GIVEN the many references to hotels, past and present, you could be forgiven for thinking Freo Footsteps is a pub crawl.
But it would be wrong to assume there’s more drinking than walking in the slim book’s many and varied walks.
Freophiles Richard Skead and partner Moira Goldney wrote the book after enjoying many a wander through the port city and its suburbs. The walks start and finish at Skead’s favourite watering hole, Clancy’s Fish Pub, in Princess May Park and the booklet is peppered with interesting information—but not enough to bog down a brisk stroll.
Taking a walk with Skead on a sunny Saturday, his wealth of knowledge about my home town is breathtaking.
He mentions a little known snippet that during WWII some 600 NZ, US, UK and Aussie servicemen had an all out brawl near the National Hotel, after the kiwis took offence to the fatal stabbing of two mates by US servicemen.
The book follows one the Palmyra couple wrote while living in Edinburgh.
It had started out as a couple of informal pages advising of good walks for visiting friends, but took on a life of its own, becoming a book’s worth — also starting and finishing at a pub.
“It was a project that got out of control,” Skead recalls.
The shortest Freo walk is 5km and the longest 9km: “They’re reasonable walks if you take your time.”
Freo Footsteps ($15) can be found at New Edition, the Map Shop, Fremantle Prison, Clancy’s and the Maritime Museum.
by JENNY D’ANGER