Freo's View

FREO ROUNDHOUSE ENLIGHTENMENT

Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on May 11, 2017

After some grumpy looks and words from Arthur Head and Freo’s View toward the Fremantle Townhall there has been a bit of action regarding putting power into the historic Roundhouse, so that the volunteer guides can get started on their plans for a big $ 200,000 new displays project.

City staff and electricians came to WA’s oldest public building today to check it out and see what can be done and according to them it should not be a big deal to supply the old goal with power needed for the displays.

Now hoping Council and administration will make it a priority as Lotterywest funding takes a while to get approved. Stay tuned!

Last year 145,000 visitors walked through the door of the Roundhouse, so a significant contribution to tourism in Fremantle and W.A.

Any corporate sponsors out there to help fast track getting the displays up?

Roel Loopers

 

ROUNDHOUSE CELEBRATES VOLUNTEER WEEK

Posted in fremantle, heritage, roundhouse, Uncategorized, volunteers by freoview on May 9, 2017

 

Royndhouse volunteers

 

It is National Volunteer Week and the Fremantle Roundhouse volunteer guides took that as an opportunity to celebrate the commitment of the 40 mainly senior volunteers who open the Roundhouse every day of the year, but for Christmas Day and Good Friday.

They met for breakfast today at the Moore&Moore cafe and moved on for this group photo.

The guides at Western Australia’s oldest public  building welcome over 130,000 visitors through the door every year.

They are there in 40 degree heat and in rain, storm and winter cold and always with a smile on their face and a joke to share with people from all over the world.

Every day at 1 pm the cannon on the gun deck behind the Roundhouse gets fired and they are always looking for a visitor to push the button. Those who do are given a signed certificate to take home.

Tell your visitors about historic Arthur Head, Bathers Beach and the gorgeous West End!

Roel Loopers

 

VOICES FROM OUR HERITAGE

Posted in fremantle, fremantle dockers, heritage, roundhouse, Uncategorized by freoview on April 29, 2017

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The Australian Heritage Festival is on and the Fremantle Volunteer Roundhouse Guides conducted Voices of the Past, talking about specific people who are important to our W.A. history.

Whadjuk Noongar man Greg Nannup was one of five speakers this Saturday morning.

Roel Loopers

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NO CITY SUPPORT FOR FREO TOURIST IKON

Posted in city of fremantle, roundhouse, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on April 28, 2017

Roundhouse

 

I am very disappointed and extremely annoyed to hear that Fremantle Council has yet again not budgeted to get power into the very popular Roundhouse tourists destination, so that the volunteer guides can move forward with their plans for new and modern displays.

It does not cost the City of Fremantle a cent to keep the Roundhouse open 363 days a year, as it is run by just 40 volunteers, who also open the historic building up after hours for weddings and event.

Fremantle Councillors constantly lament that they want to activate Arthur Head when the Roundhouse receives 130,000+ visitors a year, but they are not willing to support the tourism industry.

I am totally flabbergasted about that when Tourism WA keeps telling us that tourism is a huge growth industry.

It only needs $ 10,000 to run power into the cells for interactive displays, so that the guides can start to get the funding for the $ 200,000 project for which the professionally designed plans are ready.

I often criticise the lack of priorities at Fremantle Council that seems to always be able to find money for greeny projects, but when it comes to support one of the most visited tourist destinations in our city it just can’t be bothered.

No, let’s just donate another $ 14,000 for a tiny parklet in Wray Avenue that only a handful of people use, but stuff a volunteer organisation that looks after 130,000 tourists a year.  It’s pathetic and I am disgusted!

Roel Loopers

PACKED FULL FREO FRIDAY

Posted in city of fremantle, festivals, street arts festival, Uncategorized by freoview on April 14, 2017

wahonk 1

It is packed full in Fremantle on Good Friday with standing traffic in the West End of town, the Street Arts Festival on at the Esplanade and the WAHONK band practising inside the Roundhouse. Hard to keep the tourists ou with so much invigorating loud music and colourful costumes.

Two drum bands and a brass section, the Wasamba and Jukadelics waking up this gorgeous sleepy town.

Today at 5 pm they will be outside Cicerello’s on Saturday at the Walyalup Pitch at noon and 6 pm, Sunday on South Terrace at noon and 6 pm and Monday at noon at the National Hotel Pitch.

Check out the full program on line at http://www.streetartsfestival.com.au

Roel Loopers

WEDDING AT THE FREMANTLE ROUNDHOUSE

Posted in arthur head, fremantle, roundhouse, wedding by freoview on March 31, 2017

 

A beautiful wedding next to the historic Fremantle Roundhouse on Friday afternoon.

Power for the music had to be supplied after hours by the Glen Cowans photo gallery because the city has not made provisions to have an easily accessible power point for weddings.

Roel Loopers

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SAX IN THE WHALERS TUNNEL

Posted in arthur head, fremantle, heritage, music by freoview on February 27, 2017

sax

 

The beautiful sound of a saxophone came out of the Fremantle historic Whalers Tunnel this morning and what soul touching and melancholic music it is.

I wonder if the saxophonist is the same man who sometimes plays in the Fremantle Port underpass at Peter Hughes Drive.

Roel Loopers

 

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FREO’S BATHERS BEACH ART PRECINCT SHAMBLES

Posted in art, arthur head, bathers beach art precinct, city of fremantle by freoview on February 24, 2017

It is often difficult to write critical articles on my blog because Fremantle is a small community and more like a family to me and a place where I have a lot of friends.

While I don’t mind to stir the pot a bit now and then I don’t enjoy negativity, but sometimes there is no other way and what is happening at the Bathers Beach Art Precinct is such a case.

The thought bubble of making one of our state’s most significant historic precincts into an arts precinct to activate it was flawed from the start and the officers somehow have to implement what is not practical and never  was a good idea in the first place.

Small art businesses have failed at Captain’s Lane while the very professional Glen Cowans photography gallery bravely soldiers on offering outstanding photo art. The Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre has also failed and the art that has been on offer in the other cottages was mediocre, to say it kindly.

Now the next thought bubble has arrived and the No 10 cottage at Captain’s Lane will be included in the City’s Studios Program as low-cost non-commercial work spaces.

The artists will not be required to open their doors to the public and only need to have an open door event every six months.

This will do absolutely nothing to help activate the area and is worse than it was when the Fremantle Pilots, Fremantle Society and Crookes family occupied the three cottages.

The Society held community events on the lawn and inside the cottage, the pilots were there 24/7 and so were the lovely family where the kids brought friends from Lance Holt School, and engaged with visitors to Arthur’s Head.

What the City of Fremantle has created is a night-time ghost town that has attracted homeless people who defecate in the backyards, and during the day and weekends it is often only the Glen Cowans Gallery that is open to the public.

In the meantime the Roundhouse that receives 130,000 visitors a year is struggling to get support from the City and we have now been waiting for well over a year to get power into the Roundhouse so we can start applying for funds for stunning new interactive displays. We are activating the historic area, but no one at Fremantle Council gives a rat’s arse about that, because it is more important to continue with the flawed art precinct concept.

Down at J Shed the artists have been denied access to the No 1 studio to use it as exhibition space during the Sculpture@Bathers show , but I hear the City will announce today who is moving in till July, when Sunset Events is supposed to start some kind of business there.

And let me make this very clear! I do not blame the officers who really try very hard, but it is the ineptness and piecemeal governance of the area by Fremantle Council that really pisses me off!

Roel Loopers

IS THERE LOGIC IN FREO MADNESS?

Posted in city of fremantle, fire, local government by freoview on February 17, 2017

Bureaucracy-like car salesmen, lawyers, politicians, Dutchmen, journalists, and Roel Loopers, to name just a few-has a bad reputation.

I know one should never generalise so let me declare that I have often dealt with excellent public servants at the City of Fremantle and all levels of government.

Why am I writing this? Because I thought there must be some reason and order within City of Fremantle madness I do not understand. It’s probably not the fault of an officer but of the system and lack of rules.

Yesterday the two new fire extinguishers in the Roundhouse were tested and the contractor told me the only other devise he needed to test at Arthur Head for CoF was the one in the Gunners Cottage, which is the office of the Roundhouse volunteers.

This means that none of the artist’s studios at Captain’s and Mrs Trivett lanes have fire extinguishers installed although some of them have highly flammable goods in them. I don’t know a painter who would not have turpentine in their studio.

It seems illogical to me that the Roundhouse, that is highly unlikely to ever catch fire, needs to have two fire extinguishers, but highly flammable artist’s studios in tiny residential cottages that are also open to the public don’t have any.

If a fire broke out in one of the cottages it could very easily and rapidly spread to the others along the lane and all that heritage would be gone.

Roel Loopers

SO HAPPY I LIVE IN FREO!

Posted in aboriginal, fremantle, heritage, history, tourism by freoview on February 13, 2017

One of the things I very much enjoy is showing people around Fremantle and a few of the hidden treasures they might not otherwise discover, so today I spent two hours with the lovely Italian Elisabetta and Matilda.

Matilda lives in Freo and runs the cute fashion boutique and Birkenstock outlet Creato a Mano at Marine Parade and her husband Roberto runs the equally cute Galleria D’Arte West End just a few metres awy, so go and check them out!

Elisabetta though lives in beautiful Rome, so hence the need for a guided tour.

The Roundhouse and Arthur Head had to be the starting point and soon we walked into Bruce from Replants who is setting up a tree installation on Bathers Beach for the Sculpture@Bathers show which starts on the 24th of this month.

The former long jetty and ocean pool and the mortuary and kerosine store were clearly a must and gave me the opportunity to talk about the horrendous Rottnest Island indigenous Quod prison.

From there we wandered into Notre Dame University territory. We had a few sneak peeks inside some of the gorgeous adaptive reuse heritage buildings, the beautiful library and also the stunning Aboriginal art collection of UNDA. I recommend anyone to take a guided tour of the campus on Friday morning which UNDA organises. Contact them to book it!

The flat where FBI boss J Edgar Hoover lived, which is now part of Kerry Hill architects in Mouat Street, is also largely unknown. Kerry Hill by the way designed the new City of Fremantle Civic Centre at Kings Square.

I showed my guests the PS Art Space and studios upstairs, the former Police Station at Victoria Quay and the historic artworks inside B Shed, even the toilets, and wandered around the Maritime Museum under the watchful eyes of a lone Nankeen heron.

The old submarine, the connection to Gallipoli and the migrant wall were a talking point for us that connected Freo to Europe.

From there past the J Shed art studios and back through the Whalers Tunnel for a nice iced coffee at my friends at Chalkys in the former Trams Building.

What is there not to love about Freo. So happy I live here!

Roel Loopers

 

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