IN the 1950s, Bayswater and Halliday Park used to be the place to dress up and impress young women with football marking skills, according to born-and-bred Bayswater resident Peter McKimmie.
Mr McKimmie will host a Beautiful Bayswater Walk this weekend and tell stories of historical Bayswater, visiting the Bayswater Hotel, train station, Halliday Park, Slade, King William and Murray streets.
The walk is part of the global Jane’s Walk movement, citizen-led walking tours that take place in May every year. In 2015, more than 1000 walks were held in 36 countries and 189 cities.
Mr McKimmie said his family moved to Bayswater in 1910 to a house on Slade Street to work on constructing the Midland train line.
“Bayswater was initially neglected because the soil wasn’t very good and there were a lot of floods. King William Street was actually a creek,” he said.
Mr McKimmie said in the 1920s and 1930s, a hunt club used to run out of the Bayswater Hotel. Members of the club used to hunt rabbits and foxes on horseback.
He said in the 1950s he was a newspaper delivery boy and used to pass a pop-up betting site near Bayswater Hotel.
“Back in the early days around the corner of the Bayswater Hotel, they had bookmakers, bookies, people would be there betting,” he said.
“Every now and then police would drive past, but all they had was a sidecar, and everybody would run and hide.”
He said that on a Sunday morning in those days, the “big thing” was to go down to Halliday Park.
“The girls would be all dressed up and sitting on the slopes and all the guys would be down the bottom, dressed up but with bare feet, kicking the footy back and forth hoping to impress the girls,” he said.
“They had some really good footballers, those who played for East Perth, East Fremantle.”
The Beautiful Bayswater Walk will start at the Bayswater Train Station bike shelter, Saturday, May 7 from 10-11.45am, and is free. Dogs and bicycles welcome. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.