A Torana of gold, against your soul

Yes, I have been spending too much time on the Beaufort St arrondisement, so it was a nice change to be able to head West into the town of Cambridge and down to Floreat Beach.

Look, town of Cambridge elders. When I make my first outing to the coast for the Summer, I don’t expect my family to be confronted with a gold fucking Torana. Clean up your act Cambridge! And while we’re in Floreat, is Floreat Forum the worst looking shopping centre in Australia? Why does it have guard towers? Are there guards up there keeping cowering customers inside? And this is the good view. I wanted to stop and see if the pub The Floreat (Or “The Flogger” as I call it) was as bad as its shopping neighbour, but it was too early. Can anyone tell me?

The devil went down to Floreat

The devil went down to Florea


Wot we got is a failure to communicate

Wot we got is a failure to communicate

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 architecture, worst car, worst shop design and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

90 Responses to A Torana of gold, against your soul

  1. Kwality says:

    That Torana is in outstanding shape.


  2. Sophie says:

    Wow, that really, seriously looks like a prison.


  3. Orbea says:

    That Torree is a classic of the genre. a 202 with a traumatic and original trim. Original radio and single speaker in the dash! Monofidelity


  4. BrownBook says:

    Lovely Torana

    Also, Floreat Forum has been my local shops since like for ever. It’s actually quite nice inside, Gloria Jean’s notwithstanding. Anyone else remember when one end burnt down in about 1982?


  5. The Devil Drink says:

    It’s true.
    That Torana really is in great nick.


  6. Still no word on why the gun towers though. That is part of Flogger Forum isn’t it?


  7. poor lisa says:

    Floreat Forum used to be pretty cool.

    And not pretty cool. ‘The Young Australians performing at Floreat Forum’ apparently.

    Maybe the Torana was left there by one of them


  8. Cookster says:

    I chastise myself for not having made this submission myself. If it wasn’t for a few pesky native trees – why haven’t we replaced them all with palms already? – I could literally see the guard towers from my place.

    And yes, every time I park up there I look across at the towers and wonder ‘why?’ I look harder and try and find some reason, some remote possibility that it’s simply clever design in play, but no. Them’s guard towers.

    Can anyone please find a pic of the pink WWII tank that stood out front of the forum for many years in the late 70s? I remember climbing into that tank one very hot summer day only to find a human turd at the bottom.


  9. skink says:

    I went to The Floreat pub once

    it was everything you might expect from a pub inside a mini-mall.

    not as bad as I feared, but not good enough so that I have ever chosen to return.

    it was filled with young gentlemen with popped collars and too much hair product, so that they all looked like Beaker from the Muppets.

    is there a name for that hairstyle currently favoured by male yoof and footballers, where your hair is left long and then sculpted forward with two ounces of hair gel into a swirling mess?

    if not, may I suggest it be christened the ‘gormless git’?


  10. poor lisa says:

    Isn’t it something like The Beckham (c.2003)?

    The guard towers – designed to house snipers to target shoppers from east of the Harborne St divide?


  11. Cookster says:

    Fear not, I’ve emailed the Forum’s centre manager (Quentin) to ask on the origins of the towers:

    Hi Quentin

    I’m doing a bit of research on the Floreat area and wondered if you could please provide me with some details on the ‘tower’ like structures at the Forum and what they represent? Are they an architectural feature, or are they used as surveillance towers of sort, ie, as in prison guard towers?

    My thoughts are that they house telecommunications equipment of some sort, but my neighbour thinks that security people hide up there and pick out shop lifters. He’s a bit paranoid to say the least, but I must say, they really do look like guard towers… it is a faux-prison theme perhaps?

    Also, as a lad I remember there being a pink tank in the front of the shopping centre – do you have any images from that time, or can you tell me where the tank ended up? I will never forget climbing inside that tank once – must have been 42 degrees outside and 55 inside – only to find a poo (human) at the bottom. The things you remember as a kid hey!?!?

    I know you’re a busy man with so much activity going on, but I’d really appreciate your feedback.

    Many thanks

    PS – the Forum is the only place I could find that sold underpants specifically designed with a pouch in the front to hold a cricket box!!!


  12. Cookster says:

    A prompt response – and yes, I’m getting that DVD:


    The towers are for passive airconditioning. They are called shower towers and use falling water to naturally cool the air.

    On the tank front I am not sure where it ended up but I have had reports of unsavoury things occurring in there from time to time way back when.

    If you are interested we have a dvd from when the centre was built and does show all the original features.

    Let me know if you want a copy.

    Quentin Dennis
    Centre Manager
    Floreat Forum
    The GPT Group


  13. David Cohen says:



  14. Bento says:

    I think Ice-T asked the question we all ask ourselves from time to time.

    And I ask myself again
    Who has the power
    The Whites? The Blacks?
    Or just the gun tower
    – The Tower, Ice-T


  15. Golden1 says:

    Passive air-conditioning maybe, but also very handy for taking out anyone who doesn’t return their shopping trolley to the designated area.


  16. David Cohen says:

    I bet skink looks like Dr Bunsen Honeydew.


  17. poor lisa says:

    FF is the only shopping centre I’ve ever seen that has more ‘old people’s’ parking spots (designated by stencils of bentover figures with walking sticks) than ‘parents with prams’ parking spots. I always just take the geriatrics’ spots because there are never any cars in them.


  18. skink says:

    DFOC @16

    wrong, I look like Link Hogthrob:



  19. Snuff says:

    One for the ages, TLA. In that condition, the Torana could soon be worth its weight in proverbial.

    Beautiful links @ 7, poor lisa. Floreat Forum was considered tres funky when it first opened, and not just for the alliteration. I too graduated from Dunlop Volleys to those Adidas.

    Good work on the [passive air-conditioning … yeah, right] towers, Cookster.

    And it would be remiss of me not to don a lei and hula for 小浜, DFOC.


  20. Cookster says:

    @19 – Snuff, I got me a copy of the Floreat Forum movie gratis… all I gotta do is go to centre management and tell ’em Quentin sent me.

    Te ‘Rage – you’ve been smoking herring all day haven’t you?


  21. Dukes says:

    Too bad it’s 6… and it’s auto……. and it’s gold….


  22. David Cohen says:

    You bet Cooky. Hawaii herring, with a dash of Kenya and a whiff of Indonesia…a heady, world-changing, convention-busting blend…


  23. Cookster says:

    But, are you happy?


  24. margeryx says:

    That Torana is definitely not worst. I would be proud to own it.

    I haven’t looked after my children as well as that car has been looked after by it’s owner.


  25. Vic Demised says:

    Cookster @ 8 (etc.) I think it was actually an armoured personnel carrier outside Floreat Forum for us circa 1969 kids to play in. That was pretty cool, though it would have been better if they’d left the ammo in it. I don’t think it was my turd you found, ’cause I left mine in the tank they had at Dianella Plaza. What was it about shopping centres and armoured vehicles back then? Were they getting us kids ready to be conscripted?

    I think those guard towers were originally the peaks of Big Top circus tents or something when they revamped the place in the early 80s.

    I juggled children in the Floreat Hotel’s ‘Camelot Restaurant’ in the early 90s. It was a good gig. One of the barmaids in the adjacent bar met me at her front door in some very tasteful lingerie one evening; she was a good gig too. (Sorry to keep using this site as a confessional for my youthful sexual sins, LA. Somehow you keep posting stuff that causes eruptions of naughty nostalgia in this ageing Lothario.)


  26. You juggled children? Chainsaws not good enough for you?


  27. Not “jiggled” children right?


  28. poor lisa says:

    I hope you can give us some gory details from “Floreat Forum The Movie” cookster.

    I read in the paper that the FF is struggling financially & it’s for sale, does anyone want to form a consortium with me and buy it? The western suburbs are a bargain at the moment apparently.


  29. Rolly says:

    @28 poor lisa

    It’s probably a good place for “AussieCash” (see today’s blog posting) to set up shop.
    They’d bring in plenty of passing trade for the other shopkeepers.


  30. Vic Demised says:

    LA @ 26+27

    “I juggled children” was shorthand for “I provided entertainment for the misbehaving brats of rich patrons, a job that included the aerial manipulation of objects more numerous than the hands I had available”. In some cases, chainsaws may have been less problematic.

    And no, the “u” in juggle was not a typo.


  31. Cookster says:

    Ahhh, nostalgia… yes, I think the circus tent peaks is correct Vic, but I’m sticking with the tank theory. I’m contacting that ABC TV show to get them on the case to track it down.

    When we purchase the Forum I want that sucker back out front, with fossilised turd intact.

    I’ll work with TLA to see if we can cut up a bit of that footage for TWOP.


  32. Can you get Paul Murray to review the video?


  33. Bento says:

    And a Strippers World as the anchor tenant.


  34. Cookster says:

    Better still, a TWOP theme park:
    – Ride the Wild Pinder
    – Animal themed cars merry-go-round
    – Pin the cunt-kini on the stripper
    – Graffiti wall
    – The incredible She-Ra
    The opportunities are boundless…


  35. Rolly says:

    Shit, Cookster, the mind boggles.


  36. Frank Calabrese says:

    And with daily performances by Kingsley Koala, Wally Walrus hosted by Barry Barkla & Tod Johnson with Keith McDonald hosting the Kiddies segment :-)


  37. Cookster says:

    And why not bring back Percy Penguin and Sally Squirrell?


  38. Frank Calabrese says:

    And why not bring back Percy Penguin and Sally Squirrell?

    Ahh, poor old Sally, was involved in a bit of a custody battle between 7 & 9 when the PBS Squirral’s Club was originally shown on Nine and produced by Elephant Productions – creators of Flapper the Elephant, and then went over to Ch 7, the original hostess was one Jenny dunstan, sister in law of Barry McKinnon.

    Poor old Percy has had an interesting life, sort of became the victim of his introducing Fat Cat as his “entry”, in the World’s Biggest Cat” Competition on Children’s Channel 7 – it drove him to drink, and later on, was very close to Todd McKinney, he was his iiner skin so to speak.


  39. I loved Brindley the cat – channel 9. He was brilliant. Alan Bond painted him on a yacht, or pylon or a cloud or I don’t know what it was but it was what Bondy did best before he got into yachts, kookaburra’s and Danish pastries.

    Gotta love a Torana.

    And gotta love Ms Mauds. Isn’t that where Anne Frank hid out? Behind the shortbread biscuits?

    My memory is fading friends.

    As Bondy always said…..Keep it clean and keep it fresh.



  40. Ljuke says:

    “Worstworld”. Set up in the old site of Dizzy Lamb Park.


  41. crankynick says:

    The gun towers are to house the Mall Ninjas, of course…


  42. Vic Demised says:

    Frank @ 38 -I did a gig once as Captain Flinders at Flinders Square Shopping Centre as the support act to Flapper the Elephant. I was just about to introduce him when his handler, Louise Antonas, whispered in my ear that Flapper had locked his head in the car with the keys, and they had to get the spare head ferried down from Dianella HQ. Much stalling ensued as angry kids and mums threatened to tear down the shopping centre, but Louise sang sweetly and calmed them down.

    Cookster @ 37 -I believe P. Penguin’s career was cut short when the guy inside him keeled over from a combination of heat exhaustion and heroin overdose. Or maybe that’s just showbiz scuttlebutt.


  43. Frank Calabrese says:

    Cookster @ 37 -I believe P. Penguin’s career was cut short when the guy inside him keeled over from a combination of heat exhaustion and heroin overdose. Or maybe that’s just showbiz scuttlebutt.

    I’ve mentioned this before, but one of my cousin’s first wife was a member of the Shirley Halliday Dancers and performed as a baby penguin during a Miss West Coast Telecast. Apparently Old Percy was as drunk as as anything, and vomited in the suit.

    I may be totally wrong, but I “Think” Percy’s Alter ego was this bloke.



  44. Frank Calabrese says:

    Speaking of Percy, I think the best person to ask about such matters is Bret Treasure from Free Beer, who is the son of the late Brian Treasure, former Channel 7 General Manager.



  45. Vic Demised says:

    Frank @ 43 -Nah, not Glenn Swift. Despite the grey hair, he’s not old enough. Also, I worked with Glenn on quite a few kids’ theatre projects from 1981, and he’s not a substance abuser. Percy had carked it by then. Glenn was/is Perth’s foremost exponent of the Alexander technique for spinal alignment, as well as one of the great womanisers of our fair city. The joke used to be that he’d lay his women down with a phone book under their heads.

    I was in the Childrens Channel 7 studio one morning when magician Paul Stanton performed the old rabbit-out-of-his-hat trick, with Fat Cat as his helper. Startled by the bright studio lights, the rabbit made a leap for the closest thing he could find to a rabbit hole -Fat Cat’s mouth. As they cut to an ad-break, the kids were treated to the spectacle of the Obese Feline looking like he was trying to swallow the rabbit whole. I think that was the same day Fat Cat copped a raw egg across his face at the messy end of my jugglig routine, requiring extensive, expensive dry-cleaning. Ah, live TV!


  46. Frank Calabrese says:

    Frank @ 43 -Nah, not Glenn Swift. Despite the grey hair, he’s not old enough. Also, I worked with Glenn on quite a few kids’ theatre projects from 1981, and he’s not a substance abuser.

    Thanks for that, was a bit confused as there was a TVW producer who played Percy and was apparently a dancer and appeared on a later Beauty Telecast doing a Charlie Chaplin type routine.

    A few years back, Jenny Seaton and Gary Carvolth actually did an interview with the person playing Fat Cat (who according to an independent lighting Person’s facebook page is now a female), which isn’t surprising with blokes being reluctant to be in a suit and cuddling kids, lest they’re accused of molesting the little dears.


  47. vic demised says:

    Frank @ 46 -for many years -most of his life- Fat Cat was internally animated by a sweet little camp guy called Reg. Off-camera (off-head) Fat Cat was a quite disturbing sight, as Reg wore a sort of cloth swimming cap that made him look like one of the Apollo astronauts without a helmet. Kind of lost and vulnerable.The cap was to stop the sweat running into Reg’s eyes, as he was of course unable to wipe it away. He had a little battery powered fan in there to help too. The head was always kept in a cloth bag until the last minute, because it was just too weird to see it sitting on a chair by itself.

    When I did a support gig for Fat Cat at Narrogin in the 80s the long chauffeured drive in a TVW saloon gave Reg the chance to tell me some great stories about some of the weird things that had happened to him -as Fat Cat- over the years. One of these entailed the discovery of a bee inside the head during an outside gig, with Reg unable to do a thing about it. He was also stabbed by a youth with a knitting needle during a shopping centre walkaround. Luckily it was in Fat Cat’s well-padded arse, and did not penetrate Reg himself.

    Re your final point about the reluctance of blokes to cuddle kids -I don’t think gender has anything to do with this any more. Women are just as scared to cuddle kids they don’t know, equally fearful of 21st century witch-burning, by which we are all diminished.


  48. Frank Calabrese says:

    Hmm, Fat Cat has been outsourced.


    And ironically this mob are also agents for Tod Johnston’s Peace, Love & All That Stuff.


  49. Frank Calabrese says:

    What, no Lazy Aussie ?

    With the exception of John How-Odd, aka Alex Manfrin, the rest of the “Comedy Acts”, cater to the 6PR demographic.



  50. Alex does appear on 6PR from time to time.


  51. Frank Calabrese says:

    Alex does appear on 6PR from time to time.

    Yes, but on Steve Gordon’s saturday Night show, and Steve is an exception to the genetal gene pool of 6PR “Announcers” :-)


  52. Vic Demised says:

    “With the exception of John How-Odd, aka Alex Manfrin, the rest of the “Comedy Acts”, cater to the 6PR demographic.”

    -Malcolm Dix is pretty damned funny too, Frank. Though no doubt he could adapt himself to appeal to 6PR listeners. Jon Doust used to be pretty funny, but I haven’t seen him since 1993.

    The galaxy of children’s entertainers they have listed on that site seems to suffer from a surfeit of stuffed animal characters. Where’s Wolley the Clown?


  53. Malcolm Dix is fantastic. Jon Doust has a blog infrequently updated.


  54. Frank Calabrese says:

    The galaxy of children’s entertainers they have listed on that site seems to suffer from a surfeit of stuffed animal characters. Where’s Wolley the Clown?

    The clowns are on this page.


    But you are right, suited characters are easier to maintain because they don’t speak and are easier to replace if they misbehave, as illustrated by an actress who played one of the Teddy’s in the live Bananas in Pyjamas show being sacked after being charged for glassing another woman while drunk.



  55. Vic Demised says:

    Frank, I’ve got to say, the general standard of children’s emtertainment has fallen absymally in the last decade. The quantity has increased, but the quality… nah! Maybe it’s sour grapes -I did it for 25 years and have had to retire due to injury- but there are so many time-servers and lowest-common-denominator manipulators just cashing in nowdays. There really is good money to be made, especially through schools gigs, where big numbers can be guaranteed. Yeah, it is sour grapes…

    Have to declare an interest here -Wolley the Clown is my brother. Before the late Reg Bolton arrived in Perth in the mid 80s and taught hundreds of kids to juggle, stilt-walk and unicycle, Wolley (Andy) and I were the only Perth clowns with any range of circus skills. Wolley still does heaps of fantastic work as a Clown Doctor at Princess Margaret Hospital and in outback aboriginal communities.


  56. Vic Demised says:

    Agreed, LA, Malcolm Dix is a genius.


  57. Look, re people in character suits: I think there’s a book in this. I never had anything to do with Percy Penguin (no, really) but used to hang around with the Disney on Parade crew a bit. I know that the lady who played the Wicked Witch had to give it away. After a while, being hated by kids gets to you. Ask any parent.


  58. Frank Calabrese says:

    I know that the lady who played the Wicked Witch had to give it away. After a while, being hated by kids gets to you. Ask any parent.

    And on the other hand, there was the bloke who played Taffy the Lion who hated kids, mind you having your tail pulled and being in a suit which showed your face would do that.


  59. How did we get here from Toranas? Vic, you have any original photos that might start a post on its own?


  60. vic demised says:

    As in ‘Perth’s worst children’s entertainers’? That would require too much bandwidth. (Oh Vic, you bitter man!)


  61. #55vic “I did it for 25 years and have had to retire due to injury”. That woulld be a groin based injury I’m assuming.

    Do you have ANY pic of you clownin, or other characters we can kick off a post with? Is a popular topic.

    MY brother was Wally Walrus at Kalamunda pool for a while.


  62. Vic Demised says:

    Err, neck injury actually, LA, but don’t jump to sordid conclusions about that. I’ll see if I can dig out a pic or two.

    BTW, I’ll be making a “big comedy comeback” at the Laugh Resort on November 19 -first comedy gig since the last time I had the pleasure of MCing you at the Hyde Park, three or four years ago. It’s a benefit gig with about a dozen comics, so I’ll only have to remember five minutes or so worth of material. Probably about the limit of my attention span these days.


  63. I fly out to the land of the long white clowns the night before, but remind me on the weekend and I’ll put up a notice.


  64. Cookster says:

    Look what happens, you take a break at post 28 to do some paid work and come back only to find yourself at post 63…

    I know that Sally Squirel was played by Narelle Hourn, sister of my best mate, for some time.

    Fat Cat… what an enigma… the ‘goodnight’ segments they’re running now at 7.30pm are a fucking disgrace – nothing more than glorified ads to sell stuffed toys. That ‘outsourcing’ has something to do with it I’m sure.

    I had a great Xmas ‘out takes’ VHS tape in the late 80s with Fat Cat drinking Jim Beam and looking at stick mags, poking his finger in and out of a ‘hole’ made by his other hand – a great look for teh kideez.


  65. Vic Demised says:

    Cookster, that wouldn’t have been the *real* Fat Cat. That would have been someone dressed up, pretending to be Fat Cat.

    Predictably, the studio crew at 7 used to call him “Fart Cart”.


  66. Frank Calabrese says:

    Cookster, that wouldn’t have been the *real* Fat Cat. That would have been someone dressed up, pretending to be Fat Cat.

    Unless the blooper came from SAS in Adelaide, which was TVW’s sister station and it was the South Australian Fat Cat.


    And according to a recent interview on Steve Gordon’s 6PR Sunday Night Show, former Perth Radio DJ and now cabbie Graham Bowra, was selected to be Humphrey Bear for Perth live appearances in the 60’s and mentioned how he had to go to Adelaide and “Humphrey School” to learn the finer arts of suit animation.

    Graham also played Chicken Man.



  67. vic demised says:

    “Humphrey School” -hilarious! Lesson 1, hand-clapping. Lesson 2, tummy-rubbing. Lesson 3, brow-wiping. OK, you’ve graduated.


  68. forkboy says:

    Mal Dix for P.M!


  69. Frank Calabrese says:

    “Humphrey School” -hilarious! Lesson 1, hand-clapping. Lesson 2, tummy-rubbing. Lesson 3, brow-wiping. OK, you’ve graduated.

    I’m pretty sure it also covered areas on how Humphrey should behave in public, care of the suit etc, as well as stuff like don’t leave the suit lying around so kiddies can see it, how to deal with troublesome kids who will try and attack you and so on.

    Pretty common sense stuff, these days of course not any old man or woman can don the suit, you now need a working with children card, though that applies to any kids entertainer.


  70. Vic Demised says:

    Forkboy @ 68 -Alex Manfrin’s new job is as PM Kev. But I’m sure Malcolm Dix has the smarts to improvise his way through the job. It’d certainly be funnier than the incumbent.

    Frank @ 69 -How long will it be before we need a “Working with Women” card? or “Working with Wrinklies”? or “Working with Wongai”? or “Working with Wheelies”? Kids are not the only potentially vulnerable demographic.


  71. maja says:

    I’m pretty sure I know the guy that owns that torana. Or I know a guy that also owns a gold torana in pristine condition like that one.


  72. Hi Maja. Yes I think the consensus is that the Torana is NOT WORST, but Floreat forum is.


  73. Frank Calabrese says:

    I hope you can give us some gory details from “Floreat Forum The Movie” cookster.

    Perhaps this could be an excuse for a TWOPO meet where we can watch this piece of Perth History.

    BTW, I’ve just remembered who the bloke who was Percy – I’m 99% sure it was TVW producer Brian J Smith.


  74. Frank Calabrese says:

    And speaking of Percival P Penguin, here he is in full flight in the 1970 Boans 75th Birthday Parade.


  75. Snuff says:

    Beautiful image, Frank. The strange part is knowing I’m probably in there somewhere.


  76. Frank Calabrese says:

    And while looking on the 94.5 website, I’d forgotten about their “Great Mascot Race” for Telethon.



  77. Pingback: The Stingray of Capitalism « The Worst of Perth

  78. The Legend 101 says:

    Whos Car is that i love old cars Chevelot,Porge,Volvo,Beetle ex.


  79. Premier Pompano Beach Plumber


  80. orbea says:

    Has Cookster put that Floreat video up on ewetoob yet?


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