Desperate for Ice Cream

My thoughts have turned obsessively to ice cream over this protracted spell of hot weather and it made me wonder about the best spots in Port Melbourne to buy an ice cream at various times.

Member Helen Barry recalls buying ice creams from a small shop in Crichton Ave, and apparently Woodruffs had a milkbar on Bridge St. People have mentioned that good ice creams and milk shakes were to be had from the dairy in  Graham St.Perhaps these photographs might trigger memories

Ice cream van parked outside Missions to Seamen building 1987
Alison Kelly collection, courtesy of the Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society 
Kiosk on Station Pier , 1987
Alison Kelly collection, courtesy of the Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society

Have a look at this picture of St Josephs school, since replaced by the Bayshore complex on the corner of Rouse and Bay St.  See the Sunkist text on the wall? That was once the site of Swallow and Ariell’s ice cream factory.

It would be great to hear members’ ice cream memories. Leave comments below or email


  1. Nola Hartfield says

    I have fond memories growing up in Belgrave, living in our home next to the Swallow ice cream factory that my dad built both house and factory. It started as an ice making factory before taking over the distribution of ice cream. The house is still there but 3 houses occupy where the factory was.
    I would love to come to Port Melbourne for a visit to see anything that may be still be there. Are there any photos from that time.

    • John Peacock says

      Hi Nola. I lived just up the road from the Swallows Ice Cream factory from 1950 till 1956 at a house called “Allambie”. It was on the eastern side of Monbulk Rd, opposite The Avenue. I would have delivered the mail to “Swallows” for a number of years. I do remember they built their own refrigerated trucks there as well. Although I do not have any photos of the factory it is indelible in my mind. That area is steep in the history of Belgrave being where Bill Onus (Boomerang Factory), formally, “Hiawatha Tea Rooms”, “Red Mill” (Cafe)”Whitehall” Guest House and “Micawber Park” Kiosk were located. Feel free to contact me as I do have close contacts with the Upwey historical society.

  2. Heather Darwin (Blair) says

    I remember the Kiosk on Station Pier, the grey bus that sold the best donuts ever and going for a walk on a hot night to get a cream-between icecream and lemonade from the dairy in Crichton Avenue or cream for mum after school. I have a chocolate box that was my mother’s from the chocolate shop at 225 Bay Street with the name on it G Galatis, Home made chocolates and confectionery. My mum would buy peanut clusters from there, you could see the guy making chocolates in the back of the shop.
    We have friends here in Ballarat when we get together we can name every shop owner down each side of Bay Street in the 50s – 60s. I went to Graham street primary school till grade 4 and then to St Michaels in St Kilda.
    My dad worked at GAF and my mum at Lobbs fashions in Bridge street where they did work for Norma Tullo. I had a friend Felicity who lived at the Seamans’ Mission. I went to Guides, sunday school and confirmed at the Church of England where my parents were married. My grandmother Mary Johnson lived in Port for most of her 100 years, finally residing in The Bend Port Melbourne.

    • Janet Bolitho says

      So many rich memories in this piece. Can you expand a bit more on Lobbs fashion in Bridge St and Norma Tullo?

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