History up, up and away for map artist

A daring balloon ride in 1891 was just one of the historical anecdotes gathered by Mary Yates, who has a newfound respect for the 101-year-old Eric Street bridge.
A daring balloon ride in 1891 was just one of the historical anecdotes gathered by Mary Yates, who has a newfound respect for the 101-year-old Eric Street bridge.

‘At the time, there was no Peppermint Grove, no Cottesloe, nothing, and he rocks up from over east with this great big calico balloon,’ Mrs Yates, of Mt Claremont, said.

The paddock became Napoleon Street and Prof Price’s ascent is one of many historic events of Cottesloe depicted in a hand-drawn, water- coloured map Mrs Yates completed with help from historian Ruth Marchant-James for Cottesloe Council recently.

‘It took about four months to do because of all the research,’ Mrs Yates said.

Stories in the map include the 2000 bags of limestone taken each week from the Nailsworth Street quarry that was later to become the council’s depot, the Aitken Brewery 1897-1908 and residents John and Janetta Foulkes who had the area’s first telephone in 1898.

Cottesloe’s map is the fourth Mrs Yates has completed, including the walk trails of Claremont and stories of Peppermint Grove and Mosman Park.

‘But one of the things that’s surprised me doing Cottesloe’s map was that the Eric Street bridge is 101 years old, and we drive over it each day complaining about the congestion but don’t realise what an old marvel it is,’ she said.

Mrs Yates is currently working on a map for the centenary of Presbyterian Ladies College.

Maps are available at The Grove library on 9286 8600.