Fremantle Stuff > Organisations > Workers Club

Workers Club

The Fremantle Workers Social and Leisure Hour Club Inc. began life in Lodge's Hotel at 1 Henry St in 1914. In 1956 it moved to the new purpose-built building 50 metres along at 7-9 Henry St. After 100 years of the Club's existence, it closed this building's doors at the end of 2014. The clubhouse was sold at noon Friday 17 April 2015. It was proposed to built a five-storey building on the site, retaining the facade, containing an office and 25 dwellings. That plan has been modified: see below.

Number 9 Henry St is original town lot 60. No. 7 Henry St is town lot 59, which was bought by John Bateman at the end of 1829 or beginning of 1830. Neither Hitchcock nor Ewers records who was the first owner of lot 60, so Bateman may have bought it after 1837, when their records break off.

On January 31, 1835, John Bateman was appointed as the first postmaster at Fremantle. The first post office was in a little vine-clad cottage that stood well back from the street on lot 59 in Henry Street. Some idea of the smallness of the business transacted may be gleaned from the fact that the address and date of receipt and delivery of every letter posted was recorded in a book. Imagine that being done nowadays!
JK Hitchcock 1929, The History of Fremantle, The Front Gate of Australia 1829-1929, Fremantle City Council: 24-25.

Lots 59 and 60 were bought from Bateman in 1870 by the Mews family who then owned the terrace house on lot 60 and had a boat-building workshop on lot 59. This may seem odd now, but at the time the river beach was only a hundred or so yards away, where Phillimore St now is.

The Club has a comprehensive website, including much of its history, made and maintained by Garry Gillard.


Artist's impression, from a November 2016 advertisement, of the new building, now of four storeys, which is being promoted as The Social on Henry, tho I'm guessing it will be known as The Workers, particularly if they keep the actual words on the building as shown in the drawing. There are now to be 22 apartments.


The old building in 2017 with advertisements for the new.

References and Links

Dowson, John 2003, Old Fremantle, UWAP: 108, 109.

Ewers, John K. 1971, The Western Gateway: A History of Fremantle, Fremantle City Council, with UWAP, rev. ed. [1st ed. 1948].

Gare, Deborah & Jane Davis 2014, The Fremantle Workers Social and Leisure Club 1914-2014, FWSLC.

Hitchcock, JK 1929, The History of Fremantle, The Front Gate of Australia 1829-1929, Fremantle City Council.

Parker, David Dare & Ron Davidson 2010, The Clubs, FotoFreo, Fremantle.

Fremantle Workers Social and Leisure Club website and Facebook page.

Garry Gillard | New: 1 October, 2014 | Now: 18 June, 2019