Daley’s Dairy

211 Collins Street, Northcote

Daley’s Dairy was established in 1934, by Frank Daley, on the corner of Collins Street and James Street, Northcote. It was somewhat unusual in the area, being a fully professional operation at a time when most dairies were still run with just a couple of cows kept in the back yard. In 1940, for instance, there were 17 licenced dairies who delivered milk, but only one dairy farm in the district of Northcote. Frank Daley and his family not only milked the cows, but also bottled the milk before selling it onto Northcote residents. Using Jersey and Ayrshire cows he was regarded as providing a high quality and disease-free milk.

Daley’s was a well-equipped dairy boasting large silos, for fodder, at the rear of the house, which was considered something of a showpiece dairy by the Department of Agriculture. The silos were constructed of a special ‘SK’ reinforced ironbark paper, making them portable and a great deal cheaper than concrete silos. Legumes, cereals, grass and molasses formed a mash which could be kept indefinitely and fed to the cattle. Mr Daley’s cows were reported as having a ‘splendid glossy appearance’ and producing rich creamy milk. The cows grazed in two paddocks sown with Sudan grass and a prolific maize crop.

The dairy itself was a brick and concrete structure housing the bottling equipment, brine cooling system and treatment machines. In February 1945 The Argus newspaper advertised a clearing sale, on account of Mr Frank Daley, comprising of 51 cattle, a dairy plant and sundries, but the Daley family continued to live in the Collins Street property for many years.

NORTHCOTE'S ONLY DAIRY FARM (1941, March 26). Northcote Leader (Northcote, Vic. : 1882 - ), p.6.

CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING. (1945, February 19). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p.16

Sands and McDougall’s Melbourne and Suburban Directory 1864- 1974. [Microfiche]. (1974). Melbourne, Australia: Sands & McDougall.