Pickering Brook Garage New August 2019

Research by Gordon Freegard 2019

The Francais Brothers, Bert and Vic had an orchard in Weston Road just past and opposite the Sports Club where they grew a lot of oranges. The family started clearing the property in 1927 and a few years later the beginnings of their orchard had been planted.
Large areas of vegetables, including cauliflowers, were grown to supplement their income until the trees started producing sufficient fruit. Being entrepreneurs and always up to a challenge, they decided there was a need for a garage and service station in Pickering Brook.

Pickering Brook Garage Advert

They built the Pickering Brook Garage and a house next door, on the site of the current shopping centre. These are the only photos of the original Pickering Brook Garage built by the Francais Brothers. They were taken on the official opening day. It opened in 1952 and they were Agents for Winterbottom Motors who distributed Austin, Dodge and De Soto vehicles. On display for the day, was a range of Austin cars. It was also an outlet in which to sell their oranges and other fruit from their orchard.

Built on the site of the current shopping centre it was later modified to become a BP petrol service station. It was managed for many years by Frank and Ivy Giddings, who lived in the house next door. Ross Holdman worked as their mechanic before leaving to start his own business.

The business was eventually sold to the Jack and Betty Lalley and their brother-in-law Peter McGurk in the 1960s.

Pickering Brook Garage Formley the Bus Depot

Jim Armanasco, who had the Mobil Petrol agency for the area, bought the property in about 1956 and leased it to motor mechanic, Angelo Tolomei. It was a thriving mechanical repair business and petrol station.

Eventually Angelo sold his lease to Ross Holdman, and moved out of the area to build and operate the BP Garage and house at the top of Welshpool Road hill, Lesmurdie. Ross Holdman left his employment at Francais’ Garage to start his own business here. It operated for a few years before closing down.

Later George Spriggs Purchased the original garage and added a new shopping centre behind the service station, which included a Foodland Supermarket and a mechanical repairs garage at the far end

Article: Pickering Brook Heritage Group Inc.

Images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8 Francais Family
5, 6 Trove
9, 10 Laural Gava
11, 12, 13, 15 Kalamunda & Districts Historical Society
14 Gordon Freegard