The Ashfield of History

Worst Garden/Sculpture

Mazarina who braved the interior of KGB Headquarters just to get me a shot of their carpet, sent me out to Ashfield to snap the house below. I had already been tipped off by Bedford Cath about this poor fellow in the next street as well. Despite having grown up in the era where these were popular, I cannot recall the reason behind people having them. Surely these sad, sad, concrete aborigines go beyond even extreme irony? This at Vinsans salvage in Katanning Street Ashfield.

concrete aborigine

Mazarina alerted me to this house nearby, but unfortunately the owners were in the garden, so was unable to get the full majesty. By the way, Mazarina, (aka Marina) is taking part in an amazing Fred Hollowes fundraising challenge. Have a look, and if you want to find out how to help her, email her at



I wanted to get the Ashfield Tavern too for worst pub, since someone had been shot dead there, but I couldn’t find it.

Is it gone?

About AHC McDonald

Comedian, artist, photographer and critic. From 2007 to 2017 ran the culture and satire site The Worst of Perth
This entry was posted in worst garden, worst sculpture and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to The Ashfield of History

  1. It was down Pearson, and nobody got killed there to my knowledge : the punters did wrestle a shotgun off somebody if my recollection is correct.


  2. Mazarina says:

    Dare I say it, with treasures like this lurking around Ashfield perhaps the post name should be ‘Trashfield of Dreams’


  3. Kristie says:

    Ashfield pub has now been demolished to make way for new units. Close to CBD, river and airports, Ashfield is actually a fantastic, convenient area to live!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. lazyaussie says:

    Yes trashfield would have ben a good title


  5. The Legend 101 says:

    Nice Garden and i can see why its horistic.


  6. Deanne says:

    The Ashfield Tavern has gone & already has flash new 2 story houses on most of the site. & yes, I know for a fact that someone was shot in the head at the Tavern. The person killed was not the one intended to be shot, the person that was moved in time to dodge the bullet & an innocent bar hugger took it instead.


  7. Fiona says:

    Yes the ashfield tavern gone has been for 7 years yes someone was shot there but def not the worst that’d prob be the one you drink at :(


  8. kirky says:

    Yeah well i can tell you that Dennis Comery was killed by a shotgun blast at the Ashfield on
    20/04/1989.I know this for sure because I was one of the other two that were shot that night. The pub was a great place to go for a beer. Ashfield was a good place to grow up as a young the river was what a lot other kids in others suburbs couldn’t enjoy. So Ashfield wasn’t such a bad place to grow up. And a special bond is what we had & still have with mates in Ashfield. Sure made you street wise to live in Ashy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Snuff says:

      You can still buy that stuff ?


    • Lesley says:

      Hi Kirky. I realise that your comments were written two years ago, but I was hoping that you may have more information of the pub and events that happened. My daughter has to do a newspaper article on a local event, and finds this interesting. She was wondering if you would be happy to answer some questions or do an interview for her project please.r


  9. kirky says:

    you need to know the true facts before trying to tell a story if you weren’t there don’t try to tell it


  10. I think that Ashfield is indeed a very convenient place to live at. It has amenities almost everywhere, thus finding a location to permanent stay at will not be of any problem. Walk around the neighbourhood and immerse in the mysterious wonders of Ashfield because there is always something new to see every day.


  11. audreygreenwood says:

    I think that Ashfield is indeed a very convenient place to live at. It has amenities almost everywhere, thus finding a locations to permanent stay at will not be of any problem. Walk around the neighbourhood and immerse in the mysterious wonders of Ashfield because there is always something new to see every day.


  12. Dirt Settlers says:

    Did all my primary and secondary school education there in the 1960s and 1970s (left secondary school in year 10, and failed). Though, had subsequently obtained a Masters degree from a WA university. Spent most of my childhood and teenage years down on the river (White Rocks, Sandy Beach and The Point)…swimming lessons at The Point.
    I prefer Bassendean (West Guilford as it was originally called, and which I prefer as the name). Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t succeed in what ever you aspire to do. Start to do today what you have always dreamt of doing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sir Bill International says:

      Thanks , Tertiary Spam. It gives hope to all those kiddies from Brock who want to go onto become mechanical engineers. They could even try Curtin (motto “The future is the future , Que sera sera” ). N.B. tag Nazis this one tagged concrete aborigine not aboriginal as that is a different day of the week.


  13. George says:

    White Rocks

    The 8am summer sun peered through the louvered glass windows of the sleep-out and gently caressed the emotionalist face of sleeping Anthony, better known as Tony to his friends, which caused him to slowly open his heavy eyelids and look at his birthday present that was proudly on its bike stand next to his bed. New bicycles are never left outside, well, not for the first 3 weeks anyway. Tony was observing how the sunlight was creating patterns on the wooden floor as it passed through the chrome spoked wheels of his new Malvern Star Dragster bicycle, when he began to smile as he realised it was Saturday, no school today.

    Tony lived in the working class neighbourhood of 1960s and 1970s Ashfield in Western Australia, in a lime green painted State Government owned weatherboard house at 22 Colstoun Road which was just a hop, skip and a jump to the Swan River, and the same distance to school. Predominately inhabited by those of Anglo-Saxon descent, the neighbourhood did have its sprinkling of other cultures, but more like a Pizza topping with a lot of white daubs of Mozzarella cheese, and no black olives. Tony was considered different because even though born in Australia his parents were from Croatia and Serbia, so it didn’t take long for the racist spearheads to penetrate a sensitive heart. In time he did learn to deflect the spears with an acquired bogan attitude and tattoos of intimidation.

    Tony and his two other good friends Shaun and Angelo, born in Australia to parents from Ireland and Italy, had built a galvanised tin canoe from skills they learnt in metalwork at Cyril Jackson Senior High school, where they were year 9 students. The canoe, which the group christened Tadpole, was kept at Tony’s place on a trailer they made from an old discarded pram, and was pulled along by a fixed metal bar that could be attached to any conventional bicycle seat. They excelled in trade skills like woodwork and metalwork, and often had an old car parked at Tony’s place in different stages of refurbishment. The current old Valiant AP6 was only ever used as a meeting place for the group where dreams were created and destroyed in the same sentence, and where Joey the pet Kelpie liked sleeping on the rear bench seat, and storing the footballs he used to steal from those playing kick-to-kick on the Ashfield Reserve sports ground. No one on the sports ground could ever catch Joey as he ran away with any number of acquired footballs firmly gripped by the laces between his upper and lower canines, at a period in time when dogs could roam free.

    The group would spend a lot of their Summer weekends down on the Swan river canoeing, fishing and swimming. They had all completed their swimming lessons at the Point Reserve where the annual official swimming lessons were conducted between the two wooden jettys. The area on the river’s edge in Ashfield known as White Rocks, where French Street meets Ashfield Parade, and opposite Ron Courtney Island, was where the group would normally launch their canoe and paddle North up the river towards Bassendean and Guilford, past the popular swimming areas of Sandy Beach and the Point Reserve towards the Swan Valley vineyards. With the sun on their shoulders, hand fishing lines dragging the water at the rear of the canoe, the transistor radio set to their favourite station and their Vegemite sandwiches, Milk Arrowroot biscuits and Anchore raspberry cordial packed in their metal tartan finish Willow esky, they paddled near the streaked arrowgrass, shorerushes, sheoaks and paperbarks which formed the landscape along some parts of the river’s edge, stopping every now and then along the way to rest on the river’s bank and check the hand lines for any fish caught.

    Tony and his friends were oblivious to the history of the area and its significance to any specific culture as they conducted their river adventures, and lives in general, from the perspective of white Christian inhabitants. It was their time to explore and to feel truly free from the restrictions imposed on them by their parents, the rules and regulations of society and an Education system where wearing a school uniform formed part of a structured academic environment. They had no knowledge that the Swan and Canning Rivers and their tributaries hold great significance to the Australian Indigenous Noongar people as being created and sacred to the rainbow serpent Waugal, a Dreamtime spirit taking the form of a giant snake. Aboriginal Elders taught Noongar people that the Waugal created creeks, waterholes, lakes and valleys whilst also creating the Swan River on its journey to the ocean. This strong connection is still significant to Aboriginal people who are the traditional caretakers of the land. Noongar’s close connection with the rivers and surrounding areas forms the basis for much of their culture, spirituality, and identity. For Noongar people, access to freshwater and the resources provided by the land and rivers, was central to their survival.

    Oblivious to such history, and not because of ignorance or by racial indifference, but by the lack of knowledge, they immersed themselves in the immediate landscape that has been their playground since they were born, where the poetry of youth was a short existence, like secrets uttered in the wind and remain in the landscape of time in which they were spoken.The music emanating from their transistor radio was not the sound of any Australian Indigenous culture, but that of the 1960s groups such as the Beetles and Rolling Stones.
    The food they hunted, other than the fish in the river, were the assortment of tinned, boxed, bagged and fresh produce that was available at the local Freecorns store in Bassendean. They also liked fish and chips, mortadella slices and fresh crusty bread that they purchased from the fish and chips shop near Di Blasio barbers on Old Perth Road where they used to get their hair cut, then walk down to the football oval to watch Swans play on their home ground. This was their Dreamtime.

    • Intellectual Property Copyright George Eaton-Parkes (pseudonym) 2016 Western Australia.
    George is hoping there is a children’s book illustrator / book designer out there who would consider creating illustrations for this story on a profit share basis when published. It’s more a novelette than an actual children’s book, maybe for Year 7 age group. Story still requires editing and proof reading.

    Contact: dirtsettlers “at” (replace the “at” with @).

    Liked by 1 person

    • rottobloggo says:

      Phwooaar. Good luck with your endeavour.


    • George says:

      The story about White Rocks is now slowly becoming a novel.
      If anyone knows someone who is an animator, maybe the story could be their next project.

      Title: Ashfield Bassendean 1965
      Author: George Eaton-Parkes (pseudonym)
      (Banter Poem 2017)

      Pennies and halfpennies shillings and zacks
      Pies in football crowds and tomato sauce sacks
      Lollies in tall jars and marbles galore
      Malvern Star bicycle outside the corner store

      Sandy Beach sunburn and reeds between toes
      Tadpoles and frogs in puddly holes
      Italians baking bread and billy karts of wood
      Pushrod engines and carburettors under hood

      Soft summer rain drizzle on blue bar pigeon
      Tall tiled roof churches of Christian religion
      Fruit cake and lamingtons stored in bread box
      Hills hoist clothes line and holes in football socks

      Wooden rulers and coloured pencil shavings
      Balloons and party hats and tin money box savings
      One speed wipers and quarter window breezes
      Sugar smiles and laughter and black pepper sneezes

      Newspaper wrapped fish and sloppy chips
      Silver studded belt on groovy denim hips
      California Poppy haircuts and speckle jumpers
      Bicycle dinky and skateboard thumpers

      Could be much more, but my hand is sore.

      Intellectual Property Copyright George Eaton-Parkes 2017 Western Australia.


  14. wendy comery says:

    Yea my brother was shot dead


We can handle the worst

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s