2 December 2016

The Dingo Flour Mill

Every time she drives past it Mona Rankin waves at North Fremantle's Dingo Flour sign. 
The sign is a well-known landmark of a stylised silhouetted red dingo created by her late father.


In 1940 Les Nash, a talented sign-writer was paid £40 to paint the now iconic dingo on the side of the  flour mill. It took him about a week to complete the logo. Aged 9 Mona remembers watching her father convert a small sketch into the huge red dingo silhouette. His first sketch was transferred onto graph paper and then he used the gridded panels on the silo to guide his large- scale transfer onto the silo itself.

The Dingo Flour Mill started life as a flour mill operated by a Co-operative company at Narrogin, a wheatbelt region of Western Australia from 1903 to 1912. A new company named Great Southern Flour Mills was then formed to take over from the Co-operative. 
For a number of years the Company Secretary tried to persuade the board to set up a mill in the Perth area. When his proposal for enlarging the Narrogin Mill was rejected he resigned saying he was going to set up a mill in North Fremantle. A move that proved to be very timely. Recovery from the First World War and a bumper wheat harvest meant that the mill was fitted with state-of-the-art machinery to ensure "that only the best grade of flour is produced" and the company became a major force in the milling industry. The brand name 'Dingo Flour' was in use at this time for the North Fremantle mill and subsequently became the brand for the Narrogin mill as well.

The sign had to be painted over during World War II but its outlines were still visible and after the war in 1946 Fred Parnell repainted the dingo and gave it an eye.

It was one of the first images refugees and migrants saw, and it remains a useful reference point for boaters and anglers. 


Today the building is an historic and heritage-listed working flour mill with silos, an office, laboratory and other buildings. It has commonly been referred to as "The Dingo Flour Mill" for many years. The Dingo has been repainted many times but it has never been redrawn or redesigned. It is painted every month now.

I like the dingo logo, it appears on t-shirts, shorts, shopping bags, mugs and more. I have a fridge magnet with it on and 
I am looking out for a nice shopping bag. 

Little did Mr Nash know just how famous and enduring his dingo sketch was to become. 
What a lovely piece of history. 

Stop Press I passed the mill on my way to Perth today and the Dingo has gone!!! The wall looks very forlorn without it. 
I'm hoping that it has just been removed for renovating, my top photo does show some significant wear and tear.

Front Page News - I have just googled the sign and it is being refurbished. The new logo will faithfully replace the old one and the red paint has been closely matched. It should be back in place in time for Christmas. The original panels will be kept safe while their future is decided. I'm glad I tool the photos when I did! :-)



4 comments:

  1. So glad it hasn't gone for good Polly. There's something very endearing about people caring enough to preserve something that at first glance is so simple but means such a lot to so many people.

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    1. Hi Sarah, I know, it's an image on a wall but so many people feel a real fondness for it. It's six years since I was last here and when I saw it again I had a huge smile on my face and actually said hello to it! :-)

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  2. Thrilled it hasn't gone for good, it must mean a lot to so many people.

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    Replies
    1. Hello mama, it does, so many people have grown up with it and are used to seeing on their way to work, school, the beach, it's almost a comfort knowing it's there :-)

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