Sunday History Photo / SA

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 18, 2015 at 08:05
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Whenever the word ‘Amscol’ is mentioned to an Adelaide raised baby boomer, the memories of an ice cream cone at the beach, an Eskimo Pie at the pictures or the special ‘once-a-week’ luxury of a slice of Amscol ice cream from the brick after tea.
Even I am transported back in time to 1953/59 to being a kid again to when my Parents had the Deli' called "The Willow Roadhouse" at Chain of Ponds in the Adelaide Hills near the Milbrook Resevoir, of course all is gone there now when the Government demolished the town. The Icecream came in large insulated caskets with 2 Icecream cans inside and cooled with Dry Ice , I used to have fun dropping some into water and watch it bubble .

It’s not hard to understand why we still have such a soft spot for Amscol, it was the ice cream we grew up with and people today still swear it was creamier and had a far better flavour than anything currently on the market.
Amscol stood for Adelaide Milk Supply Co-Operative Limited which took over the premises of the Beauchamp Brothers in Carrington Street in the city in 1922. It was an extensive business and produced bottled milk, ice cream, cream, cheese and butter.
The ice cream brick was first introduced in the 50s when refrigerators started to appear on the market. Most brands in those days had a small rectangular freezer compartment inside the body of the fridge itself and the brick was made to fit snugly inside. Later, as fridges were made with larger freezers, Amscol introduced tins, and finally plastic containers for their famous ice cream.
Amscol also supplied the milk when the Government introduced the ‘milk for school children’ programme back in 1950, I remember that when I was at the Athelstone Primary School, I didn't like it much and even today I can't drink straight milk. They produced special third-of-a-pint bottles of milk and although we loved the ice cream, many people have less pleasant memories of trying to chug down the warm, sour milk at recess time.

Dandies and Eskimo Pies were sold at the pictures on Saturday nights by tray boys, usually dressed in a semi-formal military style uniform; “and you had to line up to get them before they melted”. I think the tray boys and girls were at Footy games and the Rowley Park Speedway., Haaa yes the Speedway, as a kid we would watch an adult finish his bottle of Coke and go and ask him..." hey Mister can I have your bottle" then go and get the 2d for the empty until we had enough to buy an Icecream or some Peanuts.

During the War the 380th Bomb Group based at Long and Fenton Airstrips near Adelaide River NT used retired B-24 Liberators to do what they called "Fat Cat Runs" to Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney to pick up supplies and take back to the camps, one of those B-24's was called "Beautiful Betsy" , here's a photo of Beautiful Betsy picking up goods with the Amscol van parked alongside. This B-24 went missing 26 February 1945 and the wreckage of "Beautiful Betsy" was not discovered until 49 years later on 2 August 1994, when park ranger, Mark Roe, was checking the results of a controlled burn-off in the Kroombit Tops National Park, about 80kms from Gladstone.

Amscol’s milk processing works and factory remained in the same city location right up until the company ceased trading in the 1980s and was eventually sold off, demolished, and the land used for housing. Many will recall I’m sure the retail outlet off the side street where it was possible to purchase the full range of Amscol products.

Amscol may be gone but it’s certainly not forgotten….”It’s a Food, Not a Fad

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Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 18, 2015 at 08:12

Sunday, Jan 18, 2015 at 08:12
Thanks Doug

I remember the one third pint milk at school. I believe it was introduced to combat fallout from the nuclear tests in central australia. It must have worked as we are still here LOL

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Follow Up By: OBJ - Sunday, Jan 18, 2015 at 08:42

Sunday, Jan 18, 2015 at 08:42
We had 1/3 pint free milk in schools here in NSW too. It was left in the sun during summer so that when we got to drink it at around 11am it was warm and often 'off'.

I still gag at the smell of yoghurt, which is just milk that is "off" but "off " within certain guidelines I believe.

Interesting article just the same.

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Follow Up By: Member - Des Lexic - Sunday, Jan 18, 2015 at 10:36

Sunday, Jan 18, 2015 at 10:36
Interesting read Doug.go the Raggies LOL.
Alan,I'm not sure ifthe milk was due to the Atom Bomb tests carried out until about 53. The fall out frequently occured over populated areas and just after the tests, the isotopes detected in milk went through the roof after a bomb was detonated.
I have just finished reading a book called Maralinga by Frank Walker which gives a lot of detail on the events up there.
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Sunday, Jan 18, 2015 at 08:32

Sunday, Jan 18, 2015 at 08:32
Hey Doug,

Oh the memories of my youth, licking Banana Hi-Tops and consuming Twin Chocks, or Eskimo Pie icecreams.

I believe the free milk we used to get at school was also supplied from Amscol.
In fact, it was this "beverage" at school that turned me off milk altogether.
The product graduated from small quart sized bottles with foil tops, to the pyramid shaped Tetra packs. The crates of these tetra packs sometimes sat out in the sun for quite some time, before distribution and consumption at the start of our school day. I couldn't stand the taste of it.
My teacher in Grade 7 suffered from a stomach ulcer and gratefully accepted the contribution of my daily ration.

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Reply By: pop2jocem - Sunday, Jan 18, 2015 at 11:14

Sunday, Jan 18, 2015 at 11:14
Hi Doug,

Once again a well researched and written post. Thanks mate.

Yep, we had the 1/3 pint milk bottles delivered to our primary school here in the hills east of Perth. Never could figure out why 1/3 pint. It was dropped off by the local milko. His name was Mr Summers.
Why can I remember a bloke's name from the 1950's and not where I left my glasses 10 minutes ago??? (:=((.
In the summer months he carried a couple of hessian bags that he would put over the crates and wet down. Kept the milk cool and ok to drink.

AnswerID: 544467

Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Sunday, Jan 18, 2015 at 11:16

Sunday, Jan 18, 2015 at 11:16
Oh, by the way, the picture of the kids drinking their milk.

Which one was you??? LOL
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Reply By: alfclp - Sunday, Jan 18, 2015 at 15:47

Sunday, Jan 18, 2015 at 15:47
I think the Eskimo Pie was made by the ALASKA ice cream company.
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Follow Up By: Life Member-Doug T NSW - Sunday, Jan 18, 2015 at 17:23

Sunday, Jan 18, 2015 at 17:23
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