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08 - Mt Lawley Ice and Cool Storage

Mt Lawley Ice and Cool Storage

The Mt Lawley Ice and Cool Storage Ltd were registered as a company in November 1927, to carry out the business of ice manufacturing. The address of the registered office was given as 131 West Parade, Mt Lawley with the company largely conducting the manufacturing in a factory located at 141 West Parade. Capital was listed as £10,000 in shares of £1 each.

The quality of the ice manufactured by the company since they began created such a demand, which only increased when modern machinery was purchased in 1929 to manufacture pure crystal ice. The ice product was then delivered in white canvas containers to maintain the cleanliness. ‘Service’ and ‘civility’ adopted as mottos drove their dedication to manufacturing the best product possible.

Mt Lawley Ice and Cool Storage Delivery Truck

A petition to wind up the company was lodged by a shareholder of the company, Martin Mullane and heard in the Supreme Court on 2 April 1931. Mullane asserted that Mt Lawley Ice and Cool Storage Ltd were unable to pay their debts. The matter was disputed by a representative from the company. The application was dismissed the following day by Chief Justice Sir Robert McMillan.


Edgar Wakelin Thompson passed away aged 60 on September 9, 1936. Prior to his death, he was presumably the founder and owner. Edgar left behind his wife Alice and their children Edgar, Reg (Edward), Lewis and May. Formerly from Bombay, India, he’d been the Manager of Boyd’s Ice Factory in Bombay before immigrating to Australia.


Edward Thompson

Edward Reginald Thompson was born on 6 August 1906 and enlisted with the RAAF on 17 May 1939 for a period of six years. He was assigned to Pearce but applied to be discharged three weeks later on 9 June, which was approved due to it being within the three months of attestation. His given address was 141 West Parade, Mt Lawley with his wife Evelyn.


He re-enlisted with the armed forces on 11 December 1939, joining the 2/3 Field Company as an Engineer (sapper) in the 6th Division 2nd AIF at Subiaco. Whilst it was reported he went to Egypt, he largely spent his time serving in Gaza. After having boarded a ship to his destination on 18 May 1940, he threw a corked beer bottle overboard a few days later, which contained a message that was to be forwarded to his family.


Edward was discharged from the AIF on 20 June 1941 due to being medically unfit.


The bottle he’d thrown overboard was found on the coast some 15 miles south of Geraldton on 7 July 1941, and sent to Edward’s family.


Lewis Thompson

Lewis William Paton Thompson was born on 3 October 1907 in Bombay, India. As a young man, he went to South Africa to work on his uncle’s farm before moving to Western Australia to help out at his father’s business. He also did some refrigeration work on the side.


He joined the AIF on 2 May 1941 and was assigned to the General Reinforcements at Claremont. His given address was the Avoca flats at 249 Adelaide Terrace, Perth with his wife Una. Whilst most of his service was within the local metropolitan area, specifically Claremont and Cottesloe, he spent almost a year in Timor. Lewis was discharged on 13 January 1944.

Mt Lawley Ice and Cool Storage Co Ltd.jpg

The Fire

On the morning of Saturday 22 February 1947, a fire broke out in the engine room of the Mt Lawley Ice Works. The West Australian reported that it began in the main engine’s exhaust, with the flames “carried to the roof by belting and several overhead pulleys were burnt out”. Thanks to the works engineer who quickly shut off the engine, extensive damage was averted and little damage was done to the plant and the building. By 8pm that night, repairs had been made and the ice manufacturing was able to continue.


The Sunday Times reported on the following Monday that the fire had been caused by a 32hp crude oil engine exploding. Due to the exhaust pipe overheating, it had caused the engine to ignite the oil in the sump below the machine. Factory workers were attempting to put out the fire with buckets of water until the fire brigade attended.

Mt Lawley Ice Works Fire.jpg

Warehouse Extensions

It appears that the Mt Lawley Ice Works warehouse was rebuilt in 1948.


The second last ad that can be found in Trove is dated 11 December 1950, in which an advertisement published by the West Australian Ice and Cold Storage Association announces an increase in the cost of ice. They go on to list a number of companies who manufacturer ice as a product, including Mt Lawley Ice and Cool Storage Ltd.


 One can only assume until verification, that they remained there until the plant equipment was sold off on 15 March 1954.

Mt Lawley Ice Works For Sale ad.jpg

Property Listing

From the time the warehouse was constructed at 141 West Parade, it appears to have remained with the same owners until it was sold on November 12, 2021 for $1,826,000. Interestingly, it’s listed as a unit containing two bedrooms, two bathrooms and one parking space on an 831m² block.


Parade Studios HQ

The warehouse was listed for a time as a place people could book at day rates, for a range of uses such as photoshoots, workshops, product launches, pop-up brand events, private functions and art exhibitions.


The existing warehouse workshop was demolished in May 2024, to make way for future development.

West Parade Apartments

A development application was listed on 24 October 2022 for an eight storey apartment building containing 30 units at a cost of $10.5 million and was approved on 12 April 2023.


An eight storey apartment is set to be built with the usual restaurant/café tenancy and a shop. Across the first seven floors, the JDAP application states that it will contain 31 units with a mix of one, two and three bedroom apartments. Interestingly, vehicle access is provided from three points.


The Urban website lists the development as West Residences, and state that the apartment building will actually contain 29 units, which is supported by more sources.


The architectural designs were submitted by Klopper & Davis Architects and CAPA with the project spearheaded by Willing Property.

West Residences Mt Lawley
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