Shearers take over pub

The Black Stump Hotel, Coolah, NSW today (2015)

The Black Stump Hotel, Coolah, NSW, named in honour of the original inn (This is not the pub mentioned in the story).

A PUBLICAN in shearing country once told me a beaut yarn.

Before taking the license of a pub in the Riverina district of NSW, he was host of a pub in Wollongong. So he wasn’t accustomed to the drinking habits of his new customers.

Settling into his new pub, he bunked down one night and was awoken by what he first thought was an earth quake.

Deafening thumping on the outside walls of the corrugated iron pub at 2am, accompanied by yelling: “open-up, we have our cheques”.

Dozens of utes full of shearers began arriving at his pub. Unawares, of the customs of the bush, the publican had been awakened by shearers who had finished for the season, were paid up with their cheques, and were ready to get on the tear!

Another example of the hard drinking habits of shearers was reported in the Sydney Evening News on November 21 1878.

A party of shearers took possession of the Black Stump Inn, about seven miles out of Coolah, driving the publican from the bar, and helping themselves to the beer. The police eventually apprehended the ring-leaders, and they copped their just rewards.

The Black Stump Inn eventually closed for business in 1881, with Tom Dawson as publican, trading for a while as a wine bar, before being abandoned in the 1890s.


Categories: NSW hotels

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