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“It’s a Food, Not a Fad”

Whenever the word ‘Amscol’ is mentioned to an Adelaide raised baby boomer, their eyes glaze over and they seem to drift off with sweet memories of hot summers and 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.

Photo from a recent eBay advertisement. After the brick came the tins and then the plastic containers of our favourite ice cream Amscol

Photo from a recent eBay advertisement. After the brick came the tins and then the plastic containers of our favourite ice cream, Amscol

Even as I’m writing this, I’m immediately transported back in time to being a kid again, and Friday nights, when sometimes as a special treat we had takeaway fish and chips, and then dad would carefully slice the brick of ice cream into six equal proportions served with mum’s preserved peaches from our own peach tree.

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.

The Amscol factory in Carrington Street, deolished in the 1980s

The Amscol factory in Carrington Street, deolished in the 1980s

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. 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.

Some memories from the ARW Facebook page about Amscol included going to the corner shop on a Sunday to buy a brick of ice cream to have after lunch with ‘pudding’. “They wrapped it in lots of newspaper so it wouldn’t melt on the walk home”.

Others recalled the different flavours, including Rainbow, Dutch Treat, Honeycomb and Strawberry.

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

Dairy Chocs, Dandies and Twin Chocs....."It's a Food Nat a Fad"

Dairy Chocs, Dandies and Twin Chocs…..”It’s a Food Not a Fad”

melted”.

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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29 Responses to “It’s a Food, Not a Fad”

  1. Andrea October 23, 2014 at 11:08 pm #

    My grandfather used to be the “amscol man” who did all the deliveries in kadina , south Australia. That’s when it used to get delivered to ur home too

    • Tina April 21, 2017 at 6:28 am #

      Hi Andrea. I dont suppose you have any photos of that Kadina Amscol factory tina

  2. les trestrail October 24, 2014 at 5:22 am #

    I remember amscol very well I worked there in my twenties as did my late feather andthree of my uncles

    • Pommy steve August 6, 2017 at 6:57 am #

      My dad worked there in 1956/57.
      I can still remember the commercial on radio.
      Give me Amscol ice cream please sir,
      its a food and not a fad,
      It’s been south Australia’s favourite,
      Since my papa was a lad.

      Then when he left and went to SA railways at Tailem Bend he still used to make it for us at home.
      But blue in colour just because he could.

  3. Barry Ruxton October 24, 2014 at 9:23 am #

    I was lucky enough to work for AMSCOL in the early 70’s until it’s demise when it was eventually taken over by Streets Icecream. The Beauchamp brothers were fantastic people to work for. I worked as a junior clerk originally and was responsible for giving every employee a free bottle of milk at the end of the day to go home with. I also use to take school tours and delighted in watching the looks of the kiddies faces when they were told they could eat all the Icecream they wanted at the end of the tour. They were fantastic times.

    • Denise Mcleod June 12, 2016 at 4:03 pm #

      Hi Barry, I am putting a little book together about the history of AMSCOL. My Dad ( Bill Brown) worked there too. I would love to include some stories from people who worked there. If you are happy to share with me it would be great! My email is deniseindarwin@hotmail.com. I see this is an old thread but hope you get this message.

  4. marjorie brown October 24, 2014 at 10:52 am #

    Your article on school milk brought back memories of in the 1940s when in grade 2 it was delivered to the Infant school at Thebarton. Being wartime ..we littlies had to be nourished! While most memories of those who had school milk in the 1950’s are generally that it was always “warm” mine and unappetising, ours was packed in Ice and it was so cold when you drank it it hurt when it hit the roof of your mouth! You can’t please us all.

  5. Steve November 1, 2014 at 6:10 am #

    Peters made Eskimo Pies, Amscol produced Dairy Chocs. Otherwise a great article.

    • John January 3, 2016 at 7:06 pm #

      As previously stated Amscol made Dairy Chocs. My dad and uncle occasionally called them Eskimo Pies but they were much more often referred to as Choc Ices. At the Adelaide Oval you would here the tray boys calling out “Choc Ice and assorted sweets” Still the best ice cream I have ever tasted. Great memories

      • Bill Kane December 3, 2016 at 11:06 am #

        I was one of those tray boys for years at Adelaide Oval. Sold a choc ice to Arthur Ashe and to Neil Kerley and Alan McGilvray. I even got summoned up to the interior of the scoreboard once. Amazing view. I knew every inch of Adelaide Oval. Most Saturdays we made $2 but in a final I used to get $10 which was a lot back then in the sixties. Actually we yelled out “chocolates choc-ice and assorted sweets” but the assorted got changed to “sordid”. We worked for Haighs Chocolates and had round trays that curved around one’s waist. Potato chips were 10 cents and choice-ices started at 6 cents and I remember it went to8 cents later in my illustrious career. People would call you to the top of the grand stand for a joke and then not buy anything but a lot of people were very kind and said keep the change. I remember Neil Kerley being incredibly kind.
        I would be there every day for Sheffield Shield and the footy for years. Thinking back I have incredible fond memories. Oh yes we had dry ice to keep the choc-ice cold and we used to put coins on it to watch it sink into the ice. It was a different world back then but how can anyone not love Adelaide?

    • ken August 5, 2017 at 8:21 pm #

      http://www.samemory.sa.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=973&c=7400 check it out.

  6. David January 28, 2015 at 5:34 pm #

    My Uncle Eddie was the chief electrician for yonks and a day at AMSCOL and he helped me get casual work there on high school holidays and weekends in the mid 70’s. I remember it was like having “the Golden Ticket” up in the attic there were really old advertising material and various ice creams made out of foam 🙂 . The basements were a bit nasty especially when a sump Pump had stopped and the 2+ foot deep dank water with all sorts floating and touching your calves was like the “garbage crusher on the Detention Level” The production floor well ….. samples had to be tested 😉

  7. George March 30, 2015 at 7:59 pm #

    My father worked for Amscol in the 70s. He was a fitter and turner. My mum also work there on the production line. She had a tub of ice cream by her side. Lucky her! I enjoyed my visits to Amscol seeing my parents work, going up to the recreation room playing pool and table tennis and of course the complementary ice cream. Great memories.

  8. Colin hills June 24, 2015 at 2:51 pm #

    I was a van salesman in early 70s and have lots of fond memory’s .I guess a reunion would be a great thing one day love to catch up

  9. GT July 25, 2015 at 1:19 am #

    The Amscol ice cream I can remember most were the ‘Footy Colour’ iceblocks from the 70s – all different flavours in SANFL team colours. Even though I didn’t barrack for Centrals, I used to think their version was the best as it had a milky kind of cream coating at the top of the red and blue flavour stripes.

  10. Ian Runcie October 11, 2015 at 6:29 pm #

    I started as an office boy with AMSCOL in 1974 and moved into credit control.. I remember Frank Beauchamp very well. One of the best managers I have ever worked for, a true gentleman. One Saturday morning job I remember very well was cleaning out old cupboards and finding memorabilia from WWII. Yes I remember the free bottle of milk, the world’s best milkshakes from the AMSCOL shop. I also remember their first computer system (card based). My favourite ice cream honeycombs fudge.

    • Denise Mcleod March 2, 2016 at 5:40 pm #

      Hi Ian

      My Dad worked at AMSCOL at that time his name was Bill Brown. He worked as a driver then moved into telesales supervisor. My uncle Bob Clark also worked there.Your mention of the computer cards reminded me that sometimes I would go with Dad into Amscol on a Sunday when he had some work to do and he would show me the computer and the cards. I am putting together a little book for my Dad about AMSCOL as it was such an important part of his life. If you have any more anecdotes or memories to share that would be great!

  11. James Perrett February 8, 2016 at 1:30 am #

    Does anyone remember Snips (Chocolate,Strawberry and Iced Coffee). Tuckshop favourite.
    1970-1980 ? Does anyone have a photo of a snip. Tried Google/Bing

  12. Scott Caust August 7, 2016 at 11:40 pm #

    Well i grew up with Amscol icecream as well and like everyone else here still think it was the best icecream ever made. If anyone is driving on main road Coromandel Valley look for the Amscol sign on the side of the fodder shop. Too bad streets dont break out the old recipe and make some old Amscol favs.

    • Kent Fuller November 12, 2016 at 7:45 pm #

      As an old Adelad now living in Victoria I also remember how great Amscol vanilla icecream tasted. I reflect happily that as as kid how much of it I must have eaten, with fresh strawberries, in summer.
      It’s a shame when large corporations simply buy up existing companies to obtain their market share but do not continue to manufacture their formulated products. Unilever also did that with Sennitts icecream in this State. Streets isn’t bad but it has always been inferior to Amscol.
      The good news for Victorians is the current availability of ‘Bulla Creamy Classic’ vanilla icecream. I have long suspected that this is the old Amscol recipe. If it’s not it’s the closest you will find in our country. It’s certainly not full of the usual alginates and gelatinous thickeners/ extenders that although harmless, make make many cheap icecream products tasteless and chewy.
      Life is too short to deny oneself great full cream icecream – fat police take note!

  13. Ian Pascoe August 22, 2016 at 5:29 pm #

    My fondest memory if the Amscol icecream shop on Pulteney St was Tutti Fruti ice-cream. I have not been able to find anything that comes close to it in the last 40 years.

  14. Leonie Howells October 4, 2016 at 1:05 am #

    The name Amscol has great memories for me as my father and uncle worked there from the early 50’s through to the 70’s. Best memories, we all use to get Ice Cream cakes for our birthdays and of course all the ice cream and ice lollies and milk on tap…There names where Andy and Cyril Thompson

  15. neil ALLAN November 7, 2016 at 10:19 pm #

    My grandfather, Don ALLAN.,worked at AMSCOL for 45 years.,

    He began work as a Dairy Technician,& finished as the Butter & Cheese dept. manager.

    They won many prizes at the Royal Adelaide Show,for butter & cheese.

    My father ,Peter ALLAN,also worked,for a few years, there as a van delivery / salesman.

    I particually remember the cinnamon ice cream Christmas puddings,only made in small numbers

    just before Christmas !

    • Colleen June 23, 2017 at 10:48 pm #

      Hello cousin Neil, Pauline aka my Mother in law has talked a lot about her Uncle Don over the years.I am not sure if you would have been told but he lived with Eric & Elsie as a boarder for quite some time before he married Chrissie.He was working at Amscol back then.Your Aunty Rae also lived there as a boarder after her Mum aka your Grandmother died. I never knew that Peter worked at Amscol.I was only ever told that he was in the Navy.

  16. Roger glazebrook January 29, 2017 at 4:46 am #

    I lived in salisbury north in the fifties I remember the amscol lyric I’ve been back in England for 60 years ive never forgotten just like hop Harrigan and Clancy of the over flow good times and great icecream

  17. Wesley Jacquier March 10, 2017 at 10:05 am #

    There was a better Ice cream than Amscol and that was in Port Adelaide known as ALPINE ICE CREAM, made by the De giglio family

  18. Jefferson Welsh June 13, 2017 at 12:33 pm #

    I used to go into Amscol Ice Cream factory with my father in his truck when I went to work with during school holidays, also got free ice cream, or chocolate milk.

  19. Peter July 8, 2017 at 6:40 am #

    I remember Amscol it was the best. Lived in London for the last 10 years still nothing comes close. I also remember my dad driving us past the factory on the way to victor.

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