1950s Bert’s Shop at City Beach

Tea Rooms History

The City Beach Tea Rooms were located on a foreshore road at City Beach from the 1930s to 1970s. It is assumed the Tea Rooms were built in the 30s around the time the City of Perth SLSC Club building and rock groyne were built in 1935.

The beach formerly known as Ocean Beach was named City Beach by the Perth City Council in 1928 (after acquiring the Lime Kilns Estate in 1917). Access to City Beach was by plank road from Wembley from 1918 to 1951.

In the mid-70s The Perth City Council demolished the wooden Tea Rooms building and replaced it with a concrete kiosk. Sometime later the foreshore road was also removed due to constant beach erosion.

Photo: 1930s photo of City Beach. This image shows the foreshore road, rubber surf mat hire shed in foreground, two beach kiosks and the Tea Rooms in the background. Image credit Cambridge Library – Local Studies.

1930s City Beach foreshore road, kiosks & shop- Cambridge Library-Local Studies

Tea Room Leaseholders

Late 50s- 62 Bob & Bert
1962 Fred
1963-64 Eric (ex England)
1965-67 Colin
1968-70 Mario

City Beach Board Club

In 1953 Ray Geary (age 16) from Wembley started the City Beach Board Club (CBBC) with Graham Killen, Johnny Budge, Brian Cole & some keen surfing mates.

Ray Geary: “The leaseholder of the Tea Rooms gave the Club approval to dig out sand below the building and make an enclosure for Club Meetings and surf board storage.”

In the late 50s the local surfers referred to the Tea Rooms as ‘Bert’s shop’ (after the lease holder at the time).

Photo: 1958 Bert’s Shop (aka City Beach Tea Rooms).  Photo credit Brian Cole.

1958 City Beach Bert's Shop - Brian Cole

Bert’s shop was the unofficial base for surfers in the area. Grommets from CBBC used to ‘hang out’ on the steps of the shop.

Photos: 50s hanging out at the shop.

The photo on the left was taken in the winter time as many of the boys are wearing bears suits (WW2 flying suits) to keep warm.

Left: 1956 Ian Scott, Don Roper, Ray Geary, Ian Chapple and others.  Photo credit of John Budge.
Right: 1958 (sitting) Garry Stewart, John Harbison & unidentified, (standing) Charlie Roper & Terry Jacks. Photo credit Brian Cole.

1950s City Beach grommets compilation 01

Photos: 50s surfing at City Beach #1.

Top left: 1956 Ray Geary riding 16ft toothpick plywood board. Ray Geary pic.
Top Right: 1957 Brian Cole on hollow 10ft Malibu plywood board. WA Newspaper pic
Bottom Left: 1957 Ken Hamer on plywood surf ski made by Brian Cole. WA Newspapers pic.
Bottom right: 1957 John Peterson on toothpick plywood board. WA Newspaper pic

1950s City Beach surfing IMG_002

Photos: 50s surfing at City Beach #2.

Left: 1958 Peter Docherty (13) with 12 ft plywood board near rock groyne. Peter Docherty pic.
Right top : 1958 Colin Taylor & Dave Williams surfing south side City Beach. Brian Cole pic
Right bottom: 1959 John Harbison (15) surfing 13 ft plywood board. WA Newspaper pic

1950s City Beach surfing IMG_006








1958-2011 Peter Docherty’s Autoboardography

Peter ‘Doc’ Docherty (age 13) started riding plywood ‘Toothpick’ surfboards at City Beach in 1958. Doc surfed metro, Lancelin & South West beaches and shaped balsa surf boards at his parents place in Floreat (and nearly sent his folks crazy). Brian Cole employed Doc as a sander at King & Cole Surfboards in Wembley. Brian recalls Doc used to sit in a corner & play his guitar. Doc co-founded the City Beach Surf Riders (CBSR) Club with Viv Kitson in 1962. Late 1963 Doc toured eastern states surf beaches with Terry Jacks, Ernie Potter & other WA boys. He returned to WA to attend Uni in 1965, then moved back & settled on the East Coast.

Doc is a talented artist & musician. He now lives with his wife Annie on the NSW Central Coast near his home beach of Avoca Beach.

This montage is Peter’s autoboardography showing all his surfboards from his 12ft plywood board in 1958 to his 11ft Surftech surfboard in 2011. The orange pig board (2nd from left) was Murray Smith’s first surfboard. The green board in the middle is a 10ft Reynolds Yater (USA). Doc had the board recoloured Maroon by the guys at Scotty Dillion’s surf shop (NSW) and sold it to Cordingleys (WA) in 66. Doc says  “If you come across a 10ft maroon board, grab it, sand through the maroon resin and you may discover evidence of a valuable antique.” Missing from the montage is Doc’s current board a Tom Wegner Alaia shape (finless) board. Image credit Peter Docherty.

1958-2011 P Docherty's Autoboardography from 12ft plywood to 11ft surftech surfboards

1962 This is a fuzzy shot of Peter Docherty’s bedroom / surfboard shaping room at his parent’s place in Floreat. The CBSR Club’s inaugural meeting was held in this room. Photo credit Peter Docherty.

1962 Peter Docherty's bedroom-boardroom. Site of inaugural CBSR meeting Floreat

In the early 60s Doc shaped balsa surfboards for City Beach hot rats Barry Day & Norm ‘Dot’ Kitson. This 1965 photo shows Norm Kitson of Floreat holding a 9’10” balsa board shaped by Peter Docherty. Photo courtesy of Norm Kitson.

1965 Norm Kitson with Peter Docherty 9 ft 10 balsa board - N Kitson pic


1971 Peter ‘Spook’ Bothwell on Yallingup hill

This 1971 photo shows an unkempt Peter ‘Spook’ Bothwell relaxing at his historic Hammond cottage on Yallingup hill. He is wearing a pair of yellow scuffs bought back from India by his surfing mate Terry Jacks. Spook was State Open Surfing Champ 1968-69 and a finalist at the Australian Surfing Titles held at Margaret River in 1969. He retired from competitive surfing in 1970. Image credit Peter Bothwell.1971 Yalls Peter Bothwell yellow shoes ex Terry Jacks India - Peter Bothwell picThis 1971 photo shows Spook’s cottage on a near empty Yallingup hill. It is one of the original holiday cottages built by the Hammond family in the early 1950s. Image credit Peter Bothwell.1971 Yalls Spook's Hammond shack - Peter Bothwell IMG_0002


1965 Kevin Agar at Rocky Point

Kevin Agar, Ian ‘Moochie’ Strongman & Terry Jacks took Jim King on his first surf trip to Rocky Point in 1965. This photo shows Kevin Agar suiting up in the former dirt car park at the Point. The boys had approval from the d’Espeissis family to travel through their property and access the waves. However, Moochie still chose to pick the padlock on the front gate to show off his skills.  Fun waves were had by all. Photo credit Jim King.1965 Rocky Point in SW Kevin Agar - J King pic


1964 WA surfing legend Terry Jacks

In 1964 Terry Jacks and some of his City Beach surfing mates headed to the east coast seeking better waves. In this photo taken at Byron Bay, Terry is standing on the left with Ernie Potter & Peter ‘Doc” Docherty. Terry returned to WA and established a reputation as the state’s most talented ‘free surfer’. In one of his rare contest appearances, he nearly beat former World Champion Midget Farrelly in an Invitational Event held at Yallingup in 1968. Terry moved down south and surfed Boranup for years. In 1990 he died of blood poisoning contracted while surfing in Indonesia. Photo courtesy Ernie Potter.

1964 Byron Bay Terry Jacks, Ernie Potter & Peter Docherty - E potter pic

Below: Terry Jacks ‘free surfing’ at Trigg Beach in 1970. Photographer unknown.

1970 Triggs Terry Jacks - S Bettenay was there - unknown pic img286