Saturday Morning In Western Australia

on September 09, 2016

Can you all remember Saturday morning in Western Australia in the 1960's? If you were keen you got up at 7:30 and had a hasty breakfast and headed out to the shops ready for them to open. At 9:00 it was, as they say in the riot control training films, on.

From Fremantle to Wanneroo and as far east as the Greenmount hill, the entire world came out and tried to cram themselves into the shops to get what they needed for the coming week. You took life chances in Boans in the city and basically you could only visit one side of Albany Highway in Victoria Park because there was no way short of 1:00 that you were going to get to the other; choose right or left and be satisfied with it.

Then at the stroke of 1:00 PM the entire town shut up with a clang, and everyone vanished into football stadia, pubs, or dark lounge rooms. The only sound up Murray Street was crickets and the rustle of tumbleweeds....

Things has changed*. Shops open all afternoon on Saturday and people can spread their purchasing time out a little better. Some places even open Sunday and money changes hands. They have cleaned the tumbleweeds from Murray Street.

All this to say that the people who have heretofore been desperate on Saturday in their quest to buy photographic gear from Camera Electronic will be able to able to benefit greatly from the opening of the new Camera Electronic store at the corner of Murray and Queen Street. Consider the following:

a. There will be two shops and more space dedicated to gear. More staff to serve customers. Shorter waits, perhaps.

b. New transport options. The new store will be just a block away from the Perth Underground train station. If you want to tootle in from Clarkson. Mandurah, Fremantle, or Midland on the train you can leave the car at home and not have to circle the city block looking for a space. Those of us with Seniors cards can do the entire trip for free and have extra money to buy lenses. And we're gonna be smug about it, too...

c. There are two pubs on the way from the Perth Underground Station to Queen Street and a bar down Queen street. The Belgian Beer Cafe is just over the road. There are restaurants galore. You need not suffer at any time from hunger or thirst.

d. If the train-travellers flock to Murray Street, the car drivers will have more Saturday parking spots in Stirling street. Just choose your transport and head on in.

e. You'll have new vistas to test wide-angle lenses out on in Murray Street. Stirling Street will still be best for telephoto...

All the above having been said, you'll still need to remember that the wide open spaces of the weekdays - from 9:00 to 11:00 and 2:00 to 5:00 - are the best choice for people who need to have an extended consultation. The rush of lunch hour or the despair of closing time are somewhat abated, and sales assistants can help people with more questions. It's likely to be the same way with the new store - weigh up your needs and plan your visit accordingly.

Someone asked what the heating and cooling will be like in the new place - no idea whatsoever, but when I discover it I'll let you know. Summer is coming and this sort of thing is an important consideration.

*Some things have sadly gone; the city cinemas are no more. They were the destination of choice for a lot of us back then.