Peninsula with a past
ANYONE who travels on the railway through Maylands will know the Old Peninsula Hotel, located just opposite the station.
Opened in 1906, the hotel was a venue for many social events early last century and in later years was a local hostelry.
In the 1970s the Peninsula was about to be demolished for a car park for the nearby tavern, but was saved by a small group of community activists. The Swan Brewery gifted it to them for community purposes.
As the financial burden of maintaining it became too much, the building was handed to the City of Bayswater and eventually leased to Dome Coffees.
It remains one of the most familiar sights of Maylands, and the story behind its possible loss is just one small part of the story of Maylands being kept alive by the Maylands Historical and Peninsula Association.
MHPA was formed in 1992 and for the last 30 years has been active in preserving and displaying information about Maylands: the people, the places, the buildings and the lives led in times past.
Celebrating these 30 years of community action, the association is presenting Maylands History and Heritage Month in November.
Various events will showcase the different aspects of this suburb: past and present.
Maylands is well known for its thriving cafe and bar scene and boutique shops around 8th Avenue and Whatley Crescent, but it was also once a thriving industrial centre and working class neighbourhood.
Early in the 20th century the railway yards were a hive of activity with freight, parcels, pipes for the Goldfields pipeline, and many types of general goods being transported to and from Maylands sidings.
The Brickworks supplied many of the bricks for Perth’s largest buildings and the Industrial School for the Blind’s bustling community provided employment, schooling and housing for blind residents.
Perth’s original airport was opened in 1924 on the Maylands Peninsula and operated through World War II and up to 1964, by which time the new Perth airport was operating. Remnants of the Maylands Aerodrome can still be seen in a special display by the boat ramp.
There are also over 20 places of worship around the suburb; Christian, Buddhist, Islamic, Spiritualist and many other denominations, each with a fascinating story and many with distinctive architectural details and interior decoration.
During Maylands History and Heritage Month experienced guides will take participants around the suburb on three walks to explore these aspects of its heritage.
Taking about two hours each, the walks will have stops along the way at such iconic buildings as the Industrial School for the Blind – now the home of WA Ballet, the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple, the Ukrainian Catholic Church, the original Maylands Primary School and the former Presbyterian Church on 7th Ave.
The walk around Maylands Peninsula will introduce visitors to sites such as the brickworks, the original Perth aerodrome, the oldest privately owned boat yard in WA and Peninsula Farm as well as introducing some of the traditional connections of the Whadjuk people to the Swan River
Some of the Association’s most popular talks over the last year are being repeated at midday on Thursdays at Maylands Library – perfect for anyone who prefers not to travel to evening meetings.
The Association has a long and proud record and is still thriving today, with membership numbers steadily rising and the monthly public meetings well-attended.
A small committee and keen volunteers ensure the Old Police Station on Guildford Road is a welcoming place for visitors and the various displays created by head researcher John McLennan are regularly updated.
It’s a great place for visitors to become acquainted with the heritage of the suburb and its history.
The talks at the Library are free, but places need to be booked through Eventbrite (search Maylands talks). The walks, for which a charge applies to cover refreshments and tour materials can also be booked through Eventbrite (search Maylands Walks)
Enquiries or questions about the bookings can be made to 0402 164 206 or by emailing maylandshs@ gmail.com
Worshipful Maylands: Saturday Nov 12, Sunday Nov 13, 10am and 2pm leaving from the Old Police Station.
Maylands Peninsula: Saturday Nov 19, 2pm, Sunday Nov 20, 10am and 2pm from the Golf Club Cafe.
Heritage Buildings: Saturday Nov 26, Sunday Nov 27, 10am and 2pm from the Old Police Station.
Protesting Maylands: Thursday Nov 10, 1-2.30pm, The Rise
The Railways and Maylands: Thursday Nov 17, 1-2.30pm, The Rise
Perth’s 1st Airport: Thursday Nov 24, 1-2.30pm, The Rise
Monthly Monday Talk
Bush Tucker, Roasted Swans and Barrels of Beer: Connecting the Swan River and Kings Park by Jennie Hunt. Monday November 21, 7.15pm at the Old Peninsula Hotel.