The Cockburn region’s key role in the development of Western Australia’s horse-racing industry has been recognised with the historic Randwick Stables being entered in the State’s Register of Heritage Places.
Environment and Heritage Minister Dr Judy Edwards said the Government was committed to protecting the important historical site - which was representative of the many registered horse stables that had operated in the area in the first half of last century.
“It was part of the growth of our horse-racing industry and associated industries such as the blacksmith shops in Hamilton Hill and South Fremantle,” Dr Edwards said.
“Randwick Stables was home to many racing identities, including trainer Jimmy Banks, who trained the 1950 Perth Cup winner Beau Vasse - he and his wife Florence then purchased the property with the winnings.
“The site has important cultural significance - not only for its racing history but also because it reveals an era of ‘making do’ and great improvisation.
“With its galvanised metal lining, timber floors, and French doors, Randwick Stables made great use of any materials at hand.”
The stables complex was erected in the 1920s for Frederick Charles John ‘Jack’ Marks, one of the prominent horse-racing Marks family.
WA’s gold rush of the 1880s and 1890s brought a huge population increase to many areas. Horseracing, first recorded at South Beach in 1833, also flourished. In Fremantle, new subdivisions and industries sprang up and in 1924, Jack Marks bought land for stables in Hamilton Hill.
“Family history suggests that Jack couldn’t sell his Kalgoorlie house, so he brought it to Hamilton Hill by train and re-erected it, adding more rooms later,” Dr Edwards said.
After Jack Marks died in 1926, his brother Sol operated the business as Randwick Stables. Subsequent owners included John Egan, who rented stalls to local trainers, and Jimmy and Florence Banks.
In 1999, Main Roads Western Australia bought Randwick Stables from the Banks family as part of the scheme for the proposed Fremantle Eastern Bypass.
The place was referred to the Heritage Council of WA in December 2000 and Main Roads commissioned a heritage assessment in view of the likely impact of the proposed bypass. Randwick Stables is now occupied by tenants and continues to operate as a licensed stable.
Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan has announced that the road reserve for the Fremantle Bypass will be lifted and that planning for the area has begun.
Dr Edwards said the heritage listing included not only the stables but also surrounding grounds, as well a single-storey timber home with stone and laundry and well.
Minister's office: 9220 5050