We don’t know if it has anything to do with being well and truly back at work and wishing we were feeling the sand between our toes and the splash of cool water… But we’re yearning for the beach.
And do you know what’s not helping? This lush treasure trove of photos of some of Perth’s most stunning beaches throughout the years, all found via the very excellent State Library of Western Australia Facebook page.
The lion’s share of these images are unsurprisingly of perhaps our most iconic beach, Cottesloe – although it definitely looks a bit different photographed here in 1907! Personally, we’re feeling pretty glad to not be kitted out in bowler hats, suits and floor-length Edwardian dresses when we visit Cott.
Taken in 1918, this lively crowd on the Cottesloe jetty is photographed enjoying a carnival day – check out the Indiana Tea House!
A few years later, circa 1922, two women are photographed heading towards the water from the bathing boxes, while in 1926, lifeguards show off their acrobatic prowess.
Got something in your teeth? This bonkers 16ft toothpick surfboard is pictured in 1955 with champion board paddler John “Artie” Shaw alongside a Cottesloe SLSC pennant.
While everyone in these photos seems incredibly glamorous to our modern eyes, the 1957 Miss Sunshine Quest took the glamour to the next level – and with a £2000 prize, to boot!
Contrasting the glamour, this 1960 photo of Cott could almost be an English seaside town. It was later in the same year that the groyne would be built, counteracting the erosion of the beach and in turn halting the significant decline in popularity Cottesloe had faced.
Just check out the difference when the beach was photographed for Miss West Coast 1968!
In 1963, a few years after the groyne’s construction, a concrete boardwalk and children’s pool was built, solidifying Cott’s return as one of WA’s most relentlessly popular beaches! (We’re also old enough to have enjoyed summers splashing in that pool as kids, although it was painted blue by that point.)
Come 1972, the image of the beach was pretty close to the Cott we know and love – although Breakers kiosk looks a little different to Indiana pop ups Ol’ Buoy and Indigo Oscar now!
City Beach also looks a little different, photographed here with frolicking bathers in 1962, 1963 and 1969, not yet punctuated by its iconic blue lookout and with a row of classic cars in front of the dunes – or even earlier in 1949, still packed with beachgoers.
One beach we had the most trouble identifying was South Beach – which was starkly different a century ago in 1922:
As well as the sizeable dressing rooms, this 1923 photo shows the timber frame of what would become the South Beach Hydrodome: a two-storey building with community facilities that included tea rooms, bathing suit hire, a dance studio and changing facilities. The upper level would be destroyed by a severe storm in the ’50s, with the remainder of the building demolished in 1969.
Starting to feel the itch of needing to be at the beach? We reckon this 6PR radio broadcaster in 1964 proves you can work remotely from just about anywhere!
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