The Highgate Rain Baby

No, it wasn't there in 1932, but it's still a great tower

No, it wasn’t there in 1932, but it’s still a great tower

There are some things you don’t expect to find in Lincoln Street. A large tower to stop the sewerage smelling, yes. A weirdo dressed only in an overcoat and a pair of shoes, no.

Late one evening in June 1932, 28-year-old Stewart H. carefully folded his clothes and placed them under a tree. It was raining heavily. He told the arresting officer, Constable Weaver, he was simply having a shower. #YOLO

During the subsequent trial the media christened him the ‘Rain Baby’. As a defence, Stewart said he was unemployed and had been declined a chance to get to the Blackboy Hill Unemployment Camp to work for the dole.

The magistrate ordered him to pay costs, and ensured that he was found a place at Blackboy immediately. Sometime it pays to have an unusual shower.

Eighteen years later, Stewart was arrested in Roberts Road, Subiaco, dressed in women’s clothing and with powder and rouge on his face.

The clothing he was wearing was produced in Court. It consisted, as the newspapers carefully detailed, of a woman’s overcoat, dress, brassiere—packed with linen—a scarf, and women’s shoes. He was carrying a handbag and umbrella. Worst of all, according to the media, Stewart was wearing nothing under the dress.

“There seems to be something queer about you,” observed the magistrate.

Four years later in Kewdale, Stewart was charged with “alarming women and children” by lurking while dressed in women’s clothing. He had fled before the police arrived, but had already been recognised.

As the police explained in court, when they turned up at his East Cannington home he was wearing only blue swimming trunks and a dressing gown. This time he got fourteen days.

North Perth. Subiaco. Kewdale. Cannington. At least Stewart’s hobby got him out of the house.