We don’t know if it has anything to do with getting healthy and actually getting back to work and hoping we feel the sand between our toes and a splash of cold water… But we longing for the beach.
And you know what doesn’t help? A treasure trove of photos of some of Perth’s most stunning beaches at this time of year, all of which can be found via the State Library of Western Australia’s excellent Facebook page.
The bulk of these images unsurprisingly is probably our most iconic beach, Cottesloe – though it definitely looks a little different when it was photographed here in 1907! Personally, we’d be more than happy to not be wearing bowler hats, suits, and floor-length Edwardian gowns when we visit Cott.
Taken in 1918, this bustling crowd on the Cottesloe wharf was photographed enjoying a day of carnival – check out the Indiana Tea House!
A few years later, around 1922, two women were photographed wading into the water from a bathtub, while in 1926, lifeguards showed off their acrobatic prowess.
Got something in your teeth? This crazy 16-foot toothpick surfboard is pictured in 1955 with champion boarder John “Artie” Shaw next to a Cottesloe SLSC pennant.
While everyone in these photos looks absolutely glamorous to our modern eyes, Miss Sunshine Quest in 1957 took glamor to the next level – and with a £2000 prize pool, to boot!
Comparing luxury, this 1960 photo of Cott could almost be an English seaside town. Later that same year a groyne would be built, counteracting coastal erosion and in turn stopping the significant decline in popularity that Cottesloe was facing.
Just look at the difference when the beach was photographed for Miss West Coast 1968!
In 1963, a few years after groyne construction, a concrete walkway and children’s pool were constructed, cementing Cott’s comeback as one of WA’s unfailingly popular beaches! (We’re also old enough to enjoy a summer splash in that pool as kids, even though it was painted blue at the time.)
Come 1972, the beach image was quite a bit like the Cott we know and love – though the Breakers kiosks looked a bit different to today’s Indiana Ol’ Buoy and Indigo Oscar pop-ups!
City Beach looks a bit different too, photographed here with people bathing in 1962, 1963, and 1969, yet punctuated by the iconic blue landscape and with rows of classic cars in front of the sand dunes – or even earlier in 1949 , still crowded with beachgoers.
One of the beaches we had the most difficulty identifying was South Beach – which was very different a century ago in 1922:
In addition to a sizable dressing room, this 1923 photo shows the wooden framework of what would become the South Beach Hydrodome: a two-story building with community facilities that included a tea room, swimsuit rentals, dance studios, and changing facilities. The upper level would be destroyed by a severe hurricane in the 50’s, with the rest of the building demolished in 1969.
Starting to feel itchy from having to be at the beach? We think this 6PR radio broadcaster in 1964 proved you could work remotely from anywhere!
Some photos are available for purchase through the WA State Library. All photos, unless otherwise noted, via the WA State Library.
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