Mt Lawley: Scenes of Perth Rarely Seen postcard exhibition a throwback to bygone era

This postcard, from 1967, was taken from Dumas House in West Perth and shows Perth in the days before a freeway and highrise were significant elements of our city. It's one of hundreds of historic postcards that will be on public display this weekend.
This postcard, from 1967, was taken from Dumas House in West Perth and shows Perth in the days before a freeway and highrise were significant elements of our city. It's one of hundreds of historic postcards that will be on public display this weekend.

LIKE Perth, the use of postcards has changed significantly in the past 130 years.

“Postcards were the SMS of the day, allowing for shorter, more informal communication, compared to the longer, and more formal, letters of the time,” postcard aficionado Norman Drake said.

“For example, one of the very rare postcards on display has the message ‘Please send up 6lbs of butter, I will be down to the market on Saturday’.

“Given the popularity of postcards as a way of communicating in the pre-internet age, we would estimate that many hundreds of millions of postcards would have been sent and received.”

Mr Drake and the Western Australian Card Collector Society have pulled together more than 900 historic and rare postcards for a special exhibition in Mt Lawley this weekend.

“Our earliest postcard on display will be a view of St Georges Terrace from 1890s, which will provide viewers with the chance to consider how the Perth cityscape has changed since the time a postcard, was written and sent,” Mr Drake said.

Another that will be displayed was taken from Dumas House in 1967 and shows just how much our city skyline has changed.

The unused postcard, which is still in mint condition, shows an under-construction freeway, an intact green Langley Park foreshore and a distinct lack of city skyscrapers.

“The view shows, interestingly, that very little has changed down on Malcolm Street,” Mr Drake said.

“The red-tiled apartment buildings, the block of apartments 59 Hillside Gardens, plus the little stables building are all unchanged.

“However, the Emu Brewery has disappeared and the Convention Centre and Bus Station have taken over the vast carparking areas.”

Many of the postcards will be on display for the first time, illustrating the theme of ‘Scenes of Perth, Rarely Seen’.

Scenes of Perth Rarely Seen

WHEN: Friday, April 27-Saturday, April 28
TIME: 10am-4pm both days.
WHERE: Mt Lawley Uniting Church, 165 Railway Parade, Mount Lawley.
COST: Free

MORE: Rapper Kendrick Lamar to play Perth gig on July 10

MORE: Mother fined for striking 11-year-old daughter after argument about junk food

MORE: 25-year-old motorcyclist killed in Mundaring crash