Point Peron K Battery
Gun Emplacement No.1
This gun emplacement is located south and due to severe sand eroding, the stability of the gun emplacement is unstable. Over the time, the land formation underneath continues to degrade, tilting the brick structure to the point of creating bigger cracks and gaps, with some bricks and concrete falling away below.
Originally submerged, the 3/4 circular reinforced-concrete shape allowed the 155mm mounted gun to have a clear view over the waters it was protecting with a 1/4 open section in the structure allowing for movement of the gun. The reinforced-concrete built central gun mount in the front inside of the structure is still intact, with its steel gun mount on top. The 270° range it traversed covered the shipping water from south of Rockingham to west over Garden Island. The guns were difficult to operate, largely due to age and wear, notwithstanding the very short time the battery was in operation or the lack of enemy engagement that took place during this time. The decision was made to change over the guns to two 5.25" guns which could also be used against enemy aircraft but by the time they arrived in Fremantle, they were never installed as Cockburn Sound was no longer used as a wartime naval base.
The brick steps inside the concrete shape have broken away and no longer form around it. With the accumulation of sand and growth of bushes inside this area, an idea of what the original flooring of the emplacement could have been like is no longer possible. The reinforced steel structure itself has become visible to weathering and severe damage, contributing to concrete and brick pieces crumbling away. Hocking Heritage Studio's report Point Peron "K" Battery Conservation Management Plan (March 2016) calls for the structure to "be secured and stabilised as soon as possible."
Exactly seven years later from the release of this report, no action has been taken, which is hardly surprising when it sadly seems to be quite the norm when it comes to heritage-listed infrastructure, let alone anything historic!
Two ammunition stores are located directly behind the gun emplacement, one to the north east and the other south east. Like the main structure, they too are subjected to the effects of eroding sand and its resulting change in the land formation but thankfully not yet to the same degree. Cracks have formed in both concrete bases, resulting in the floors being displaced to varying degrees, although the walls remain in tact.
* Whilst many of the following photos are repetitive at times, various lights and angles can show even the slightest differences in detail. Over the course of time, I will return to these photos and potentially minimise them again but as always, time is of the essence.
00 - Project Files
I am not an engineer, mathematician or whatnot, although I was just messing around with some ideas. This is from an email I sent to the legendary Garry from Fremantle Stuff:
"If you were to find the weight bearing load towards the back centre and remove sand to lower the back proportion whilst somehow maintaining the structure supported at the front without damaging the integrity of the material, like the way they load and lift an elephant, you could reduce the angle difference to that of a more horizontal one. There’d be a 50% chance of a break in half of the structure where the weight bearing load is (what sits on the sand and what doesn’t so much) but even that taking place may not actually be a severe result."
Maybe the pros will say that wouldn't work and I have no idea if what I said makes sense but I see it in my head!
I shall only upload one image, as it shows the severity of the sand erosion and its effects. I'm not one likened to piss around doing nothing and am sick to death of the inaction that is common to places like this, with or without committees and professionals and all their good intentions, taking years and blaming BS red tape bureaucracy. Yes... I know this sort of thing takes planning and a helluva lot of money and experience but it feels like no one really gives a shit. Just a reminder.... 80 years later and what?????