SOUTH Fremantle local Peter Skinner stumbled onto the world of cool rooms after his oil and gas contract wound up.
“I had a bit of time off and my wife Kerry said; ‘You need to get a job’.”
An online ad to hire a cool room sparked his interest.
“I thought, that’s not a bad idea; no staff, a one-man operation.”
Four years on and his Coolroom Hire business is a seasonal success, beginning with the Royal Show in September and ending with Mother’s Day in May.
Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day are his busiest days of the year when cool rooms are in demand to keep flowers from wilting.
During the warmer months there’s high demand for his mobile fridges, freezers and bars for functions, festivals and weddings.
In winter, permanent cool rooms at shops like IGA, and nursing homes, keep the wolf from the door.
“Permanents are what get us through winter,” Mr Skinner says.
Growing up in Perth he went to Scotch College, but it wasn’t for him and he finished school at Narrogin Agricultural School.
After two years working on a sheep station, he headed to Barrow Island in 1980 and started a career in the oil and gas industry.
In the early days, technology on the island was primitive.
“Barrow had no phones; just high frequency radio and teletext for the weather. If you had an urgent message you would radio Perth and send a telegram.”
After a while he wanted to be at home more with his sons, so he took over Waterfront Marine on Pakenham Street in Fremantle.
Business boomed, but he couldn’t resist the money on offer in oil and gas and accepted another lucrative contract.
Eventually Mr Skinner launched Coolroom Hire and has never looked back.
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