Fremantle Stuff > buildings > Lacey's Store

Lacey's A1 Cash Store

44 Hubble Street (named for George Hubble) cnr George Street, East Fremantle. Click/tap images for larger size. This was the first 'Lacey's Store', as Matilda Lacey was later trading under that name at 48 George Street (the 'Wine Store') in 1919. The first store was originally Matilda Drummond's (and was at 84 Hubble Street) until she married George Lacey, and both her name and that of the store changed to his.


Matilda Drummond is at the centre in front of her original store, c. 1898, standing next to her mother. The man on the left is George Lacey who will marry Matilda in June 1900. In 1899 George had his home and his own grocery store in James Street, Fremantle. The man with the horse is unidentified, but may be George's brother.
Note the absence of a verandah, and that the store is built up on wooden stumps. Note also the advertisement (for Terai - tea?) on the door post. There is as yet no house to the right of the store.


In this later photo, c. 1901, the verandah has been added, and the level of the street raised, so that Mrs Drummond's (who died in September 1902) head is now level with the Terai tea advertisement, whereas before it was half a metre lower. Note the edge of figure at the left of the photo, where it has been torn. Its profile is exactly the same as that of George Lacey in the earlier photo, so it's not improbable that he was there once again, especially as he may have been married to Matilda by then - tho the store sign on the new verandah still shows her as the owner.

The store sign has changed, and the now married couple George and Matilda Lacey traded here 1901-1912. They are shown with their two little girls, Ida (b. 1902) and Amelia Jane (b. 1905), dating the photograph at c. 1906-7. Again there is the same unidentified man with the horse who may be George's brother (the man, not the horse).


George Lacey obtained two liquor licences to trade at the store at 44 Hubble Street in 1901 (West Australian, 6 March 1901: 10)

The stone house at 44 Hubble Street is now in situ, having been built by 1903, but the corner store is still the same wooden building. George Lacey's A1 Cash Store ('town prices') advertises inter alia Empire Flour, Whites Jellies, Silver Star Starch, Birds Mustards and Curry Powders (?) and the products of Port Brewery, beer and stout, competing for space with Swallow Ale and Stout. The Port Brewery operated 1892-1908. This image is (my) photo of a photo of a photo which was anonymously donated to the shop by someone who slipped it (the photo of a photo) under the shop door. I took the most recent copy with my iPhone at Nook Property, who kindly allowed me to do so. What's that strapped to the pole? Is it a mail posting box?

The house (with full-length cellar) was built before 1904 as George Lacey complained to the Municipal Council about it being flooded one Saturday night in a major winter storm, as reported in The Mail, 2 July 1904.


A clearer photo of Lacey's Store, c. 1910, reproduced from the original (RWAHS R5386) by John Dowson. Lacey had competition from Crockett's Cash Store, only a few doors away up Hubble Street. This is a few years later than the photo above, and some of the advertising is different - but not all: Silver Star Starch and Bee Tea are still on the Hubble Street frontage. DRINK SWALLOW (not a redundancy - tho it is probably a joke: the logo was a bird!) is painted on the roof of the stone house at 44 Hubble Street (as may dimly be seen on the photo above also).

George Lacey died 1909, the West Australian reported:
The funeral of the late Mr. George Lacey, grocer, of Hubble-street. East Fremantle took place on Friday afternoon last in the Presbyterian portion of the Fremantle Cemetery, and was largely attended. The chief mourners were Mr. James Stevens, Mr. Fred. C. Hawkins, and Mr. E. L. Marie. The pall-bearers were Messrs. F. Eardley, M. Brown. J. D. McLean, H. H. Wood, M. C. Bradbury, and Mr. Henning. Among those present were members of the Free Gardeners' Friendly Society. The Rev. Robt. Hanlin officiated at the grave, and the funeral arrangements were carried out by Mr. Donald J. Chipper.

44 hubble

These buildings are diagonally opposite what is now a Wine Store and Young George restaurant. In April 2016 the corner store was let to Nook Property (now a Mint franchise). It was once a butcher's shop (possibly Herbert Baker's), and the cellar running the full length of the building would have been useful in keeping meat cool. Note the spherical decoration in the (top) middle of the image. Image from Google, probably from 2016, but no later than 2017.

The stone building on the right of this snap is obviously older, and would have been built onto an earlier weatherboard building on the corner - which has now been replaced by the brick building you see on the left above.

I personally think the building would look better without paint (of any colour) so that it would look more like the new building (the 'little house') and the slightly earlier Klopper building to the east of the one on the corner. Just my opinion.


Nook's rebranding of the property, May 2016. I'm horrified to see that one of the three spherical finials is missing from the corner on the right. I believe it was due to an accident during repainting. Someone should have made an insurance claim and got it replaced. This is Nook's b/w photo: they say the owner is looking into getting the finial fixed.
Update 2018: Nook has become a franchise of Mint. The local result is that the light green colour in the top photo has been changed to something even worse (below) - teal maybe, approaching turquoise.


The building at 14 July 2019 including the black 'Little House' to the left, and showing the decoration missing top right. My photo.

Until 2016, this was a boutique called Iridescent Sea. My photo. Before the repainting the decorative sphere was still there.

The page made by Museum of Perth for the Town of East Fremantle sets out these tenants by date.

1898-1900: Miss Matilda Drummond, storekeeper
1901: Mrs Matilda Lacey
1902-1912: Mr George and Mrs M. Lacey
1913: Ernest A. Brogmus
1914: Alfred J. Gregg (perhaps the Alfred Gregg who was later Secretary of the FWC?)
1915-1920: William H. Witheridge
1921-1922: Arthur James Halfpenny
1923: Arthur Rennard
1924-1925: Thomas Ryan
1926-1932: L. B. Blackman
1933-1934: Henry W. Pomeroy; Mrs Sarah E. Smith
1934-1935: vacant
1935-1937: Mrs Nellie Frazer
1937-1939: Thomas Fraser
1939-1945: W. A. Waters
1946-1949: Joseph Forsyth

The above 'tenants' list (who may be owners) does not show Herbert Baker from 1933 or later, tho I think it's possible, from circumstantial evidence, that he had a butcher's shop there.


Until 1919 Matilda Lacey had a gallon licence in respect of the shop diagonally opposite 44 Hubble Street - at 48 George Street East Fremantle - which had by that time taken over the title as 'Lacey's Store'. The West Australian of 21 November 1919 carried a notice that she was transferring it to Alfred Marie.
It's possible she moved in 1912 from the fancy goods business on one side of George into the liquor business on the other, but then retired from the latter in 1919.

References, Links, Acknowledgements

I am very grateful to Christine Hearne, who sent me the wonderful first two photos, and the dates and other information about her family.

Dowson, John 2003, Old Fremantle, UWAP: 207.

Streets of East Freo, site by Museum of Perth.

See also: East Fremantle historical photos

Garry Gillard | New: 5 March, 2016 | Now: 4 October, 2021