THE bizarre and beautiful benches of Bayswater have never been so closely examined, with a new online repository documenting the best worst seats in the ‘burb.
The “Benches of Bayswater” Facebook page launched in September after years of conversations about confusing placements.
Its anonymous administrator, who goes by the pen name Oscar Nonslip, tells us “it kicked off with a flurry of bench installations around the Bayswater town centre a couple of years ago which left myself and a few others scratching our heads as to the intent behind them.”
Nonslip says he’s seen the bench landscape change over the generations, but rarely do they stray towards utility.
“There’s a lot that seem to be echoes of a past time with these concrete and wood things that were perfect advertising opportunities. Most of those live at the corners of busy junctions – which are just lovely spots to sit and have a contemplate.
“Then there are the new contenders. There’s been a flurry of installations in the past couple of years by the council in really quite odd places as well. Full sun. Quite random locations. Awesome.”
Asked if the blog was meant as a prod for planners, Nonslip says “you would think so. But at the same time there’s something slightly endearing about the truly random nature of some of these placements.
“Full sun seems to be a mandatory placement criteria.”
But he wouldn’t mind if “maybe someone from the council stumbles upon it. It might inform some possibly better choices in the future”.
Nonslip wants to remain a benchy Banksy on this, describing himself as “just a guy really.
“I’m a Perth resident, Bayswater local, quite active in the local community. It’s a good spot. I’m quite interested in the developments that are coming to Bayswater in terms of the train station redevelopment.
“I have no prior expertise in the bench area at all. I sat on one once, when I was about eight, I think.”
He says the page has only just scratched the surface with plenty more oddities to cover, and submissions of notable benches are encouraged at facebook.com/benchesofbaysie
by DAVID BELL