Francis Peter Shelley was born c1860 in South Australia to parents William & Elizabeth Sheehy. His parents arrived in Adelaide c1857 from London with their eldest son John Augustus Moree (Sheehy) Shelley. Sometime during the late 1850’s, the family changed their surname from the Irish, Sheehy to the English version of Shelley. Another son known as J.A.M. Shelley was also a cordial maker. J. A. M. Shelley learnt the trade in Adelaide & eventually settled in Broken Hill where he started his own factory in 1893. He still had an interest in the factory at the time of his death in 1927.
His younger brother Francis Peter Shelley married Honora O’Callaghan & also entered the cordial business and eventually settled in Western Australia.
Francis filed for bankruptcy for his bottling business in Magill Rd, Stepney, Adelaide in 1891 so he changed his occupation to become a union advocate for the Aerated Water industry employees. He protested for better wages and conditions for all employees in the cool drink trade.
In 1894 he was a Trustee for a group of settlers who moved to an area called Lyrup in South Australia. They were to set up a new community here.
By 1897 the family had moved to Esperance in WA. Like many families the lure of gold in the Kalgoorlie area drew many into business to provide necessities to all the diggers. This saw Francis Peter Shelley set up an aerated water business with Henry Thomas Slater in Boulder.
Slater was 5 years older than Shelley & was also from South Australia. Slater had married Elizabeth Prisk in Adelaide in 1889 and arrived in Boulder in 1896.
Shelley and Slater formed the Castlemaine Bottling Works in Hamilton Street, Boulder, opposite the railway station. By 1898 the company advertised their Ales and Stout could be delivered to all grocers in town for 8 shillings per dozen bottles and were leading Wine and Spirits Merchants.
In February 1900 a gallon licence was transferred from Shelley to Slater as Shelley retired from the partnership & Slater was responsible for all debts.
The following month (March 1900) the Bailiff stepped in to sell by auction on the premises of the Castlemaine Bottling Works an aerated water machine, one corking machine, one bottling syphon, quantity of Colonial beer, 8 dozen Lime Juice Cordials, 14 Dozen Fremantle Stout, tomato sauce and a quantity of sundries.
By August 1900, Slater filed for Bankruptcy. He died suddenly in 1926 at his father in laws residence in Adelaide.
Shelley worked at a brewery in Boulder for sometime after he retired from the partnership in 1900 and in 1914 was made secretary of the Coastal Aerated Water and Cordial Manufacturers Employees Union. He lived in Wellington St, Perth in 1916. He and wife Honora had 9 children. He died at North Perth in 1933 and Honora passed away in 1944 at Mt Lawley.
By coincidence there was a Castlemaine Brewery in East Fremantle operating at the same time as the concern in Boulder. Was the Boulder premises connected with the East Fremantle company, or were the two concerns unrelated? The manager at Boulder had a villa for rent in Richmond, East Fremantle in 1899.
The Shelley and Slater 10oz marble bottle is an Acme patent and has the trade mark S+S Boulder City. This bottle is not common as the company traded for such a short time.
Author – Vivienne Sinclair.