No Shenanigans here please…

Published on Tuesday, 10 September 2019 at 11:05:00 AM

Did you know that bathing in the cool waters of Freshwater Bay was once a privilege one would have to pay for?

In March of 1899 – bathing bylaws were gazetted. DECENCY was the byword from the start. The bylaws stated that bathers over 6 years of age shall be clothed from neck to knee…and the laws were strictly upheld! There was even an inspector of beaches who would routinely measure the height from the knee of the ladies bathing suits to ensure decency was maintained.

In an effort to avoid any ‘shenanigans’, mixed bathing was prohibited at most of the beaches in the Western Suburbs. At Freshwater Bay, gentlemen were only permitted to bathe before 9am and after 3pm. Locals were able to subscribe to the Peppermint Grove baths and visitors could swim for a fee.

Bathing Swan River 1930

As river swimming lost its appeal, the baths declined in popularity and they were demolished in 1938.

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