From Luke Bishop’s De
Wesputy President Report in the 2018/19 Annual Report:
“Towards the end of the patrol season we were lucky enough to have a rare appearance from
the remains of the old Swanny clubrooms. The consistent mellow summer conditions and one
well timed April storm saw Ocean Beach at Swanbourne completely eroded up to the dunes, all
the way from the patrol tower to the Swanny reef.
The storm revealed something I’d heard the likes of Tony Leaversuch talk about many times but
had never seen. I turned to our Club’s first history book ‘Striving to Serve – The First Fifty Years’
(thanks to our Historical Records Officer Tim Tucak) and was able to acquire some great photos
and information about the old Clubrooms (construction started late 1936 – demolished 1961, in
the interest of public safety after persistent ocean erosion issues).
The Clubrooms were a labour of love, built by Members with mostly second hand materials and
hand made concrete bricks. Without going into details, it reminded me of all the work that past
Members have contributed to get our Club to where it is. Parallels can be drawn to the current
Club, supported mostly by Members, using our own time, resources and know how to overcome
the issues of the day. Let’s hope that ocean erosion isn’t on the cards again for Swanny any
Life Member Ed Jaggard was quoted in the front page story of the Post Newspaper on June 15th.
Post Newspaper June 15, 2019
Storms expose jetty’s bones
Erosion worst for 65 years
The remnants of Cottesloe’s first jetty have been there for well over 100 years, but have not been seen like this since the 1950s. Bad winter erosion 65 years ago caused so much concern for the future of the beach that the granite groyne was built south of the jetty.
Historian Ed Jaggard said the structure exposed by this week’s storm was most likely a remnant of the smaller jetty built before a larger, much higher jetty was opened in 1908. That jetty, with a bandstand and a landing for Rottnest ferries, was central to endless beach attractions, from Scoota boats and cars to refreshment stalls and rides on six beach donkeys.
Professor Jaggard, the author of The Premier Club, history of the Cottesloe Surf Life Saving Club, said the later pier appeared to have been built above the remains of the original. After the bigger jetty was built, 16,000 people were recorded visiting the beach on one summer day, most of them by train. The later jetty was blown up by the council in 1952.
Beach erosion became so bad in the 1950s that a Dr Silvester was hired to find out where the sand was going. “It was really a concern,” Professor Jaggard said.
Dr Silvester put thousands of ping-pong balls in the ocean and tracked their movement.” On his recommendation, the groyne was built, completed in 1960. It successfully stopped the sand loss.
Professor Jaggard said there had been exceptionally big swells, high tides and strong winds last summer.
He had seen the theory that sand dredging was leaving holes in the sea bed that were filled with beach sand stopping it from returning for summer. “I’m an optimist – I think the sand will come back,” he said.
Western Suburbs Weekly 18 June 2019