Watch those pub cellars

pub trap doorFatal Fall Down Cellar

John Healy, aged about 50, a labourer by occupation, fell down the cellar of the Trades Union Hotel, Harbour-street:, city, this morning and broke his neck. It is said that he had an altercation with two women just prior to the accident.

– Sydney Evening News (Sydney NSW) Friday 25 November 1904.


Mrs Alex. Rice of the Wattle Hotel met with an accident yesterday. The trap door leading to the cellar was left open when Mrs Rice entered the bar, and she, without observing that the door was up, walked straight into the aperture. She fell some feet, striking the floor heavily. When picked up it was found that no bones were broken. Mrs Rice, however, received a severe shaking which will necessitate her laying up for a few days.

– Border Morning Mail and Riverina Times (Albury, NSW) Tuesday 31 July 1906


Michael Norris licensee of the Port Jackson Hotel, George-street North, died in St. Vincent’s Hospital yesterday from the effects of an accident on April 16. Mr. Norris, who was 56 years old, fell down a cellar in the backyard, the top of which had been left open. He sustained a severe wound on the head and an injury to the left hip, and was also affected by shock.

– The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW) Monday 9 May 1910.

Fall into Cellar

NAIRNE, February 13. – A painful accident occurred to Mr. C.A. Horne, of the Millers’ Arms Hotel, a few days ago. He had occasion to go to the cellar, and hastening to obey the summons Mr. Horne forgot to close the door. Coming back in the dark a little later he had the misfortune to fall through the opening. He sustained injuries to his head and back. Mr. Horne is progressing favorably.

– Daily Herald (Adelaide, SA) Wednesday 15 February 1911.


CALLINGTON, May 19.—An accident happened to Mr. E. Sullivan, of the Kanmantoo Hotel, on Tuesday morning. He fell into the cellar, the trapdoor of which had been accidently left open, but escaped with nothing more serious than some severe bruises.

– Observer (Adelaide, SA) Saturday 29 May 1915.

Barmaid Falls Down Cellar

While standing on a stool cleaning some shelves behind the bar at the Britannia Hotel, King-street, yesterday, Ellie M’Coy a barmaid, fell 12 feet down the cellar steps, sustaining internal injuries. She was taken by the Civil Ambulance to Sydney Hospital, where she was admitted.

– Evening News (Sydney, NSW) Friday 20 August 1920.


Mr. Graham, an old and respected resident, and for many years councillor for Eastern ward, met with a painful accident at the Commercial Hotel, Jamestown, last week. He was reading a poster on the wall, and did not notice that a trapdoor leading to the cellar was open. On stepping closer he fell into the cellar, sustaining injuries to his knee and general shock, necessitating his removal to the Jamestown Hospital.

– Chronicle (Adelaide, SA) Saturday 20 May 1922

Fall into cellar.  

Elsie Freestone- (23); a waitress employed at the Hotel Imperial, Moree (NSW), was badly scalded when she fell through a cellar door, while carrying a tray of tea into the bar. There was a drop of about eight feet from the bar door to the cellar, and in addition to receiving severe scalds over the face and body from the hot tea, the girl also sustained concussion and shock. She was removed by ambulance to the District Hospital.

– Daily Mercury (Mackay, Qld) Wednesday 4 March 1936

Fell Down Cellar

SEA LAKE, Sunday.-Ken Aldenhoven, aged 16 years, of Culgoa, fell through the uncovered entrance of a cellar at the un-finished Culgoa Hotel last night and suffered a double fracture of the left arm and a head injury.

– The Argus (Melbourne, Vic) Monday 10 August 1936


Mrs. Ida Robinson, licensee of the Royal Federal Hotel, Branxton, fell 12 feet down the cellar on to a concrete floor at the hotel yesterday. She suffered bruises and shock. Mrs. Robinson was unaware that the cellar door was open, and stepped back-wards.

– Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate (NSW) Wednesday 16 October 1940.

Fell Into Cellar

Entering the bar at Barrier Hotel in the evening and looking along a shelf as she walked, Mrs. H. A. Calnan (licensee) failed to notice that a trapdoor leading to the cellar was open, and fell to the bottom, a distance of about 8 ft. Apparently badly injured, Mrs. Calnan was taken to Sister Bray’s Hospital. Examination disclosed that though she was extensively bruised about the body and legs, no bones were broken. Mrs. Calnan was brought home to the hotel yesterday, and is confined to her room.

– Recorder (Port Pirie, SA) Wednesday 24 December 1941.


CASINO, Friday.—Falling down a cellar at the Oxford Hotel yesterday, Archie Watts (49), wharf labourer, received a severe wound to his forehead and severed an artery. First aid was rendered by Casino Ambulance and Watts was conveyed to the Memorial Hospital.

– Northern Star (Lismore, NSW) Saturday 9 January 1943.

Fell Into Cellar

JOHN WILLIAMS (75), of 165 York St., Launceston, received head injuries when he fell into a cellar at the Exchange Hotel, Launceston, yesterday morning. He was admitted to the Launceston General Hospital and his condition last night was reported to be satisfactory.

–  Examiner (Launceston, Tas) Tuesday 2 August 1949

Categories: Australian Hotels

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