Share memories of landmark


Yanchep National Park officer Claire Barrow.Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au   d447374
Yanchep National Park officer Claire Barrow.Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au d447374

Managed by the Department of Parks and Wildlife, the park’s crew want help to create a “living history”.

Anyone who remembers going to the park and using the facilities, such as the Olympic training swimming pool, is asked to share their experiences in words and pictures.

Marketing officer Claire Barrow said the project had been well received on social media, prompting her to build momentum and create a record.

“The park has such a diverse and rich Aboriginal and European history,” she said.

“We are particularly interested in recording the early history of the park.

“We’d love to record stories and memories of the building of the park, of the honeymooners who stayed, of the kids who enjoyed the playground, of those who were stationed here during the war.

“Of course more recent memories are also very welcome, all the history is equally important, but as time ticks away our people pass and the memories go with them.

“We’ve been excited to hear some stories told to visitors by grandfathers and grandmothers who’ve spent time here, but we’d love to hear more.”

Ms Barrow said she grew up in Yanchep, had been working at the park for about 16 years and enjoyed hearing people talk about its history. “A lot of people get disappointed when they realise that the lodge isn’t a museum anymore,” she said.

“Everything shared with us will be carefully recorded and we hope to be able to display it in the future, so that everybody can enjoy the memories.”

The national park first became a reserve 110 years ago, then was developed in the 1930s thanks to donations from Sir Charles McNess.

Since then it has been a popular spot for family holidays and honeymooners, apart from during World War II when it was used for military accommodation and a convalescent hospital.

To submit stories and photographs for the project, email yanchep@dpaw.wa.gov.au, call 9303 7759 or find ‘Yanchep National Park’ on Facebook.

HISTORY OF YANCHEP NATIONAL PARK

1834: first recorded by European John Butler.

1838: Lieutenant George Grey explored the area with indigenous guides.

1899: Henry White moved into Caves House, becoming caretaker and tour guide by 1903.

1905: State Government reserves 2283ha for protection of caves and flora.

1931: States Garden Board takes over, donation from Sir Charles McNess allows development.

1932: McNess House visitor centre, park administration and Crystal Pool built.

1933: Gloucester (Yanchep) Lodge built as pool pavilion, later expanded.

1935-36: Australian diving team trains for Berlin Olympics at Crystal Pool.

1936: Yanchep Inn built.

1938: First koalas move in.

1939-45: Park used by armed forces during World War II for hospital and accommodation.

1956: States Garden Board becomes National Parks Board.

1963: Officially named Yanchep National Park.