16. Hardware Store

The pair of shops at 56 and 58 Angove Street have stood for more than a century.  Their aspect in the streetscape has remained relatively unchanged and they have witnessed various businesses and owners come and go.

The first record of the two semi-detached shops and houses, that are mirror images of one another, is their outline in the 1915 Metropolitan Water Supply Sewerage and Drainage Department plan, standing between house numbers 28 and 32 Angove Street and bound to the east and north by lane ways. [The house numbers changed, from 30 and 30a in 1916, to 56 and 58 in 1917.]

Metropolitan Water Supply Map
Metropolitan Water Supply Sewerage and Drainage Department Plan, 1915 

A classified advertisement placed by the owner Frank A Hahn West Australian in 1919 describes the dwelling and the shop fittings in detail and its location opposite the North Perth School which opened in 1899. Hahn, who ran a motor garage at number 58 advertised cars for hire, with weddings a specialty.

Frank Hahn’s well-known wife, Ethel, made decorative arrangements with artificial flowers and she had a display at the “Cheer-up” exhibition of WA manufacturers and industries at the Perth Town Hall in 1916. By 1920, Frank had opened an ironmongers shop at number 56.

North Perth Hardware Store
North Perth Hardware Store at 56 Angove Street, 1921

Horace H Roberts was the proprietor of the North Perth Hardware Store from 1921 to 1948. Before going into business on his own, Mr Roberts had worked at Bairds in their paint and hardware department. During this period most suburbs had small hardware stores run by sole traders. Their range would include kitchen items, homewares such as drinking glasses, supplies for the home handyman and craftsman, small building supplies, paints, household chemicals, pest control, gardening tools, rope and other general items that locals may need to purchase for their home and garden maintenance.As well as running the ironmongers/hardware shop, Horace Roberts did maintenance work on windows for local people. In those days they had cords and he replaced broken ones and broken window panes; he also made fly-wire doors for people.

Oscar Hanke purchased the shop from Horace Roberts in 1948 and changed the name to Hard-Elects.  He later moved to Charles Street. In the 1950s the shop became Church & Co, a paint and chemicals distributor, and sole WA distributor for Melbourne company Gibson’s range of detergents and polishes.

Hard_Elects Store North Perth
Owners Oscar (left) and Arthur Hantke standing in the doorway of their Charles St store, 1950s

56 Angove Street has been the home of Future Shelter since 2007 and is run by artisans Jane Coffey and her husband Adam who sell locally made and inspired home wares and gifts. Their clients include Peter Alexander, Pumpkin Patch, Roxy and many others. A collective space behind the store houses a design and photography collective space. Jane says

“We design and manufacture home wares and gifts that are Perth themed or related or inspired by either the WA environment or industry. I do all of the illustration and my husband heads up the manufacturing side of the business.

We had a previous business called Little Design Horse and were selling commercial textile designs to businesses overseas and we happened upon this location when we were riding our bikes on the way to the post office. We were working from home and knew we had to find some where slightly bigger to work. The landlord was just putting a notice in the window saying it was available.”

Future Shelter manufactures and designs homewares and gifts, screen-printing and laser cutting their designs on site. The large machinery required more workshop space, and for a time Jane and Adam sub-leased space at number 58 to run their workshop.  When they outgrew that space, they moved their manufacturing to the former Midland Railway Workshops.  58 Angove Street is now home to Baklava Kafe.

Assets and References

Images Courtesy City of Vincent Local History Centre

  • PH03447 – Owners Oscar and Arthur Hantke standing in the doorway of the Hard-Elects store on the corner of Charles and Kadina Streets, North Perth
  • PH03147 – North Perth Hardware Store at 56 Angove Street, North Perth, 1921
  • Metropolitan Water Supply Sewerage and Drainage Department Plan, 1915

Daily News, 5 August 1916, p 9 (Trove)

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