Fremantle Stuff > parks > Boo Park > playground

Booyeembara Park Playground

Booyeembara Park is on the corner of Stevens and Montreal Sts Fremantle. This page is about the playground.

This map of part of Booyeembara Park (on an excellent sign since trashed and taken down and away) shows the playground in the centre. The actual playground is being developed about where the two cream ovals are to the left, and not where the word PLAYGROUND appears. The plan for the bocce court on the extreme left edge has been abandoned. The red/green FORMAL GARDENS just above the centre of the plan are actually a metal road.

No plastic swings and climbing frames for Fremantle. Update: I spoke too soon; there are now plastic swings.

Just two great lumps of tree.

With carving on them ...

... suggesting Indigenous themes?

The next stage. The beautiful object in the photograph is a metal sign showing a map, in situ as at 1 June 2013. (Click to enlarge a bit.) The designer's detailed plan has somehow been transferred here, onto metal and in colour. I wanted to record it before it gets graffitied. (Update: it was taken away when the playground was opened, without having been damaged.)

Here's the first tangible stage of the playground additions (as @ 27 June 2013): the eight supports for the shade-cloth.

I was worried that they might pour concrete on that plastic, so I was relieved to see sand on it in the snaps below (as @ 2 July 2013). (If I'd read the sign I photographed above, I would have seen that it specified mulch, which is what was in fact put over the sand later.)

The wall is now mortared, and the tubano drums may be glimpsed in the distance, now in situ.
Update, 24 July 2013. That whole wall had to be taken apart and moved as little as 40cm because an assessment found that it was too close to the swings at some points. The Council is now safe from an action for damages if a child is injured by falling onto the stone. That's a relief.

The swing area is now covered with mulch (31 July 2013). While this will help to prevent injury, I wonder how healthy it would be if ingested. Still, it's better than concrete.

Here are the tubano drums, with the concrete still setting. ... Later, on the first day the playground was actually in use, I was amused to see two or three boys about 9 yrs old who were just as happy climbing on the drums as hitting them. They were also just as happy climbing on the dead trees in the playground as in a live one nearby. I gather they were in a fantasy about defending territory with invisible walls and bombs and so on.

The tubano drums from the northern side.

The other new thing today (4 July 2013) is the installation of the 'eyechimes'.

From the northern distance they look an industrial installation, rather than playground musical instruments.


Here they are, a month later [still in 2013] ready for use. The chimes are made of strong thick tubular metal. Those coloured bumps are not to hit, as I thought they might be, but are the terminations of rods holding another bar in the centre of each cylinder, which I assume are resonators. They are very effective: if you hit two adjoining cylinders and put your head between them, the noise is possibly literally deafening, or would be if you were silly enough to stay like that for some time.

Update: the red knobs on the ends of the striking sticks only lasted a couple of weeks before some idiot found he could pull them off, defeating the whole purpose of the design of the chimes.

Another update, a couple of years later, in 2015. The Council replaced the original handles with the separate red knobs with a pair of strikers which were moulded in one, so that the bogans could not pull the heads off. Their response was to completely remove one striker, including the very strong wire cable. (Why would they go to all that trouble?) And they did pull the head section off the other. So now the chimes are left with only one striker, with only the shank part of the thing. It's a disappointing encounter for families with young children, who find that they can only make a 'clunk' sound instead of the intended 'chime'.

By the way, the chimes play (when they are able to) the notes of a pentatonic scale, from the A below middle C to the C above that, in which I believe is therefore aeolian mode.


Update early 2017. For some reason I cannot imagine, five of the seven chimes have been removed, leaving only the two highest in pitch.


When I noticed this, there was already no sign that the other five had been there, even though the bases had been set in concrete, so must have taken quite a bit of digging and smashing to remove.
Update ...

chimes 4

... And then there were six, May 2017. Note that the higher A chime, second from the left, is at the wrong height. But mostly note that the lower C, which would have been black, and second from the right, is missing. Who has done this, and why?


Back to the swings. On Saturday 2 August 2013, I found the temporary fence gone, the sandy slope grassed, and the playground in use, lacking only the shadecloth.


The swings have chains across the centre, above the seat, so to get in you can't just sit down but have to put your legs through the gap. I suppose that makes it safer, tho it's certainly less easy to use.

There's more than one new tree (tho this one is at least dormant if not moribund) two new benches and a new garden bed.
Update: spring sprang, and the deciduous trees have also sprung into new life.

Six years later, 25 July 2019, there's a new piece of play equipment going in next to the swings.

The next day, 26 July, there's a base for ... something. It's a Friday, and anyway the concrete will have to set for a couple days, before we can see what kind of thing it might be.


... And it's a ... climbing frame, 27 July, tho it doesn't look complete. There's a ditch around it, so there's something else major to be added.


It's a wall.


Here's the rest of it:


I guess they're going to fill it all with wood chips.


It's filled with white sand, and has grass up to the limestone surround: very nice! Here it is ready for business. But the only kid in it this day was more interested in digging in the sand than trying to climb anything.


I can at last show you a few kids actually climbing the thing.


My work here is done.

Garry Gillard | New: 19 January, 2011 | Now: 16 August, 2019