It can be hard on our country cousins when they don’t understand city ways. Take for example, Charles Sonesson who came down to Fremantle from Narrogin in 1917. Needing somewhere to sleep for the night he booked his bed at the Alhambra Café in Henry Street.
This café had opened in 1900 in the Marich Buildings, with a dining room decorated with mirrors and wall paintings. The upstairs bedrooms were described as considerably large and clean. Which is nice.
In accordance with the sign displayed outside the Alhambra, Charles paid one shilling for his room. It being early, our young Narrogin hero went for a walk, but was disgusted by how Fremantle girls were wearing their skirts way too short.
Disappointed in modern women he went back to the Alhambra, where the night porter said, “Oh, yes, this is your room, sir, but it’s another four shillings, please.”
“Nonsense!” said Charles, “I’ve paid for my bed.”
“That’s all right, old chap,” said the porter, “but you don’t know what’s in it yet. Step this way.”
After stepping that way and duly minding the step, Charles was shown into a bedroom where Miss Lily Smith, or, as her name was entered in the book—Miss Cherrynose—was lying on Charles’ bed.
The young man from Narrogin tried to explain he hadn’t requested any extras, but the night porter was having none of it.
“Come on, come on,” he said, “gimme the other four bob, she’s all right.”
It was not until he called the police that Charles could get his possessions and flee the Alhambra Café to find accommodation elsewhere in the delightful city.
Can anyone recommend accommodation in Fremantle now that provides additional services?