1. QUEEN'S GARDENS
Queen's Gardens, Perth, is a 3.3 hectare park located on a former brickworks and clay pit site in the eastern end of Perth, Western Australia's Central Business District (CBD). The park is bounded by Hay Street to the south, Plain street to the west. Nelson Crescent to the north and Hale Street to the east.
The site of Queen's Gardens was intitially part of the commonage which was used for recreation purposes including horse racing and later as a clay pit and brickwords. Bricks were produced from the site between 1860 and 1890, and featured in many of Perth's prominent buildings constructed at that time, including the Town Hall, The Cloisters and The Barracks. At this time the place was known as the East Perth Clayfields Reserve. Betweeen 1880 and 1890 there were a number of public protests against the use of the site for clay pits, which resulted in the City of Perth partially filling the clay pits to form ponds and the site being transferred to the City for the purpose of establishing a botanic garden.
The park was opened to the public on 9 October, 1898, however it was officially opened and formally named the Queen's Gardens by the then Mayor of the City of Perth, Alexander Forrest, MLA, in October 1899.
In the years before the first world war, it was used a garden party location by the Mayor of Perth, more recently it has been popular for open-air weddings and wedding portraiture.
In June 1929 the Rotary Club of Perth presented the Perth City Council with a replica of the statue of Peter Pan, that is found in Kensington Gardens in London, as a gift to the children of Western Australia to mark the centenary of this State. The reproduction was produced by the sculptor of the original statue, Sir George Frampton, and autographed by the creator of Peter Pan, Sir J.M Barrie.
A little known fact is that the park bench from the 1999 film, Notting Hill, was donated to the City of Perth and is located in the centre of the park. The bench is inscribed "to June who loved this garden from Joseph who always sat beside her". The anonymous donor purchased the seat to propose to his girlfriend. She declined his hand in marriage and he then donated the seat to the City of Perth. This inscription is carved into the back of the bench.
For some years Phil was employed by the State Housing Commission (now Homeswest) and at one time worked in their head office at the corner of Hay and Plain Streets. Queens's Gardens is a very popular place for people to go to eat their lunch and wander around and enjoy the beauty of the place. Phil frequently did that to escape the office and enjoy a little peace and quiet in the middle of his working day.
It is indeed a very beautiful place and one I've not visited for many years but I live in hope that perhaps I may pay one last visit one day. Unfortunately it is very busy around there and parking is at a premium day and night. One thing I have learned today is about that seat. Quite romantic, but sad, being a tale of unrequited love.
I have to say thank you to Wikipedia for all the information and some of the photos; the others I found free when I googled Queen's Gardens and some of them are very lovely.