Tuesday, March 20, 2012

South Fremantle Coogee Power Station

                                       South Fremantle Coogee Power Station (March 2012)

It's funny how something can feature in your whole life, be just there in the peripheral.  You know it's there but you don't really pay attention, such is the case with the South Fremantle Coogee Power Station.

I have passed the building on a regular basis my entire life. On occasion as a child I recall watching it as it swished by the car window wondering what went on in what seemed like a very large geometric building.

Construction started on the coal powered power station in 1946, and the art deco style building was completed and functioning in 1951. The beachside location of this structure was chosen because of its proximity to the general metropolitan population, the nearby railway, which helped with the transportation of coal to the building and the seawater that was used in the plant cooling process.

In September 1985 the plant was closed and so began the derelict and in some cases dark history of this building.  The long windows are all gone and tattered plastic strips flap uselessly in the breeze from the rusted metal frames.  The building has been used by all manner of homeless people and it's graffitied walls add to its appearance of abandoned desolation. The building has warnings about access within its deteriorating structure. Rumours abound of satanic rituals being performed within its confines.  There have been suicides from its five storey heights and there has been mention of four murders within its walls and the rooms below ground level.  

Piccadilly Theatre

 Piccadilly Theatre (taken Feb 2012)
The Piccadilly Theatre in Perth was designed by William T Leighton.  A well known Western Australian architect,  he designed the building in an art deco style. The building's style reflects much of the eclectic art deco design style that originated in Paris in the 1920s. The fascination with geometric and neoclassical aspects of art are evident in the structure of the building as is the architects adherence to functionalism.

The building was opened in 1938. Australian born sculptor, Edward Kohler created the statues in the complex. The face being one I only recently noticed as I looked up, the statue is placed above eye level on the building, an interesting discovery for anyone happening upon it.
That the building is haunted is no surprise to me. Though I have lived in Perth my whole life I have been in the building once. After purchasing tickets and walking into the cinema I had to leave before the show started as I had an extreme feeling of foreboding, all of this well before even hearing a mention of it being haunted. I always "listen" to the feel of a place.
A repairman is purported to have seen a dark shadow in the theatre that was believed to be the ghost of a former manager of the complex. Other reports talk about a customer who was inadvertently locked in the cinema after closing time and as the trapped occupant stumbled around in the dark looking for a way out he supposedly stumbled and fell down a set of stair dying in the cinema overnight.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Vampire Hunter Kits

Despite the controversy regarding their authenticity it's hard to deny that these Vampire Hunting Kits are a work of twisted art.
Allegedly they became popular in the 19th century for those travellers that found themselves traversing the countryside of Eastern Europe. There are rumours that some hotels in Eastern European countries offered tourists Vampire Hunting Kits for a small fee, to use at their whim during their stay.
With Vampire legends dating back to prehistory, and with the publication of The Vampyre by John Polidori and Bram Stoker's Dracula, one can see how a Vampire Hunting Kit may have become a desired necessity.