50 IN BAR WHEN OLD BUILDING CRASHED
WITH a terrific crash, tons of bricks, woodwork, and iron collapsed at the old Wentworth Hotel, Parramatta-road, Flemington, shortly after 5 p.m. yesterday.
Portion of the debris shattered the back wall of the public bar of the new premises and 50 persons, who were there at the time, scattered to avoid the hail of bricks. Many glasses of liquor were over turned and several glasses were smashed, but neither customers nor attendants were injured.
The hole made in the wall was 20 feet wide and about 14 feet high. An astonishing phase of the collapse was the experience of Mr. John Kroeknert, demolisher, of Enfleld, who fell with the debris. He had a remarkable escape from injury. The licensee of the premises is Mr. William Main, who assumed possession of the business only three weeks ago. The cause of the crash is unknown. For some time demolishers have been at work on the back portion of the old building, the front part having been removed to make way for the new hotel opened about two months ago.
“Customers did not rush out of the bar,” said Mr. Main last night, “but others dashed in, and in a very short time fully 200 people were in side. “Thousands of broken bricks and pieces of concrete were scattered about the floor. It is amazing that no one was struck. My wife, daughter and two barmen were serving drinks at the time.”
“I was on the first floor talking to one of my men, when suddenly the floor went from under me,” said Mr. Kroenknert, the contractor. “I fell about 15 feet and was covered with bits of brick, wood and loads of dust. “I thought I was a ‘goner,’ but managed to escape.
“I was only three feet from the wall when it fell into the bar,” said Mr. Ernest Pike, of Kandos-street, Ashfleld, who is a cousin of the famous jockey, Jim Pike. “A brick struck a pint-pot I was holding and I lost my drink.”
– Sun (Sydney, NSW), Sunday 13 October 1935