week sent an email of complaint about that and I have personally mentioned this to the Fremantle mayor, but no action has been taken to light up the buildings to deter unauthorised use of them at night.
The potential of the West End is huge, and it does not require an outdoor music venue to make it work, but the City needs to urgently invest money into security and making the area attractive at night for sightseeing, not to have a crap. That includes better light in the Whalers Tunnel and keeping it open longer to attract tourists.
I had a chat at Chalkys cafe yesterday with the owner of one of the beautiful apartments at Little High Street in the former warehouse so beautifully designed for adaptive re-use by architect Ralph Hoare. Greg asked why BID had not continued with lighting up all of High Street and although electricians worked many days on putting cables underground at his building and the former Tram building opposite, there were still no lights, so maybe someone at BID can explain why the money was spent and people inconvenienced for nothing.
Greg also questioned why the City of Fremantle had spent all that money on lighting up the cliff face of Arthur Head but closed the Whalers Tunnel at 7 pm. Councillors constantly talk about reactivating the area but for some reason the 10 pm closing time of the tunnel has been put forward to 7 pm. Please explain COF!
That brings me to another point about reactivation and the Bathers Beach Art Precint. Homeless people invade the verandas and backyards of the cottages at Captain’s Lane at night because the place is a dark unoccupied ghost town after 5 pm. The gallery at no 11 now only has one single artists left instead of the 4 who started it and Wild Twig is trying very hard but lacks professional appearance. The two galleries open infrequently while the Aboriginal centre is only open on weekdays till 1 pm and not on weekends. That is not activation!
The only professional outfit on top of the hill is the great looking Glen Cowans Photo Gallery but how long can he battle on on his own? The Bathers Beach Art Precinct has been badly handled by COF and Council needs to revisit this and come up with better solutions to activate the area, even more so now that it appears that Sunset Events is in no hurry to start a pub and live music venue at J Shed any time soon.
J Shed artist Jenny Dawson said yesterday that DAADA is fitting in really well next to Greg James in the studio earmarked for Sunset Events. Delighted to hear also that she is involved with artist Sandra Hill in a large artwork around the water feature at Elizabeth Quay. Unfortunately confidentially prevented her from telling me more or showing me what it is going to look like.
Arthur Head is a fantastic heritage area and I am glad to see many more people at Bathers Beach sun baking and swimming. The SCULPTURE@BATHERS show in March will bring thousands of people to the area for a few weeks so let’s make it one huge beach party to celebrate Fremantle’s and Western Australia’s creative talent and artists’ initiative!
The things that take me away from a bad mood and crappy days are taking photos, sit at the ocean, or enjoy the great Australian bush, so today it was happy snapper time for a very disappointed Loopy.
The Christmas tree at Fremantle Kings Square was lit by Mayor Brad Pettit and there were carols, Santa and the invigorating WASAMA drummers all lit up and that made for interesting movement photos.
Go and check out the lights and also wander down High Street to see them all along there, and walk trough the Whalers Tunnel to see the lit up historic Arthur Head. The kids will tell you you are the best mum and dad in the world!
Today in a month is Christmas Day, so the time for celebrations and carols has begun. This Friday November 28 the City of Fremantle will light the Christmas tree on Kings Square with an event that features Santa, the High Voltage Carollers, St John’s Church Choir, Acapella West Choir, and WASAMBA. There will also be a market with food and art and craft stalls, so bring the family.
It starts at 6.30 and the lights will be switched on around 7.20. The tree looks amazing, so if you have not seen it, it’s worth the trip!
I have no idea who put it there, but the furniture at Bathers Beach looks pretty good and it would be nice if it was a permanent feature of our Fremantle inner city beach.
The Bathers Beach Sunset Food Markets starts this Saturday from 5-9 pm and the Arthur Head cliff face lights will be officially switched on at 7 on Saturday November 22, so come along!
Fremantle is becoming the city of lights, warning lights that is. New flashing lights to alert motorists to stick to the 40 kph limit in school zones will be installed near the East Fremantle Primary School and John Curtin College of the Arts.
There will also be an upgrade on the train crossings around Freo at Phillimore, Arundel, Rose and Grey streets and Marine Terrace.
There are good things happening at Fremantle Arthur Head and the Bathers Beach Art Precinct. Kidogo Arthouse now has got nice large limestone pavers around the building and it looks so much better than the dirt. I wished the City of Fremantle had paved the entire dust bowl area there to make it look tidy and cared for.
The limestone cliffs below the Round House are being made safe, because the calcification of the cap/limestone rocks meant they were unstable and endangered people walking below them.
Even better news is that the entire cliff face at the beach side of Arthur Head will be lit up at night and the colours can be changed depending on demand and events. This will be a good continuation of the High Street coloured lights as an evening attraction to pull people to the West End. It will also enhance security to have the area lit up at night.
Bathers Beach is slowly becoming the attraction it should be, and it would be good if the City promoted the beach at the end of the beautiful heritage High Street as something special. Stencils on the footpaths, a good sign at Little High Street at the railway crossing there, and marketing Bathers Beach as a destination for visitors in tourism brochures, website, Facebook, etc. Pretty simple stuff really.
It was freezing cold in Fremantle port this morning, with and ice-cold easterly blowing straight at me on the South Mole, when I took these photos from 6.30 am onward. I warmed up over an espresso and a chat with friends, but when I left the Moore&Moore cafe at just before 9 am, it was even colder, so I am not sure if we will reach the promised 23 degrees today.
I like getting up early because sun rises are very different from sun sets. It’s a shame most people rarely see a sunrise because they are still in bed when it all happens.
The City of Belmont is having their annual art and photography awards again in July, so check out their website and participate in it. Good prizes to be won!