Fremantle Stuff > books and papers > Edmonds et al., 1971. See also the 1973 update, Changing Fremantle.

Preservation and Change

M.J. Edmonds, K.G. Bott, J.E.V. Birch, E.S. Morris, R.McK. Campbell

Edmonds, M.J. & K.G. Bott, J.E.V. Birch, E.S. Morris, R.McK. Campbell 1971, Preservation and Change, Fremantle City Council.

Copyright Fremantle City Council, 1971. This Report may be quoted without permission provided the quotation is suitably acknowledged.

[epigraph]

There is much in our cities that needs to be changed, and there is no reason why preservation should prevent desirable change.

But changes which destroy something good are only desirable if they produce something which is clearly better.

The surest way to avoid a conflict between the old and the new is to plan preservation and change together, keeping what ought to be kept, and ensuring that what new development there is goes well with it.

It would be folly, whilst seeking to create a better urban environment to cast away valuable assets we already possess.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION 1

WHY PRESERVE ANYTHING? An emotional issue - how the problem arises - the assumptions made 3

WHAT TO PRESERVE? What constitutes historic significance - how to measure it - the criteria evolved - the buildings and subjects - the categories and their definitions - recommendations 7

A DIFFERENT KIND OF PRESERVATION Environmental preservation - the western end of High Street - a unique environment - a unique opportunity 43

SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS Summary of the report - its assumptions, its claims and its recommendations 48

APPENDICES

A. The list of criteria 57

B. The points scores of all subjects 64

page 1

INTRODUCTION

Council agreed in April, 1969 that an enquiry should be made into the question of preservation of historic buildings and places in Fremantle, with the object of suggesting a Council policy on the matter. The following officers were nominated to undertake the project:

The Deputy Town Clerk, Mr. M. J. Edmonds

The City Planner, Mr. K. G. Bott

The City Librarian, Mr. J. E. V. Birch

The City Building Surveyor, Mr. E.S. Morriss

Architect, Mr. R. McK. Campbell

An interim report was submitted in November, 1969. This report indicated the manner in which the project was being undertaken, and commented that a great deal more appeared to be involved than simply deciding whether a particular building or object is worthy of being preserved.

The report asked that, until the group's findings were complete, the owners of a number of premises with obvious historic interest should be asked to co-operate with Council by conferring with it before taking any steps to demolish or alter these particular premises. This was done, and the project has since been further developed to the point where the officers concerned now feel able to submit a full report to Council, with detailed conclusions. These are embodied in the report that follows.

The report is a lengthy one; we feel that this serves to underline the importance of the subject with which it deals, and

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ask members to read it very carefully.

In doing so we would point out that the report is breaking new ground for this Council.

What Council is being asked to evaluate here is very much more difficult, more demanding, than the decisions normally required of it.

In this case we can not give neat and simple quantitative measures of the benefits and the costs.

The issues must here be measured in social terms, and not in dollars. As the dollar sign has come to be our only readily accepted measure, this poses real problems.

We have found this project difficult, but very rewarding.

We hope Council does not find it as difficult.

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WHY PRESERVE ANYTHING?

Few proposals generate as much feeling, and as diverse opinion, as the demolition of a well-known old building.

Reactions range the whole spectrum from

"Hands off our heritage ! " to ''Knock the bloody thing over ! ”

Epithets such as "bulldozer mentality" and "Hysterical Society" have been heard by all of us and probably used by all of us.

Where does a Council fit in to all this ?

Or should that read simply -

Does a Council fit in to all this 7

Let's start to find an answer by looking first at the events that create the issue of "old versus new".

So long as a building is structurally sound and serving a useful purpose, and for so long as the land on which it stands is not wanted by someone for a more intensive or different use, then there is no problem; the present building remains.

Typically, a problem arises when someone can see economic advantage in replacing an existing building with a new one, to make economically better or more intensive use of the land on which it stands.

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In the vast majority of cases everybody is happy to see the redevelopment take place.

What we are concerned with here is the odd, rare occasion when the building to be replaced has historic significance.

The conclusions and submissions which follow are based on two assumptions

(i)   that every individual, including the property owner, has a responsibility to the community; that the community has the right to impose some limit on his range of options in respect to preservation of an historic building, just as it does in respect to the type and standard of building he would erect in its place.

(ii)  that the preservation of buildings and places which reflect a City's history is significant and important to its citizens.

We believe the first point is unarguable, but feel that the second warrants close scrutiny. Satisfaction that this point is valid leads inevitably to conclusions of major importance to the City.

One way of testing the proposition - that historic preservation is significant and important to a City - is to contemplate a City that holds and practises the opposite view.

Visualise Fremantle without St. John's Square, without

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the Church or the Town Hall. Imagine them all replaced with modern high-rise commercial development.

Picture the Museum and Art Centre housed in new contemporary architecture, and the old building removed.

Imagine the new Port Authority building standing where the Round House is, and all the buildings west of Market Street replaced with Westgate-type shopping and offices.

It might look extremely attractive (if a little crowded).

But would it be "Fremantle" ?

What would there be to distinguish Fremantle as a City, or would it look like just another part of Perth, Sydney, or any modern City ?

There is a Fremantle identity - a "Fremantle feeling" - that is important to Fremantle people. The visual environment created by certain buildings and places, together with people's awareness of their history, make a major contribution to this feeling that Fremantle is a separate place, and a special place.

If a City is to have meaning it must reflect the people who have made it and show something of the life of the generations through which it has evolved.

A UNESCO statement on Preservation puts it very well

"Preservation of our common cultural heritage is a moral obligation which rests squarely on

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the shoulders of every citizen. Regardless of contemporary pressures, each generation has a profound responsibility to preserve undiminished the historical and artistic heritage it has received from the past, and from new increments, and pass the total heritage on, unimpaired, to the next generation."

This puts it rather grandly, but we believe that it underlines the essential points - a City is more, much more, than a place of commerce and exchange; and we who are entrusted with the City's wellbeing today bear responsibilities to those who will follow.

"For the sake of the future, men should honour the past; it
gives to the present time its significance."

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WHAT TO PRESERVE?

I suppose our early answer to this question of "what to preserve" was simply "that which has historic significance".

Two problems appeared immediately -

(i)   What constitutes historic significance, and
(ii)  how to measure it ?

At the outset we accepted that all the judgments to be made were subjective judgments. There are no quantitative measures of. such things as "history" and "significance" and "character". We were dealing with opinions and not straight facts.

But we also saw that it was possible to structure our approach to these subjective judgments. We could lay down a framework against which opinions could be consistently measured.

This approach evolved the List of Criteria, which is outlined in detail in Appendix A. We feel this list gives answers to both the questions posed at the head of this page. Our reasons for including each criterion are given in the appendix.

In summary, the criteria are
*  Historic significance and/or sacred character
*  Beauty
*  Technical interest
*  Age
*  Socio-economic value
*  Rarity value
*  Prestige value

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We assessed every subject building or place in each of these seven categories. Our "scores" are set out in Appendix B.

We first did this individually; we then compared results, and evolved an acceptable, consensus evaluation.

Close examinations, a lot of thinking and even more discussions finally resolved our findings into three groupings.

The reasons prompting these separate groupings are of paramount importance. So too are the differences between them.

Firstly, we reject the concept of preservation "at all costs".

The possibility must always be allowed that some alternative land use proposal will arise that will bring more benefit to the community than the preservation of a particular historic building or place.

This observation is meant to be completely objective, and therefore needs to be balanced by the equally objective suggestion that, as a community, we Western Australians tend to under-rate the importance of our own history and the contribution to it that is made by historic buildings and places.

We said earlier in this report that the dollar sign is pretty much our only universally accepted measure; this it seems is still true.

But perhaps it is a sign of the State's growing maturity to

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admit that is less true today than ever before.

As a community we are beginning to question the old proposition that "dollars = happiness", and to concern ourselves with the "quality" of life in WA.

In moves to preserve our unique and wonderful environment, the preservation of our places of history is an important part - and very many people have come to recognised the fact.
Having stipulated, therefore, that the case for historic preservation should neither be overstated nor under-rated, we first submit to you a list of nine subjects that come within Category One.

The nine subjects subjects have certain important features which are defined in our description of Category One:

These building, places or objects, whose historic significance is of such importance that no alternative land use, either now or in in the future, can be envisaged that would contribute as much to the life of the city of Fremantle.
Category One classifications warrant specific and positive action on the part of Council to secure their preservation. This report would be incomplete unless the precise nature of such

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"specific and positive action" was indicated in respect to each item.

We therefore now list each subject in Category One, together with the action we recommend that Council take.

1. "THE SPOT", on the Esplanade

"the weather being unsettled and boisterous it was not till the second of May that I could land at the Swan River distant miles from Cockburn Sound; on that day formal possession was taken of the whole of the West Coast of New Holland in the name of His Brittanic Majesty and the Union Jack was hoisted on the South Head of the River."

So wrote Captain Fremantle later in 1829.

The flagpole on the Esplanade, where Foundation Day is celebrated each June, is of course only near the spot where Captain Fremantle hoisted the flag. The actual spot was most probably in or near the site of the Round House.

What we commemorate is the founding of our City, and of our State of Western Australia, and not simply a piece of ground.

"The Spot" is therefore, in this sense, the area adjacent to the flagpole on the Esplanade, and as the birthplace of the City and State is of absolute importance.

Its preservation for all time must not only be guaranteed, but its appearance must reflect its importance to every Western Australian.

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We therefore recommend that the State Government be asked to do two things :-

(i)   to re-dedicate an appropriate area of the Esplanade as an historic site, and to provide that it will continue to be in the care and control of the City of Fremantle; and

(ii)  to undertake to join with the City of Fremantle in a plan of development of the site, to properly reflect its importance to the State; this undertaking to include the major part of the cost involved.
We further recommend that, as a prelude to this approach to the State Government, the Superintendent of Parks and Reserves prepare a detailed plan of re-development, and that this plan be submitted to the close scrutiny of Council first.

Our feeling is that a very great deal can be done to the site to make it the premier place of history in Western Australia. We put forward the view that with such enormous growth and change as is now being experienced, the need for the proper recognition of the State's beginnings is of the utmost importance.

2. KING'S SQUARE

Bounded by Adelaide, Queen, Newman and William Streets, King's Square in itself has a measure of historical significance.

The two structures within it which have great historic significance are of course St. John's Church and the Town Hall. These are

page 12 has an image of Kings Square

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covered in detail in the next two succeeding items.

Before doing so, we feel it is necessary to recognise that both these historic structures must be viewed in their context of King’s Square as an entity.

Probably the one single feature that does most to make Fremantle a unique and separate place, is King's Square.

Visitors often express the view that it is in King's Square that they become conscious of the separate and distinctive identity of this City.

Simply stated, Fremantle would not be Fremantle without it.

It is therefore imperative that the Square's present character be preserved. While this is firstly a town planning consideration, the preservation of this special character is assumed in our assessments of the Church and the Town Hall.

We would add that the appearance and value of the Square will be considerably enhanced, of course, when the present car-parking area can be replaced with further landscaped park development.

3. ST. JOHN'S CHURCH, in King's Square

Until 1872 the Church of England was the Established Church in Western Australia as in Great Britain, "her Bishop . . . ex officio a member of the Executive Council; and her Chaplains, Imperial officials". (Nicolay, Handbook. of W. Australia. 2nd. ed. (1896), p. 235.) 

In 1872, in the estimates passed by the Legislative Assembly, those for the Church of England were removed from the Fixed Establishments and were placed with the grants to other Christian denominations under the heading Ecclesiastical.

What appeared to be no more than a form of words was in fact an act of disestablishment!

Historically, then, the Church of England occupies a special place in our history, and the site upon which St. John's Church was built (the first Church was opened in August 1843 in the presence of the Governor and his entourage) is one of the oldest Church sites in the State. Only All Saints Church, Upper Swan (opened 1841) is at present known to have antedated St. John's.

In the 1840s the population was predominantly Church of England. The Census of 1848 shows 436 members of the Church of England in a population of 503.

The present Church, designed by W. Smith of London and regarded at the time of its erection as the best completed example of ecclesiastical architecture in the State, was built 1879-1882 at a cost of £7, 500. The roof shingles were replaced by Welsh slates in 1914.

The bell turret, the gift of a parishioner, was added in 1906-7 to complete Smith's design.

It is a good indication of St. John's importance to say that the foregoing notes given on it are probably unnecessary.

Still we

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have put them forward to remind of, and to underline, its historic importance to this City.

On considerations of historic significance alone, we can see no alternative land use - either now or at any time in the future - that would bring more good to the citizens of Fremantle.

When its contribution to urban landscape is taken to account also, we believe that the proposition becomes unchallengeable.

We submit that positive action is needed to secure its preservation. We remind you that the half of the Square on which the Church stands is the property of the Anglican Church authorities.

It is conceivable that these authorities could well decide, at any time in the future, that their particular responsibilities might be better discharged by disposing of the property.

We therefore recommend that an approach be made to the Anglican diocesan authorities to determine their views and intentions, and to find out what possible problems might need to be overcome to ensure that St. John's Church, and its surrounds, will always remain.

We would be very surprised indeed if the Church authorities did not share a common interest and concern with us on this matter, but it should certainly not be presumed.

The interests and viewpoints of both Council and Church should be clearly known to each other, and mutually resolved - now.

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4. THE TOWN HALL., in King's Square

Fremantle's Town Hall was erected between 1885 and 1887. Designed by Melbourne Architects Grainger and D'Ebro, it was built at a cost of £15, 000 by local builder E. Kearne.

A clock, "with Cambridge chimes similar to one which had recently been installed in Liverpool", was installed in the clock- tower. The clock cost £748. 10. 0. , and was supplied by local watchmaker William Hooper.

The Church of England successfully claimed ownership of King's Square, and the Council bought from them for the sum of £500 a right-of-way through the Square to continue High Street in an easterly direction and the portion of the Square lying to the south.

Architecturally the Town Hall harmonises perfectly with the old Church, and gives an air of dignity and distinction to the City's centre.

When it decided to build the Town Hall, the Council of 1884 committed itself to a capital expenditure equivalent to no less than ten years' total revenue.

To bring the point home, today's Council would do likewise if it committed a capital expenditure of $15 million to such an undertaking.

What a tremendous confidence the civic leaders of that day showed in the future of Fremantle.

page 17 probably shows an image of the Town Hall

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There can be few, if any, historic landmarks in the evolution of a City which are as significant as the construction of its first Town Hall. Its erection marks the City's coming of age, the time when all concerned know that it is "here to stay".

Just as the civic authority is the focal point for the whole community, so the first Town Hall must be a focal point in the history of that community.

Our Town Hall has the qualities of being pleasing to the eye, and of continuing to give useful and necessary service to its citizens.

It is also, to our knowledge, the only Town Hall in all the Perth region that remains splendidly intact and unaltered from the time of its construction.

We therefore recommend that Council declare it an historic building, and show it as such in its formal town planning scheme.

As this is the first instance of a recommendation to this effect, it may be a good point to make very clear just what such action will achieve, and what it will not achieve.

The declaration of a particular property as a Historic Building, or Historic Site, or Historic Monument, under Council's town planning scheme will not secure its preservation for all time.

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It will simply ensure that no Council - today's or any in the future - will be able to remove it by simple resolution. The fact that a Council has in the past placed sufficient importance on it as to formally declare it as an historically important place, should ensure that succeeding Councils give it proper recognition in their considerations.

5. THE MUSEUM AND ART CENTRE, Ord Street

Here we have a perfect example of the important point made in our remarks on the criteria evolved to assess the preservation claims of our subjects; namely, that an historic building should continue to serve a completely useful purpose for today's citizens.

The Museum/Art Centre building holds very considerable historic significance in itself, because of what took place there.

But more than this, it represents a number of things that are of greater historic significance (the convict era, the attitudes of a past age to the less fortunate, the architectural styles of the times).

All of these values can be, and now will be, realised while at the same time it caters in material part to the activities of today's citizens as a Museum and an Art Centre.

It is interesting to ask ourselves now, whether the restoration of this historic building was undertaken as a means of providing the City with its own Museum and Art Centre, or whether the establishment of a Museum and Art Centre was undertaken as a means of preserving an historic building!

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The most satisfying answer of all is that, now, it doesn't matter. Both purposes will be served to the full - and each will be more and better served because of the other.

This project is really a classic example of "purposeful preservation". Our only recommendation here is that it should be formally declared an Historic Building, for the reasons given previously in this report.

6. THE ROUND HOUSE, at the western end of High Street

The Round House is probably the oldest surviving building in the State. It was designed by Henry W. Reveley, the Colony's first Civil Engineer.

Built of white cut stone it was begun in September 1830 and completed in January 1831.

Though called the Round House, and sometimes described as octagonal, it is in fact twelve-sided. It had eight cells. Outside, until they were abolished in 1849, stood stocks. "Prior to the Colony becoming a penal settlement, minor offenders were incarcerated in the Round House, but those convicted of more serious crimes were transported to Tasmania, " (Hitchcock, p. 22)

"In the convict days (1850-1868) a bell was rung at 9. 50 p.m., and anyone in the streets ten minutes after it ceased ringing who could not give the answer "Free" to the policeman's challenge of "Bond or Free ?" was promptly escorted to the Hound House. " (Ibid, p. 34)

Page 21 may show an image of the Round House (there is one in the document somewhere). See the note below.

Pages 22-23 are missing, including the beginning of the entry for Samson House. See the note below.

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a way of life, that typified an era in the City's history. Its associations with an outstanding Fremantle family are no less important for being so obvious.

We have no doubt that in years to come The Samson House will be one of Fremantle's greatest historic assets.

8. THE PROCLAMATION TREE

The Proclamation Tree was planted on October 1, 1890 to commemorate the granting of responsible government to the Colony.

It is significant that it was planted in Fremantle. Apart from its associations with the State's and the City's history, the tree performs a completely useful function as a traffic divider; no matter what changes in traffic and road patterns may take place in the vicinity, expert opinion suggests that the tree can perform the same function.

Aesthetically it is extremely valuable, and so in its own way the Proclamation Tree qualifies for Category One.

We recommend the tree and its immediate surrounds be declared a Historic Monument.

9. STATUARY

Three items of statuary were considered as eligible for Category One. Obviously these items qualify easily; they do in fact have historic interest, and as they can easily be preserved, then why not do so?

page 25 shows an image

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First, the C. Y. O'Connor statue at Victoria Quay. Suffice to say, we think, that it should be preserved, and that it will be.

Secondly, the Marmion memorial adjacent to the Proclamation Tree. Apart from the fact that it commemorates an important Fremantle citizen, it is one of the very, very few such monuments that exist in Fremantle. We don't seem, as a community, to erect statues or masonry monuments in our public places.

Thirdly, there is the Maitland Brown memorial at the Esplanade, Again its history is interesting, and again it is so easy to retain.

We suggest that, as and when The Spot at the Esplanade is developed in the way we have suggested earlier, these items could be strategically relocated there, and would contribute to the atmosphere and environment we hope will be created at The Spot.

This completes our list of items for Category One. They are few in number

This fact underlines how rare are truly significant and historic buildings or places in Fremantle.

We close this part of the report with a re-statement of the Category One definition :

"Those buildings, places or objects, whose historic significance is of such importance that no alternative land use, either now or in the future, can be envisaged that would contribute as much to the life of the City of Fremantle. "

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Our second group - Category Two - also contains nine subjects.

First, to distinguish between these first and second categories, our definition of Category Two is :-

"Those buildings, places or objects whose historical significance is of such importance that the demolition of, or major alteration to, any of them should be impossible without specific Council permission; this permission to be granted only if Council is fully satisfied that a greater social, economic or aesthetic benefit will thereby be bestowed on the people of Fremantle than is given to them by the retention of these historically important buildings or objects."

In each case, we seriously doubt that any alternative could bring more benefit - and we stress that we are talking of benefit to Fremantle people. We are, however, less certain than in the case of Category One subjects.

Our recommendation in respect to each subject in Category Two is that the land and building be classified within Council's Town Planning Scheme as an Historic Building, whose demolition or major modification is prohibited without the specific approval of Council; where approval is granted, it may be subject to whatever conditions Council sees fit to impose.

We recognise that, in a few instances, such action might conceivably involve a liability for some measure of compensation. This should be accepted, just as it is accepted by Council in other areas of town planning.

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May we now submit our list of Category Two subjects; where appropriate, we have added more detailed recommendations in respect to individual buildings.

1. THE GOVERNMENT STORES BUILDING, Cliff Street

Cliff Street is probably of greater historical interest than any other street in Fremantle, if not in Western Australia.

Before the inner harbour was created in 1892, every personarriving in the Colony travelled from the Esplanade area along Cliff Street, and then either went into Fremantle along High Street or to a river jetty at the end of Cliff Street, for transport to Perth.

After 1851, all of them would have walked or ridden past the Government Stores building.

In his Report for January - June, 1851, Captain Henderson, Comptroller-General of Convicts, referred to the need for Mcommissariat stores and offices”, and noted that plans were in course of preparation. In his next Report (July - December 1851) he noted that the offices had been completed, and that one wing of the stores was progressing rapidly. The completion of the Stores was announced in the Report of January - June, 1852.

Its excellent design, and the rarity in this State of the Georgian style in which it is designed, make it of particular interest and value.

The building was "the centre of overseas trade" until 1903 when the Collector of Customs and the Chief Inspector (Michael

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Samson) moved to the new building in Phillimore Street.

We have something more to say towards the end of this report about preservation in this western end of old Fremantle; but in the specific case of the Government Stores building, we make the point that, when the Government no longer wants it, we believe that the people of Fremantle can make very good use of it.

The building has such potential that it could serve any number of purposes; for example it would make a marvellous youth centre, or a unique restaurant, or a transport museum. (Take a good look through it, and see if you can't offer even better thoughts.)

Specifically we recommend that the State Government be informed of the Council's long-term interest in the building, and asked to indicate its plans for the building's continued use for Government purposes.

2. FREMANTLE BOYS' SCHOOL, Adelaide

Information regarding education in the early years of the Colony is scanty. The Government was contributing towards the salary of Lancelot T. Cooke, schoolmaster in Perth, in the 1830s; and after Sir James Stirling's return from England in 1834 the sum of £50 each was allocated to Perth, Fremantle, Guildford, King George Sound, and Augusta for schoolmasters' salaries. It was not until 1856 that this system was changed, when Governor Kennedy remodelled it along the lines of the Irish National Schools.

Fremantle Boys' School was built in 1852-4. It was design-

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ed by William Aynsford Sanford, Colonial Secretary, a talented amateur and Gothic Revival enthusiast. He also designed the old Perth Boys' School in St. George's Terrace.

Mr. George Bland Humble was one of the early headmasters. He retired from the position in 1889. From 1874 to 1883 he was Clerk to the Fremantle Town Council. He then became Town Clerk; at first in a part-time capacity, but later full-time.

Thomas Albert Blarney (afterwards Field Marshall Sir Thomas Albert Blarney, CBE, KCB) taught at the school from 1903 to 1906. His genius for military affairs revealed itself in his organizing a school cadet corps, and His Worship the Mayor recalls seeing Blarney's cadets marching around the schoolyard to the sound of a drum and pipe band.

The original building, built in 1852-4, is a T-shaped structure, now completely hidden by later additions. A contemporary lithograph shows it to have been quite a charming building. The roof of the main room is of the open timber construction noted in the Gaol Chapel; and as in the latter the beams are, surprisingly, laminated.

For more than 100 years, Fremantle Boys' School played an important part in the formal education of an impressive number of distinguished sons of Fremantle.

Councillors will know that the State Government has indicated its intention to restore and preserve the original building, and that Council has officially supported this proposal.

Pages 31

3. THE COURTHOUSE, Marine Terrace

The Courthouse at the corner of Marine Terrace and Mouat Street was built during the 1880's, and replaced Fremantle's first courthouse at Arthur's Head.

It was built as a police station and local court. "A dignified, well-proportioned building, it was made to last. The walls are up to two feet thick and till a few years ago the roofing was lead. Beneath the existing floors, the remains of cells can still be seen." (Passing Era (1967), p. 44.)

Since 1900 the old building has been used for a variety of other purposes.

Like the Government Stores, it is within an area about which we comment later in this report, and it is also a building which could serve a wide variety of useful community purposes.

Again as for the Government Stores, we recommend that the State Government be informed of the Council's long-term interest in the building, and asked to indicate its plans for the building's future use for any government or social purpose.

4. FREMANTLE GRAMMAR SCHOOL, High Street

In 1882 St. John's Church Vestry decided to establish a Grammar School in a large room at the rear of the Parsonage".

Page 32 is missing and contained more information about the Grammar School at the top of High Street, and Henry Briggs. See the note below.

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Assembly and began a successful career, in politics. He was knighted in 1916, and died in Fremantle on 8 June, 1919.

The School continued for some time under a new headmaster, but eventually closed down. The old building subsequently housed a school for girls, known as Girton College. This was closed down in the 1930s; and after a period of vacancy the building was used for a variety of war-time uses, until in 1945 it was purchased by its present owners and converted into a Church.

The building is a handsome stone structure, bearing on the south wall the "coat-of-arms" of the Fremantle Grammar School.

An interesting architectural feature of this old building is the open timber collar-beam roof.

5. GAOL GATEWAY AND CHAPEL

In his Report for January- June, 1852, Captain Henderson reported that as from November of that year he intended to concentrate on the permanent prison". The parsimonious Mother of Parliaments having been re-assured that the buildings would be "of the simplest and plainest construction, and that all ornamental expense has been carefully avoided", work began on the Prison.

It was completed in 1859.

In a despatch dated October 5, 1852, Captain Henderson wrote: "In making the new plan for the prison I have adopted the plan pursued for Pentonville (a 'model prison' designed by Sir Joshua Jebb) and placed the chapel in the centre of the building. "

page 34 probably shows an image of the prison

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Since Henderson sought and 'carefully considered' the advice of Colonel (later Sir Joshua) Jebb, the design of the prison would presumably have been in accordance with the latter's enlightened and humane views on the treatment of prisoners.

Described by the Oldhams (op. cit. , p. 32) as "a fine Georgian structure", and attributed to Captain Wray, the Gateway is an eye-catching feature, impressive in its simplicity and solidity. The Chapel, too, has the same impressive simplicity. A surprising feature of the roof construction is the use of laminated beams (see remarks on Fremantle Grammar School).

6. WARDERS QUARTERS, Henderson Street

On the 1st June 1850, the Scindian arrived with the first contingent of 75 prisoners. With them came a party of 54 pensioners, with their wives and children, numbering in all 172 persons.

By the end of 1851 these pensioners had been accommodated in Warders' Cottages and a Cottage Barracks accommodating 32 families.

These solid limestone cottages make Henderson Street into a unique architectural feature.

7. ST. PATRICK'S CHURCH, Adelaide Street

For the first two decades the population of Fremantle was predominantly Anglican. A census of 1848 revealed only 37 members of the Catholic faith in a population of 503.

Page 36 is missing; it would continue the discussion of St Patrick's. See the note below.

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In 1843 a request was made to the Government Resident for permission to use the Courthouse (on Arthur's Head) for services. The Catholic Church was officially established in the Colony when the Archbishop of Sydney sent the Rev. J. Brady as his Vicar General to Perth. As a result of Dr. Brady's subsequent visit to Rome a new diocese was created, with Dr. Brady as the first Bishop of Perth.

The Bishop returned to the Colony with various helpers, including nuns for the education of the children, and two Benedictine monks Don Joseph Serra and Don Rosendo Salvado who were to be more particularly concerned with Christianising the aboriginals.

The first Roman Catholic place of worship in Fremantle was officially opened towards the end of 1846 in a house situated on Lot 67 Henry Street. It was served on Sundays by a priest from Perth.

In 1855, the first Sisters of St. Joseph arrived, and soon after the building of a Presbytery, Chapel and Convent in Adelaide Street was begun.

The Oblate Fathers arrived in 1894, and within six years the little stone shingle chapel had been replaced by the present handsome Gothic building which was opened on June 3, 1900. The Church as originally designed was not completed until 1960 when a sanctuary was added.

"The Rev. Father Tom Ryan was the leader of the Oblate Fathers who pioneered the vast enterprise at a time when Fremantle was pictured as merely a sand-swept township. " (Daily News

Page 38 is missing and may show an image. See the note below.

page 39

Finally, we come to our list of buildings that fall within our Category Three.

The definition for this Category is :-

"Those buildings with sufficient historic significance to warrant serious thought of preservation, but too little to offset the probable benefits that alternative land use may well offer the citizens of Fremantle, either now or in the future."

It might well be asked, if they do not justify moves to preserve them, why bother to mention them at all?

Our thinking is that these buildings should be included because, while the loss of any one of them would not be a serious matter, the loss of all of them over the years ahead - and we expect this - will, in aggregate, take something of value from Fremantle.

In effect it means that, as each of these places disappears, the value and importance of the subjects already listed in categories one and two will be increased.

To illustrate; Fremantle today still possesses several examples of 19th century Church buildings (e. g. St. John's, Wesley, St. Paul's, St. Patrick's, St. Mary's). If one, or two, or even three of these old Churches disappear, the importance of those that remain must be that much greater.

While we therefore submit no recommendations to secure

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the preservation of these Category Three subjects, we list them briefly - firstly to illustrate the points made in the preceding sentences, and secondly to act as a sort of measure. As we watch them disappear, one by one, over the next few years, so we can measure the growing importance of those that remain.

Our Category Three subjects are

Princess May Girls' School, Edward Street
Fremantle Railway Station building
Fremantle Oval Grandstand
Scots Church, South Terrace
Fremantle Technical School, South Terrace
Evan Davies Civic Library building
Terrace Houses in Point Street
Dalkeith House, adjacent Queen's Square, High Street
Terrace Cottages, Holdsworth Street, opposite gaol
Fremantle Music School building, Parry Street
Fremantle Markets, South Terrace
The Horse Trough in Market Street (if it must be removed some time, re-site it either at the Museum or the Esplanade).

In closing this section, we are obliged to point out that we no doubt at all that many more Fremantle buildings probably equal or greater claims to significance and should be included.

We have listed only those whose historic associations are known to us; in the compilation of this Report we have been impressed by the amount of research that still needs to be done into

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Fremantle's historic buildings. We are left with the strong feeling that further research and effort would tell us much more about the buildings and places included in this Report, and would produce a considerably longer list of buildings worthy of consideration.

May we ask whether you know of any we have overlooked ?

If you do, please tell us.

Page 42 is missing; it may be blank, or show an image, as there's a new section following. See the note below.

page 43

A DIFFERENT KIND OF PRESERVATION

Our original concept of this report's function was that it would deal with individual buildings, places and objects, and till now the report has referred only to such subjects.

During our research and deliberations, we came to see that a second, and perhaps more important, kind of subject is involved.

We have termed it "Environmental Preservation".

Perhaps we can best exemplify what we mean by drawing an analogy with a book.

Suppose you found 15 or 20 separate loose pages of a particular book lying about in different places, but could not find the book itself. By reading these disjointed pages carefully you could probably get a rough idea of what the book was about.

If, however, you found one complete chapter of that book, the chances are you would get a very much better picture of the whole.

Our analogy is that the subjects listed so far in this report are the individual "loose pages" in the book of the visual history of Fremantle. Indeed they are the best "pages" still existing - but still they are disjointed and fragmented.
The western end of High Street - the area bounded by Henry Street, Phillimore Street, the Round House and the

Pages 44 and 45 are missing. Page 45 likely shows an image of buildings in Phillimore Street. See the note below.

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Closer examination shows that some encouraging signs are already evident.

The unique atmosphere of the area has already attracted the establishment of a few first-class restaurants that are a great asset to the City.

A few "mood shops" are appearing, such as boutiques; two or three companies have renovated and faithfully restored their premises to provide very prestigious office accommodation.

We will be satisfied with submitting to you, at this stage, that the idea of environmental preservation of this area offers sufficient evidence of prospect to warrant a closer feasibility study, as a separate project.

We would like the opportunity to carry out such a project.

Our aims would be

*  to explore the hard practical and economic ramifications of the idea;

*  to carry out a survey of the area, to assess the relative merits of each of the buildings within it;

*  to see what the owners of the properties in question think about it, and what they otherwise have in mind for the future of their buildings ;

*  to see what sorts of enterprises, if any,

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might be attracted to "set up shop" in such an area.

We fully recognise that nothing might come of the idea; that it may be considered by some to be too big, unrealistic, unwanted.

But, if it did work ...

A bustling, picturesque, thriving area of this City - unique for all time - guaranteeing for all time that Fremantle is a City on its own, of its own - and not merely a pale reflection of, or simply a "junior partner" to, Perth.

We'd like to find out.

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SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS

This Report is now summarised by listing the major points it has made, and the specific recommendations that it has submitted.

1. The question of preservation of historic buildings and places required Council to make judgments and evaluations which are very much more difficult and demanding than the decisions normally required of it.
The measurement involved is of social values rather than simply dollar values.

2. Conflict between preservation and new development arises only in a very small minority of instances where old existing building are proposed to be demolished - in short, few buildings have historic significance.

3. The property owner has responsibilities to the community at large; the community has the right to impose some limit on his range of options in respect to preservation of an historic building, just as it does in respect to the type and standard of building he would erect in its place.

4. The preservation of buildings and places which reflect the City's history is significant and important to its citizens.

5. There is a Fremantle identity - a "Fremantle feeling" - that is important to Fremantle people.
The visual environment created by certain buildings and

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places makes a major contribution to this special feeling and sense of identity.

6. If a City is to have meaning for its citizens, it must reflect the people who have made it, and show something of the life of the generations through which it has evolved.

7. In order to determine what constitutes historic significance, and to provide the means of measuring relative significance, a list of criteria has been evolved as follows -

*  Historic significance and/or sacred character

*  Beauty

*  Technical interest

*  Age

*  Socio-economic value

*  Rarity value

*  Prestige value

Each of the subject buildings or places included in this report has been evaluated according to these criteria (see appendix B.)

8.   In determining claims to preservation, the concept of "preservation at all costs" has been rejected.

The possibility must always be allowed that some alternative land use proposal will arise that will bring more benefit to the Fremantle community than the preservation of a particular historic building or place.

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9.   Nine subjects have been listed under what has been defined as Category One.

The definition of Category One is -

'‘Those buildings, places or objects, whose historic significance is of such importance that no alternative land use, either now or in the future, can be envisaged that would contribute as much to the life of the City of Fremantle. "

10.  These Category One subjects are

(a) "THE SPOT", on the Esplanade

Recommendation - that the State Government be asked to -

(i) re-dedicate an appropriate area of the Esplanade as an historic site, and to provide that it will continue to be in the care and control of the City of Fremantle; and

(ii) to undertake to join with the City of Fremantle in a plan of development of the site, to properly reflect its importance to the State; this undertaking to include the major part of the cost involved.

It is further recommended that, as a prelude to this approach to the State Government, the Superintendent of Parks and Reserves prepare a detailed plan of redevelopment, and that this plan be submitted to the close scrutiny of Council first.

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(b) KING'S SQUARE

Recommendation - that the present character of King's Square be preserved, and that, at the appropriate time, the present car parking area be replaced with further landscaped park development.

(b) ST JOHN’S CHURCH, in King's Square

Recommendation - that an approach be made to the Anglican diocesan authorities to determine their views and intentions, and to find out what possible problems might need to be overcome to ensure that St. John's Church, and its surrounds, will always remain.

(c) THE TOWN HALL, in King's Square

Recommendation - that Council declare the Town Hall an Historic Building, and show it as such in its formal town planning scheme.

(d) THE MUSEUM AND ART CENTRE, Ord Street

Recommendation - that the building be formally declared an Historic Building.

(e) THE ROUND HOUSE, at the western end of High Street

Recommendation - that the Round House be preserved and that, to this end, discussions should be entered into with the Fremantle Port Authority - now.

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(g) THE SAMSON HOUSE, Ellen Street

Recommendation - that the building be formally- declared an Historic Building.

(h) THE PROCLAMATION TREE

Recommendation - that the tree, and its immediate surrounds, be declared an Historic Monument.

(i) STATUARY

Recommendation - that the three items listed, namely -

The C. Y. O'Connor statue at Victoria Quay
The Marmion memorial adjacent to the Proclamation Tree, and
The Maitland Brown memorial at the Esplanade

be preserved, with the further thought that, if and when, "The Spot" at the Esplanade is developed in the way outlined in this report, these items could be strategically relocated there.

11. Nine further subjects have been listed under Category Two, which is defined as

"Those buildings, places or objects, whose historical significance is of such importance

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that the demolition of, or major alteration to, any of them should be impossible without specific Council permission; this permission to be granted only if Council is fully satisfied that a greater social, economic or aesthetic benefit will thereby be bestowed on the people of Fremantle than is given to them by the retention of these historically important buildings or objects."

These nine subjects are -

The Government Stores Building, Cliff Street
Fremantle Boys' School, Adelaide Street
The Courthouse, Marine Terrace
Fremantle Grammar School, High Street
Gaol Gateway and Chapel
Warders' Quarters, Henderson Street
St. Patrick's Church, Adelaide Street
Wesley Church, Cantonment Street

The recommendations in respect to each subject in Category Two are -

(i) that the land and building in each case be classified within Council's town planning scheme as an Historic Building whose demolition or major modification is prohibited without the specific approval of Council; where approval is granted it may be subject to whatever conditions Council sees fit to impose.

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(ii) That in each instance where the subject is Government property, the Government be informed of the Council's long term interest in the building, and asked to indicate its plans for the building's continued use for Government purposes.

Twelve buildings or objects have been listed under Category Three, which is defined as

"Those buildings with sufficient historic significance to warrant serious thought of preservation, but too little to offset the probable benefits that alternative land use may well offer the citizens of Fremantle, either now or in the future. "

These Category Three items are -

Princess May Girls' School, Edward Street
Fremantle Railway Station building
Fremantle Oval Grandstand
Scots Church, South Terrace
Fremantle Technical School, South Terrace
Evan Davies Civic Library building
Terrace Houses in Point Street
Dalkeith House, adjacent Queen's Square, High Street
Terrace Cottages, Holdsworth Street, opposite gaol
Fremantle Music School building, Parry Street
Fremantle Markets, South Terrace
The Horse Trough in Market Street (if it must be

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removed at some time, re-site it either at the Museum or the Esplanade.)

16. No recommendations are submitted which aim at securing the preservation of Category Three subjects.
They have been included primarily to act as a measure.
As each of them disappears over the years ahead, it will help Council to measure the growing importance of those that remain.

17. A serious attempt should be made to determine the practical prospects of securing an area of environmental preservation, this area being that bounded by Henry Street, Phillimore Street, the Round House and the Esplanade.
Preliminary investigation undertaken to date suggests that development of this area along these lines could be of greater material benefit and value to both the property owners concerned and to the citizens of Fremantle at large than any alternative form of development.

18. Permission is sought to undertake this study, with its aims being -

(i)   to explore the hard practical and economic ramifications of the idea;

(ii)  to carry out a survey of the area, to assess the relative merits of each of the buildings within it;

(iii) to see what the owners of the properties in question think about it, and what they otherwise have in mind for the future of their buildings;

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(iv) to see what sorts of enterprises, if any, might be attracted to set up shop" in such an area.

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APPENDIX A

THE LIST OF CRITERIA

This appendix lists the criteria used to assess the relative importance of buildings and places for preservation, with detailed explanation as to why each criterion was included. It also gives details of the relative value placed on each criterion.

1. HISTORIC SIGNIFICANCE AND/OR SACRED CHARACTER

This first criterion is the key to all the others; those criteria that follow are only relevant as a result of this one.

Basically, it measures the importance of the subject building or place in the historical development of the Fremantle community.

In some cases it goes beyond this. For example, because Fremantle is the place where Western Australia's history began, some subjects have an historical signifiance for every citizen of Western Australia.

In some cases too, there is a factor that goes beyond straightforward historical importance. Certain places evoke an emotional response as well; e. g. , the actual spot where Captain Fremantle first raised the flag. It's the local equivalent of the emotion engendered, in different people, by such places as Runnymede or the Tower of London for an Englishman, Gettysberg for an American, or Bethlehem or the Coliseum to a Christian.

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While it is not a specifically religious concept, we have called it "Sacred Character".

In summary, this criterion can be described as the measure of the contribution which the subject building or place makes to that special sense of community that distinguishes Fremantle from anywhere else.

For scoring purposes, we have given it a possible maximum of 100 points.

2. BEAUTY

This second criterion measures the aesthetic value of the subject building or place, and its contribution to the City's townscape.

Beauty is obviously more subjective, less precise, than any of the other criteria. It is also more important.

Once it is established that a certain building or place has high historic significance, then its preservation prospects must be strongly influenced by its contribution, or otherwise, to the City's appearance.

We feel too that in this context at least, beauty is relative.

If a City has few buildings of outstanding beauty then the loss of even an attractive one would be a serious matter.
Scoring therefore must reflect a local value.

For these reasons we have rated the criterion of Beauty more highly than any other, at 150 points. 

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3. TECHNICAL INTEREST

Technical interest reflects the value of the building or place from an architectural or other specialist viewpoint.

Buildings may exemplify styles or techniques of construction or use which are of considerable interest to students of history or of the art or craft involved.

In many instances the buildings are quite remarkable in their concept and execution, bearing in mind the limited skills and resources available at the time of construction.

For example the erection of the Town Hall with its high clock tower would present problems in construction using present day techniques. In 1885 this undoubtedly would have been a major achievement.

The roof construction in the Gaol and Fremantle Boys' School utilises laminated timber trusses to span clear across the main areas, which as a technique was well in advance of its time in Australia and possibly in the world.

From an architectural point of view, the design of some of the oldest public buildings (e. g. The Government Stores, the Gaol and Warders' Quarters, and the Museum) are interesting when one considers that they were designed by an Engineer who until his arrival in Fremantle as Comptroller General of the first group of convicts, had no previous experience in the design of this type of building! Yet he managed to produce an architecture which was not only sympathetic with its surroundings but which has endured, and

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 is still functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Without further elaboration it can be said that all the buildings under review have some degree of technical interest, ranging from one particular feature, to a combination of design, usage and technique.

We have allotted a maximum possible score to this criterion of 50 points.

4. AGE

This simply measures the age of the subject, as distinct from the first criterion, which concerns itself with the subject's association with specific events and people in the City's history.

We have not rated it highly (50 points) because age alone should not greatly influence a building's chances of preservation. Nonetheless it clearly must be given some acknowledgment as a factor.

Our allocations have been made purely arithmetically. The period we are interested in (from 1829) is 141 years, so each 20 years of age has earned a subject about 7 points.

5. SOCIO-ECONOMIC VALUE

This is an important criterion.

Any building or place preserved because of its historical significance should continue to serve a completely useful purpose.

It should in some practical way meet a need in today's community.

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The way in which it does this can take very many forms; from the functional (the Town Hall, the Museum and Art Centre) to the aesthetic (the Proclamation Tree) to the informative or educational (O'Connor Statue).

We came to see, in our deliberations, that what needs to be measured here is more the potential contribution a subject could make, rather than necessarily looking just at its existing use. (E. g the old Courthouse could serve a multiplicity of highly valued community purposes.)

Socio-economic value, then, measures the potential contribution which the particular building or place - and/or the activity within it - is making or could make to the City's social and economic life.

Because of its importance, this criterion scores a possible 100 points.

6. RARITY VALUE

This criterion tests the uniqueness of a subject. In effect it asks such questions as: "How many have we got ? " or "How far must we go to find a similar one ? " or "Is there a substitute, or replacement ? "

We believe that this factor has a clear bearing on the desirability or otherwise of seeing a building or place preserved, and have allowed it with a maximum possible score of 50 points.

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7. PRESTIGE VALUE

Finally, we have provided a criterion called Prestige Value. By this we intend to provide an indication of the value we place, as Fremantle people, on the fact that the building or place in question is in Fremantle.

We have allowed from the outset that our aim has been to do no more than to provide an orderly system for applying personal opinions and judgments. We must also allow that this final category of Prestige Value is completely, and only, a personal judgment - in our case, the consensus of five people.

But we believe it is most necessary, because when all the rest has been considered, there remains the "gut-reaction" to be taken into account.

The criterion of Prestige Value does this, and we have thought it worthy of a maximum possible score of 100 points.

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SUMMARY

Our seven criteria then, and their maximum possible scores, are:

Historic Significance and/or Sacred Character 100 points

Beauty 150 points

Technical Interest 50 points

Age 50 points

Socio-Economic Value 100 points

Rarity Value 50 points

Prestige Value 100 points

Total possible score 600 points

This report needs to do no more at this stage than to hope that those proposals will come to fruition.

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APPENDIX B

POINT SCORES OF ALL SUBJECTS

appendixB

(Click/tap the image for larger size.)

Note

Many pages above are noted as 'missing'. They may, however, have had images on them. I photographed them all, but didn't note the page numbers, so don't know which goes where. Also, at least one page is genuinely missing because I snapped it so carelessly the image is too blurred to even guess which page it is.
This will all be fixed one day - perhaps by me. However, all reports like this one should be made available on the Fremantle City Library website.
For the record, this report has pages with images of: the Prison, the Evan Davies building (Literary Institute), Kings Square, Phillimore Street, the Proclamation Tree, the Round House, the Town Hall, and the Wesley Church – thus accounting for eight of the nine 'missing' pages.


Garry Gillard | New: 6 February, 2019 | Now: 7 December, 2019