PUBS often featured in the pages of newspapers, revealing a fascinating glimpse into the workings and culture of Australian communities and in particular working class men and women. Here are a selection:
PICTURE: MRS. ANNIE SEAL, 85 year-old licensee of the 100-year-old Gasworks Hotel, Brompton, pulls a beer
FOR 44 years she has served beer. In 44 years of serving beer in hotels 85 year-old Mrs. Annie Seal, licensee of the Gasworks Hotel, Brompton, has always been a firm teetotaller. White-haired and slightly stooped, Mrs. Seal is still bright-eyed, active, and possesses quiet a sense of humor. The Gasworks Hotel, in Chief street, Brompton – up to 1863 known as the Brickmakers’ Arms – was 100 years old on Tuesday. Mrs. Seal is thought by her son, Mr. Tom Seal, to be the oldest licensee in South Australia. “Tom does most of the work here now,” Mrs. Seal said today. “All I do is sign the cheques.” “Don’t you believe it,” her son said. “She still helps out in the bar when I’m busy. And she enjoys it, too.” Mrs. Seal first held the licence of Opie’s Hotel in Burra in 1907. Opie’s has since been de-licensed, and the licence transferred to Booborowie. From Burra she went to the Globe Hotel, Waracoorte. Now the Kancraig Hotel, Naracoorte, has the licence. In 1911, Mrs. Seal returned to Burra and in turn held the licences of the Royal Exchange Hotel, the Kooringa Hotel, and the Royal Exchange again. She left Burra in 1926 to take over the Gasworks Hotel. After a year she left Brompton and took over the Manoora Hotel. She returned to Brompton in 1938 and has been there since. Tuesday being the centenary of the hotel, Mrs. Seal, in the afternoon, entertained the regulars “and probably a few others who sneaked in”. With all her hotel experience, Mrs. Seal appeared disappointed with only one thing. She said; wistfully: ‘Once or twice, when I was very sick, I had to have a small glass of brandy.’
– The Mail (Adelaide) Saturday 7 April 1951.
MR. HUGH O’DOHERTY sitting in the easy chair presented to him today by ‘regulars’ of the Bath Hotel, Norwood, on his retirement after 25 years as a barman at the hotel. Seated behind Mr. O’Doherty is Dr. A. Smith, who made the presentation on behalf of the customers. Mr. O’Doherty has been pulling beer for 48 years
CUSTOMERS FAREWELL VETERAN BARMAN – After 48 years of beer pulling, including 40 in SA hotels, a barman at the Bath Hotel on Norwood Parade was presented by his customers with an easy chair on his retirement today. He is Mr. Hugh O’Doherty, 69, who has been serving beer at the Bath Hotel for the past 25 years. He remembers with a sigh the days when he first started as a barman. Beer was four pence a pint then, and customers could get a billy or jug full for sixpence. The beer was better, too, in those days, when hand pumps were used instead of the modern gas pressure beer pumps in use today, he says. According to Hughie, who is a strict soda water man himself, people drink much more heavily now with 6 o’clock closing than in the days when hotels stayed open until 11. He attributes the heavier drinking of the present generation to the larger amount of money they earn. The old-timers drank their beer straight. But the modern man spoils his beer with dashes of raspberry and tomato juice, he says. Since he started as a barman, Hughie has been manager of the Old Sportsman’s Hotel in Byron place, Napoleon Hotel in King William street, and proprietor of the Angel Inn, in Gouger street. Now he’s retired he says he will spend all his time sitting in his new easy chair. Presents all round Hughie wasn’t the only one to get a present today at the Bath Hotel. The kitchen staff gave the proprietoress (Mrs. Killicoat) six cups and saucers. The barmen presented Mr. Killicoat with two ballpoint pens, and Mrs. Killicoat with a box of handkerchiefs. Old customers gave Mrs. Killicoat gloves, stockings, hand kerchiefs, traycioths, and measuring utensils for the kitchen. To round off, Mr. and Mrs. Killicoat gave each barman a cheque. And a good time seems to have been had by all.
– The Mail (Adelaide) Saturday 20 May 1950.
HUNDREDS IN BEER QUEUE – Hundreds queued up out- side a hotel in Leederville from 7 a.m. onwards yester- day to collect a Xmas ration of 6 bottles of beer. Cars and taxies added to the crowd as it waited for the handout. Sale commenced at 10.30 a.m., 400 dozen being sold – The Sunday Times (Perth) Sunday 22 December 1946.
Early-morning queues outside hotels today gave a pointer to Adelaide’s end-of-the-month beer shortage. This picture shows the crowd waiting before 9a.m. for one hotel to open. Early-morning queues outside hotels today gave a pointer to Adelaide’s end-of-the-month beer shortage. This picture shows the crowd waiting before 9 a.m. for one hotel to open – The Mail (Adelaide) Saturday 27 February 1943.
WHITE ANTS AND BEER – DARWIN’S WHITE ANTS, it was discovered early this week, ace partial to the town’s prized beverage — beer. They bored their way into and emptied all but a few of the 80 eighteen-gallon kegs which had been stored in a corrugated iron garage. These pictures show (top) an employee of the unlucky hotel proprietor holding two lumps of congealed beer and wood which fell from the kegs, together with millions of ants, when they were unpacked. Below — Beer being emptied from the ant-riddled barrels after it had been condemned. — By air mail – The Mail (Adelaide) Saturday 3 September 1938.
SO THAT wives will be able to join their husbands in post-match football discussions, former Essendon footballer Ted Rippon has opened a beer-garden at his Melbourne suburban hotel. Old barrels, painted in the colours of every League team are the tables. Rippon hopes to add more barrels soon – painted in the colours of Association teams – The Daily News (Perth, WA) Saturday 14 January 1950.
BEER bowser is latest – BARMAID Joan Naira tries out a novelty – a beer bowser – in a Sydney hotel during last week’s Christmas rush. The bowser works similarly to a petrol bowser in a service station – Barrier Miner (Broken Hill) Friday 30 December 1949.
SYDNEY PUBLICAN ANNOUNCES HIS BEER QUOTA – Licensee of the Darling Point Hotel. Edgecliffe, Sydney, Mr. John C. (lirft), chalktng up in his bar details of consumption of this weekly beer quota of 14 18 gallon kegs. ‘No one can accuse me of blackmarketing,’ he said – Townsville Daily Bulletin (Qld.) Friday 15 February 1946.
BEER DRUMS ON TRIAL – The Cascade Brewery Co. Ltd. has imported three trial steel drums, now being used on the Mainland for bulk beer. The brewery is investigating how they stand up to cartage, and whether they affect the flavour of beer. The steel drums eventually may replace the barrels made of Tasmanian blackwood, because there is a shortage of wood and coopers. Here Mr. F. G. Natty, cellarman at Hadley’s Hotel, Hobart, is tapping one of the drums – The Mercury (Hobart) Friday 16 June 1950
METAL Beer Barrel – The aluminium beer barrel with double skin, which is claimed to be lighter, cleaner, and afford better insulation than the old type of wooden barrel was among the thousands of exhibits which were seen at this year’s British Industries Fair Queensland Times (Ipswich) Friday 16 July 1948.
OLD TIME DRINKING – NO SHORTAGE of bottled beer or spirits exists at Bathurst, NSW, as this notice in a local hotel indicates – Queensland Times (Ipswich) Saturday 15 June 1946.
CENTURY – Sam Barlow, of the Salvation Army Home, Balmain, Sydney, was 100 this week. Each day he drinks two glasses of beer at the Royal Park Hotel, Balmain, and on Monday, his birthday, he was guest at an impromptu party birthday cake and all – The Mercury (Hobart) Thursday 19 October 1950.
Brewing beer in Sydney – Evening News Saturday 22 February 1908.
SAILOR Makes Beer Barrels – RECONSTRUCTION TRAINEE – Neil Catt inspects the interior of an 18-gallong beer barrel. A former R.A.N. member, Catt has chosen to become a cooper in civilian life, constructing two barrels a day – The Daily New (Perth) Wednesday 29 January 1947.