Bert the navvy could out-swear a bullocky

Great Northern Hotel Newcastle 1920s anu

The Great Northern Hotel, Newcastle in 1930 when Herbert Gamble ran riot in the public bar. Picture: Noel Butlin Archives, Australian National University

NAVVY WHO OUTSWORE BULLOCKIES

CLEARED HOTEL IN FIVE MINUTES

CONST. AMAZED

NEWCASTLE. Monday.

swearerHERBERT GAMBLE, laborer, walked into the public bar of the Great Northern Hotel on Saturday afternoon.

Within five minutes it was empty. In the words of Constable Sands, who arrested him, “He cleared the whole show right out on the street.”

At the police court today. Gamble pleaded guilty to charges of riotous behavior, resisting the police and indecent language. The fines totalled £12.

Const. Sands said he had been in the police force a long time, and had heard bullock-drivers curse, but they had nothing on Gamble. When the latter entered the bar he immediately up-ended an old man and was about to put the boot in. When several men interfered he turned on them and they fled.

“I arrived,” explained the constable, “and he went for me. He’s lucky he wasn’t charged with assault, but I ducked. He swore at all and sundry on the way to the police station.

“Bullock-drivers,” he concluded, “are mere novices to this fellow.”

– Sydney Labor Daily December 2 1930


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