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Sunset Reveals Secrets on Night Ride

A collusion of five tandem and six single bikes rode river paths and quiet streets from Canning Bridge to Dalkeith at dusk on Mother’s Day last Sunday. The troupe’s destination was the historic 1906 site of the former Claremont Old Men’s Home, established as a hostel for homeless men during Perth’s gold-rush inspired building boom. Now a heritage listed public space, its numerous former residents included Samuel Speed who died in 1938 aged 97. He was WA’s last surviving former convict, transported to Australia for arson in 1866. He died a free but poor man. The facility was renamed “Sunset” in 1943 and eventually closed in 1995 prior to heritage listing.

After soaking up a little history and experiencing the peace of sunset over the Swan River, our fearless troop switched on their bike lights for the return trip around Mount’s Bay Road and down the freeway bike path to Canning Bridge for a group dinner at a nearby pizzeria.

As usual a big vote of thanks goes to WATCAC’s ride co-ordinator Jennifer and to all our riders for their support. Stay tuned for further weird and wonderful WATCAC rides.

Fifteen WATCAC cyclists gather at the "Sunset" lookout with the Swan River as a twilight backdrop. It is a mild and slightly cloudy autumn evening and riders are in short and long sleeves.
Our intrepid riders enjoyed sunset at the Sunset old men’s home overlooking the Swan River at Dalkeith.


A view from the corner of one of the main blocks shows well crafted hand hewn limestone construction and iron roofed verandahs.
Original sections of the historic Claremont Old Men’s Home date back to 1906, constructed from locally quarried limestone.


Long verandahs and edged lawns are shaded by large fig trees accompanying these heritage listed buildings.
Shaded by huge fig trees, the design reveals three main blocks, one of which had two padded cells. Ablutions were in an inner quadrangle and the site included a half acre of washing line.


For more information on Sunset Hospital have a look at the links below: