The Albany Bell Castle, Perth, Australia
The Albany Bell Castle is a heritage listed building in the Perth suburb of Maylands in Australia. Built 1914 for Albany Bell as a factory to supply cakes and confectionery to his eleven tearooms around Perth and three in Kalgoorlie. The site chosen was 19 acres (77,000 m2) of land two miles (3 km) from Perth, the site also had natural springs that could supply 100,000 gallons of fresh water per day. Albany Bell used ideas learnt from the Cadbury factory in Bournville near Birmingham, which was designed to include nice conditions for the employees to live.
Albany Bell Castle was designed by Alexander Cameron styled on a factory Mr Bell had seen in San Francisco and built in two stages with the first stage completed in 1914. The first stage included the North wing being a single storey bakehouse with an oven protruding from it, the oven heated from fire boxes in the cellar. The South wing was two storeys with the ground floor housing freezer rooms cooled by Compressed gas engines. The second stage central section was completed in 1919 it included a basement with double cavity walls which provided ideal conditions for the dipping of chocolates.
Albany Bell Ltd
Mr Bell’s company Albany Bell Ltd employed over 400 people in both the factory and his Tearooms, all employees received 2 paid weeks annual leave, well before any employment awards required it. Additionally employees in Kalgoorlie received rail expense and seaside accommodation for the two weeks, employee in Perth received travel expense to enable them to travel up to 150 miles (240 km). During 1925 Mr Bell as chairman of the Master Caterers Association he became involved in a strike lasting for almost a month. Discouraged by further strikes, rising costs and competition Mr Bell sold the company including the factory in 1928.
After the company was sold the factory changed hands many times becoming a chicken hatchery, and set aside as a reserve building for WA Newspapers Ltd during WWII when there was concerns that the St Georges Terrace site maybe bombed, with several editions of the Daily News being printed there. After the war it become the offices for the Department of Transport and Civil Aviation Authority. In November 1992 the property was assessed according to the Heritage Council criteria adopted in 1991, and listed on the interim register, it was later sold and developed into apartment accommodation retaining the external structure and gardens.