HISTORIC ROYAL GEORGE HOTEL IN THE VALLEY SOLD AT A RECORD PRICE
The Royal George Hotel, which stands at the busy intersection of Ann and Brunswick Streets, Valley, has been sold for what is described by its former owner, Mr. E. H. Ruddle, as the highest price ever paid for a hotel property in Brisbane.
Several hotels have been sold in the city recently and the prices paid have reached as high as £75,000. The price paid for the Royal George has not been dis-closed. Castlemain’e Perkins Ltd. the purchasers, have also acquired the adjoining pro-perties which consist of the premises occupied by the Commercial Banking Co. of Sydney, shops and a photgrapher’s studio in Brunswick Street, and flats in Ann Street.
Ruddle’s Hotel has been a land mark for years, and when it was first erected, the site now occupied by Messrs.T. C. Beirne’s emporium was a paddock which was part of the hotel property and in which the Ruddle boys kept their ponies.
The whole of the block known as Ruddle’s corner has been purchased by Castlemaine-Perkins. The hotel premises have been licensed for 82 years, the original hotel having been built in 1854.
The late Mr. William Ruddle first occupied the property in 1870, and shortly afterwards purchased it from the Church of England Synod. The hotel business was carried on by the late Mr. William Ruddle, and later by his eldest son, Mr. Ernest Ruddle, who has conducted the business since, with the exception of one period, from 1888 to 1894, when the hotel was leased to Mr. Thomas Proe, C.M.G.
The present structure was built in 1886 and the shops and bank premises were erected in 1904. Additions were made to the hotel in 1914.
FAMILY’S 66 YEARS’ ASSOCIATION ENDS.
Mr. E. H. Ruddle, the vendor and present licensee, first held the licence in 1902 and took over the property in 1924. He will vacate the property at the end of this month.
Mr. E. H. Ruddle has been active in trade circles for many years, and, although a solicitor by profession, re-linquished practice to take over the hotel early in the present century. He is president of the Queensland Licensed Victuallers’ Association, a position which he has held for 16 years; a past president of the United Licensed Victuallers’ Association of the Commonwealth, and at the present time senior vice-president, chairman of the Liquor Trades Association, a member of the Brisbane Chamber of Commerce, and chairman of the Valley Business Council.
The purchase of a number of Brisbane hotels by the breweries draws attention to the fact that in the last two years, modern architecture has taken away most of the old-time appearance of Brisbane hotels, while, so far as nomenclature of metropolitan hostelries is concerned, there remain only two hotels bearing the good old-fashioned names that take the mind back to picturesque English inns.
Extensive modernisation of Brisbane’s hotels has been a feature of metropolitan building operations in the last year or two. In the city area, especially, practically every hotel has been in the hands of the architects, with the result that renovations have robbed the city of many old landmarks. So, also, from time to time, has the renaming of hotels almost completely eliminated the old English style of hotel name.
NAMED AFTER DUKE
Of the 140 hotels at present on the list of the Queensland Licensed Victuallers’ Association, there are only two – the Ship Inn and the Plough Inn, both in Stanley Street, South Brisbane, that bear any resemblance to the old-fashion style of hotel title.
The last hotel to be renamed in Brisbane was the Farmers’ Arms, also in Stanley Street, which following the recent visit of the Duke of Gloucester, was renamed the Gloucester Hotel. Actually the names of Brisbane hotels are mostly very mediocre; a big percentage of them being named originally or later renamed after a district, a street or an individual.
The Glen and the Atlas are the two most unusual names within the Brisbane licensing district. There are three hotels bearing the title of Royal Exchange and three Crown hotels.
– Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld), Saturday 14 March 1936.