Iceworks Lane

This right-of way that runs from Mint Street, behind Albany Highway through to Dane Street, East Victoria Park is named “in recognition of the iceworks which existed in the area. Newspaper advertisements from the late 1940’s show that Victoria Park Ice and Cold Storage was located at 860 Albany Highway, Victoria Park, which is the property where the East Victoria Park IGA store, Tao Japanese Sushi Train and Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt stores are now located (2015). The owners of the iceworks were the Colley family, and Hendley Butchers were also located at the same address.
The Victoria Park Ice Works and Cold Storage
In about 1925 Bruce Hendley and his friend Ernest Colley formed a partnership, initially trading as ‘Hendley & Colley Butchers’ and later the ‘Victoria Park Ice Works.’, at 862 Albany Highway, Victoria Park (Hendley and Colley Butchers first mentioned in the Western Australian Postal Directories in 1925).
In the 1930’s depression they faced bankruptcy and had to merge briefly with a master butcher, a Mr Jennings. Jennings and Ernest Colley took over the property that Bruce Hendley had previously owned. Hendley was then a tenant in the property, in the shop that he had started. This partnership with Jennings soon ended and Ernest Colley became sole owner of the property. The two friends continued as sole traders –Bruce Hendley as the butcher, and Ernest Colley in the Ice Works business. Although they were no longer in partnership, they were still closely involved, their businesses operating side by side – as the meat cold-storage room backed into the Ice Works operating area (Western Australian Postal Directories first note separate entries at number 862 Albany Road, in 1938).
In the late 1940s, The Victoria Park Ice Works and Cold Storage (as it became known) was one of, if not the biggest ice works operations in the metropolitan area. Many Ice-delivery trucks worked from there, and the business also sold direct to the public. People came from everywhere, particularly at peak times such as at Christmas and public holiday long weekends, and there was often a queue stretching back along Albany Highway, as people waited to buy ice.
The ice works supplied other areas in metropolitan Perth: twenty ice carters would come to the factory to collect their ice around midnight, and make their deliveries to suburbs as far out as Midland with deliveries made during the night.
When Ernest Colley died in 1955, his son John took over the business which was by now struggling. With the increasingly widespread use of domestic refrigerators, perishable food was no longer kept in ice chests requiring a regular supply of ice blocks.
In 1951 Ernest had already started the first in the state, self-service block ice. An article in The West Australian on Thursday 27 November 1952 talks about the new self-service initiative: “Slot Machine for Ice - An ice vending machine, the first of its kind in Western Australia has been installed at the Victoria Park Ice Works, by the proprietor, Mr. Colley. It is simple to work and will cater for the "after-hours" trade. The customer places 1/4 in the slots, turns the handle and a block of ice slides out. It had taken about three months to build the cool room and install the machine, Mr. Colley said, and had cost about £400. The machine would not make a profit, he said, but it would save him from answering calls for ice at all times of the day and night.”
In 1959 John began providing self-service crushed ice, a change that saved the business and made it once again very successful. In 1963 the business at 862 Albany Highway was bought out by G.J. Coles.
John Colley kept the machinery and set up a new self-service crushed ice business near his family home, continuing for many years before changes including the building of the new Park Centre shopping centre caused the business to struggle. John Colley closed his business and sold these premises in 1988.
  • Tall timber, Brown Paper and Porridge by Bob Primrose 2010
  • Interview with John Colley 2002 (Victoria Park Local History Collection)
  • The Western Australian Directory [Wise's]: Victoria Park 1937-1938
  • The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954), Thursday 27 November 1952, page 14
Iceworks Lane, East Victoria Park
Former name: Right-of-way (ROW) 52
Official date of naming: 13 October 2015
Naming method: A recommendation was submitted to the 13 October 2015 Ordinary Council Meeting to rename ROW 52 as “Iceworks Lane”. Council supported the recommendation and a unanimous vote in favour was cast.
Read Resolution 12.3-10.2015