Short & Sweet

“OLD SHACK” IS NOW A LEGEND

By BOB CHAMBERS

Everybody in Kalgoorlie knows – or knew -“Old Shack”; he is the district’s strongest legend. “And So Goodbye” (17/7/52) might well have described that famous character. Like most legends the legend of “Old Shack” misses some of the essentials – whatever his real name may have been, for instance. He was a bottle-oh or carrier – or both – and he was famous because he had more than 300 convictions and all of them for drunkenness.

The number differs with the teller of the legend. Once it was more than 400, but has never been less than 300. “Shack’s” horse was equally famous. If “Shack” failed to re-turn to the cart, towards evening the horse would amble along and turn into the police-station yard to join his master. It became a monotonously, auto-matic procedure, so that by-standers who saw the horse passing would say: “Old Shack’s in again.”

His host of convictions and his horse’s fidelity – they are the two strong points of the legend, told so often that they are, almost confirmed local history. But there is the tale – probably untrue – that when another who loved his beer too well reached his 200th conviction, “Old Shack” became anxious about holding his record.

Others say unkindly of the Force that “Old Shack” had so many convictions simply because he was easily rounded up by the police whenever they wanted any work done around the station – and he was a good worker, they add. It is said, too, that a gold-fields publican still has “Shack’s” “last will and, testament,” written by “Shack” in the bar and bequeathing to the publican his estate in exchange for a brimming pot of beer, given in advance.

“Old Shack” has been dead for some years, but his legend will keep him in Kalgoorlie for a long time yet – a friendly, beer-loving but forgetful character for whom the police had a soft spot.

I asked at the station once to see his record card to confirm the number of convictions. “You going to write something about him?” asked the constable. “I was thinking of it.” “He wasn’t a bad bloke, you know. You’ll make it look all right for him?” “Of course,” I replied. But the card couldn’t be found and I didn’t pursue the matter. So it’s left to the legend. 

– West Australian (Perth), Saturday 2 August 1952.

HOW IT IS DONE.
A case heard at Gilgandra (NSW) police court the other day gave some insight, as to how ‘free beer’ was obtained on the railways. A former railway employee gave the information that kegs of beer were tapped with a large nail, and after the contents had been well sampled, the hole was plugged up with a piece of wood and dirt rubbed over
it to obliterate the tell-tale plug.
– Northern Argus (Clare, SA) Friday 3 May 1929.
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BEER WAS RATS DOWN FALL
A barmaid in a city hotel screamed today when she found a rat sipping beer from a dreg container. Despite her fright, and while clambering on to the bar, she threw her swab at the rat and trapped it in the container. A customer rushed behind the bar, grabbed the container and carried it to the street where he destroyed the rat. Then he left for the Perth City Council with the corpse to collect a sixpenny bounty.
-The Daily News (Perth, WA) Wednesday 24 July 1946
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JUST WHY
Said the inquisitivetourist, at the Shadow of Death Hotel, in the western wilds, “Why do your – er – clients so frequently refer to your liquid refreshment as “possum-juice?” “Because,” sweetly replied the shirt-sleeved Bung, as he poured a couple of pounds of
bluestone into the rum cask and stirred the mixture vigorously, “because when
they have drunk it, they want to climb trees.”
Truth (Brisbane) Sunday 9 May 1909.
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CURIOUS FIND
Sydney, Tuesday.
Casey’s old hotel, at the corner of Liverpool and George Streets has been taken down and the materials sold by public auction. An old beam was purchased for 6s, and the man who bought it was engaged in cutting it up, when he found eight £20 notes concealed in an auger hole. As no clue to the owner can be obtained the finder is keeping the money.
-Macleay Argus (Kempsey, NSW) Wednesday 24 January 1894.
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This ghost drank beer
SYDNEY, Sun: John Bain, 63, military pensioner, who police believed to have been drowned at Liverpool and buried-last February, has been found alive and living at Auburn. He was refused payment of his pension because he was “dead,” and it was renewed only after he had established his identity. Harry Bell, 66, said yesterday: “When I ran into ‘Bluey’ Bain in an Auburn hotel a few days ago, I thought I was seeing a ghost.
“The bloke I identified in the morgue was the dead spit of ‘Bluey.’
“We had a few beers to celebrate his return to life.”
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic) Monday 28 November 1949.
beer-mugs

These Hotel Signs

A sign in a country hotel read as follows:

* In order to prevent the guests from carrying fruit from the table, there will be no fruit.

* If you want the bellboy, ring a towel.

* If you get hungry during the night, take a roll in bed.

* No immortality allowed in the rooms.

* Guests on retiring at night will leave their money with the clerk, for he will get it anyhow.

– Albany Advertiser (WA) Thursday 29 February 1940

beer-mugs

DOG WAS LESSER EVIL
DURING a raid on a Newcastle hotel on Saturday night, four men “made a break.” They got safely through the back door, intending to cross the yard and scale the fence. But they forgot the licensee’s dog. As they enmerged into the yard, the dog bailed them up and drove them inside again. They feared the notebook of the law less than the fangs of
the backyard custodian.
– Newcastle Morning Herald (NSW) Monday 25 August 1947
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OLDEST BARMAID
MELBOURNE. — “Time, gentlemen, please,” at the Botanical Hotel, South Yarra, on Wednesday last week meant farewell to Miss A. M. Hoffman, Victoria’s oldest licensed barmaid. She has been at the Botanical Hotel for 27 years, and a barmaid for 46. Her licence, No. 220, was issued on December 28, 1906, and in all that time she has never had a drink or a smoke. The patrons and the retiring licensee, Mr A. E. Head, presented her with cheques and other gifts on Wednesday to allow their appreciation.
– The Northern Miner (Charters Towers Qld) Tuesday January 6 1953.
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A STRANGE FATALITY.
John Sheridan licensee of the Moonbi Hotel, Condobolin (NSW) was killed by the stem of a tobacco pipe being driven into his throat. He was returning from the Hotel yard carrying some wood when he stumbled in the dark and fell. Sheridan was smoking at the time, and the stem of his pipe was driven right into the tissues of his neck at the spinal column where it joins the skull.
The Beverley Times (WA) Saturday 11 May 1907.
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SPENT NIGHT ON HOTEL ROOF
COOKTOWN. Monday.— The Annan River, which runs past the Lions’ Den Hotel at Helensvale (Qld), came down suddenly in high flood, submerging the lower part of the building and rising so fast that Mrs. Watkins, the proprietress, who is 87, and other occupants were forced to spend the night on the hotel roof while furniture was floating around. Floods in the Cooktown district are higher than any flood since 1919.
Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser (Qld.) Tuesday 28 March 1939.
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COLLAPSE OF A ROOF
MELBOURNE, Wednesday. — During the progress of a storm at Bealah (Vic.) last night the roof of the Farmers’ Union Hotel collapsed suddenly. The licensee T P. Seery, was killed outright. Two soldier farmers – McFie and McIntyre – who were in the hoiel, were also buried beneath the wreckage. The former was seriously injured.
Daily Telegraph (Launceston, Tas.)Thursday 16 December 1920.
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BEER INCREASE
MELBOURNE, Sunday. Draught beer prices are expected to rise by at least two cents a glass in Victoria soon. At present a 7oz glass of beer sells for 18 cents in public bars and 10oz pots, 24 cents.
– The Canberra Times (ACT)Monday 22 April 1974.
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STOLE KEG OF BEER FROM BAR
For having stolen a 10-gallon keg of beer and two taps, valued at £6 from a hotel in Dowling-street [Sydney], yesterday, Tony Giacco, 28, laborer, was fined £5, or 10 days improisonment, at the Central Court to-day. Constable Hayman said that Giacco
asked a barmaid to “ring up” for a taxi cab and during her absence he rolled the keg of beer out of the bar, and put it in a taxi cab.
– The Sun (Sydney, NSW) Wednesday 5 October 1938
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SWAGMEN’S NIGHT OUT
AN old building at Ryde (NSW) in which they camped on Sunday night yielded treasure to two young swagmen. Previously the place was a hotel, and hidden under the floor of the
kitchen they found three bottles of champagne, which, apparently, had been there for years. Two of the bottles were sold at 10 shillings each, but the couple decided to celebrate with the third.
– Mudgee Guardian (NSW )Thursday 15 June 1933.
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mccrackens lane melbourne sign

A much dryer McCracken’s Lane, Melbourne, Victoria, 2016. Photo: Google Streetview.

BEER FLOWS FREELY.

WHEN two thousand bottles of beer crashed from a lorry in McCracken’s Lane, Melbourne, (Victoria) yesterday, some 400 bottles were smashed and gallons of beer flowed down the lane towards Collins Street.
– The Riverine Grazier (Hay, NSW)Friday 7 February 1947.
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ALLIGATOR BEER
Mr. Harry Ellis-Kels, who’s opening a brewery at Darwin (NT), will make two brands of beer, which a friend tells me he’ll call “Alligator” and “Buffalo”. They’ll have more of a
local flavor than “Hiawatha,” anyway. Some very fine local spring water will be another aid in giving the beer a true NT identity.
– News (Adelaide) November 24 1950.
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BEER PULLING CHALLENGE
A report in an evening paper on Tuesday that a barman in New Zealand had pulled 4320 beers in one day, has caused quite a lot of argument among customers at the United Service Hotel at Cessnock. Many say it It an impossibility. However, we understand that Bill Young, who has had 34 years’ experience on the beer tap, is to isssue a challenge to the New Zealander. Bill reckons that if the New Zealander can pull 4320 beers in a day, he can pull 4321.
– The Cessnock Eagle (NSW) Thursday 10 April 1952.
FIRST TOUCH OF WINTER
beer barrels ice

Empty beer barrels capped with snow outside a roadside hotel near Tumbarumba (NSW) – The Land June 9 1933

SNAKE IN CELLAR
A LOCAL hotelkeeper, while engaged in putting on a barrel of beer in his cellar last week, received a shock when he nearly stepped on a snake which was enjoying a quiet rest in the cool retreat. Bung, however, was quite equal to the occasion, and some quick work with a spanner soon settled the argument as to right of possession. The wriggler was of the brown variety, and had evidently found its way into the cellar through the gratings on the footpath.
– Mudgee Guardian and North-Western Representative (NSW) Monday 7 March 1932.
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BARREL ACT FAILS
LITHGOW, Saturday. Joseph Bannon, a Portland resident, when found by the local sergeant of police hiding behind a beer barrel in a cellar, and asked what he was doing there, replied “To get as far away from you as possible.” The time was well after the six o’clock closing hour, and, despite his frankness, he was fined just as much as a companion, who was discovered behind another barrel, and who declared that he was looking for his dog.
– National Advocate (Bathurst, NSW ) Monday 14 October 1929.
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BEER STOLEN
Thirty-six gallons of beer was tapped and stolen from two kegs during transit by motor lorry from Marrabel to the West End brewery, Adelaide, this week. The beer was part of a consignment from Mr. Oscar Heinrich, of the Point Pass Hotel.
– The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA)Saturday 14 October 1950
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NO PONY BEER ON TAP
A few days ago a thirsty traveller walked into one of our hotels and was served with a long beer by an experienced barmaid. He then asked for a “pony beer”. The barmaid, after looking at all the bottles and casks in the bar, apologised for not having “pony beer”, but added, “We have plenty ‘White Horse’ if that will do.”
– The Port Macquarie News and Hastings River Advocate (NSW ) Saturday 6 May 1922.
* Pony is NSW’s slang for a seven ounce glass of beer. White Horse was a brand of beer.
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A PUBLICAN’S RUSE
A Goulburn hotelkeeper, who was proceeded against for having a bottle of whisky in his bar which contained 30 per cent water, pleaded that he kept ihe weak whisky to give men free nips the morning after the night before, when they had no money. The magistrate, in imposing a fine of £10 for selling adulterated whisky, gave his opinion of the defence, when he curtly remarked, “I don’t believe it.”
– The Inverell Times (NSW )Friday 20 July 1923.
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BEER SPILT IN COURT
No. 1 Adelaide Police Court this morning for a time bore an odor familiar to many people. It was that of beer. In conveying a keg of beer to be produced as evidence in a case of sly grog selling, two constables inadverterntly loosened the bung, and a fair quantity of the amber-colored liquid had escaped before the flow could be stopped. The constables hurriedly and confusedly brought into action newspapers and a mop to remove signs of the beer.
– News (Adelaide, SA)Friday 18 November 1927.
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PINT GLASSES REAPPEAR 

Pint beer glasses reappeared in most Sydney hotels yesterday after an absence of three or four years, but customers generally asked for schooners or middies. The pint glass holds 20oz. compared with the schooner (16oz) and the middy (9oz). The pint costs 1/2 and the
schooner 11d. Under the new Liquor Act the sizes of glasses will be 20, 15, 10 and 5 ozs, but the current glass shortage is delaying manufacture of all sizes except the 20oz.
– The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW )Tuesday 23 September 1947.
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KEG EXPLOSION
Adelaide, Wednesday: Part of the bar and a cash register were wrecked and dozens of glasses were smashed when an l8 gallon keg of beer exploded in the front bar of the Commercial Hotel, Gawler place, city, this afternoon. Nobody in the crowded bar was injured, but a customer’s pint glass of beer was cut in half by the blast. A barman was drenched with beer.
– The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. )Thursday 18 October 1951.
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PICKLE BOTTLE BEER
A NOVEL solution of his glassware troubles has been found by an outback publican in whose districts troops are quartered. Having lost Innumerable pots and glasses through breakages and ‘souveniring’ and unable to secure adequate replacements, he decided to serve his beer in pickle bottles. One particular brand holds 12 ounces — the equivalent of two glasses of the size normally in use. It costs one shilling. Diggers found drinking from the short, narrow-necked bottles a tricky business at first.
– The Daily News (Perth, WA) Thursday 25 March 1943.
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WATER FROM BEER KEG IN HOTEL
SYDNEY, Friday. – When a Dubbo publican tapped a keg of beer, water came but no beer. The beer had been sent by rail and carrier. There were several kegs and the last was full of water. It is considered that the keg was tapped somewhere in transit. Other country publicans have run short of supplies because they have been stolen in transit.
– Northern Star (Lismore, NSW )Saturday 15 January 1944.
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WOMAN’S RIGHTS !
E.D. WORKER, – The following requires publicity. A short stage from Winton there lives a publican who some time ago engaged a young girl as cook for the magnificent sum of 10s. per week. She is expected to wash, iron, scrub, and do almost everything about the hotel. At night she is expected to dance and entertain the customers in a general way.
-Yours, &c, A Unionist.
– Worker (Brisbane, Qld) Saturday 25 June 1898.
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 ICY SPECTACLES
A local publican bought his usual block of ice, but it was different. He had had it a short while when he noticed that frozen into the ice was a pair of horn-rimmed spectacles. He feared to break the ice lest he should also damage the glasses, so let the ice melt. Eventually the spectacles were free and he rescued them, none the worse. To-day he handed them back to the ice man to deliver to the man who had lost them he knew not where.
The Maitland Daily Mercury (NSW )Saturday 4 February 1939.
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 COW CLIMBS HOTEL STAIRS.
Mrs Tuckwell, licensee of the Royal Hotel, Deniliquin and her maids received a shock when a cow wandered through the main entrance and climbed the stairs. It careered along the passage and entered a bedroom, fortunately unoccupied.
It slithered down the stairs again and tried to enter the bar before it was ejected. As many as 17 cows have been seen roaming the streets of Deniliquin at night, and Alderman Walters had his garden damaged recently by one of them. The council has given orders for cows to be impounded.
– Daily Examiner Saturday 11 July 1936.
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AN HOTEL CASE. EXTRAORDINARY ALLEGATION.

The licensee of an hotel in Exhibition street was charged with allowing a drunken person to remain on the premises: Inspector Oliver alleged that a young woman was taken to the hotel by a man, who induced her to take brandy, .which made her mad, and she climbed out of the window. Evidence for the defence was to the effect that the woman was known as “Mad Fanny.” The charge was dismissed.

The Newcastle Sun  Tuesday 3 March 1953.

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FREE BEER !

Street cleaners envy their opposite numbers down in Tumut, that picturesque and, slubrius town, which expects to be a city some 25 years hence when the Snowy River project nears completion.
In that shire a very old custom prevails.
The street sweepers are entitled to call on every pub they pass (or don’t pass) and there are seven pubs there, and have one beer per man at the pub’s expense. Very nice, too, on summer
days. There are no vacancies on the street cleansing staff at
Tumut.
– Molong Express and Western District Advertiser (NSW) Friday 4 January 1952.


MISS DOROTHY HARTIGAN is the first single woman in New South Wales to be granted a hotel licence. Single women were previously ineligible for licences. Miss Hartigan has never tasted liquor.Woman Makes Hotel History

MISS DOROTHY HARTIGAN is the first single woman in NSW to be granted a hotel licence. Single women were previously ineligible for licences. Miss Hartigan has never tasted liquor.

– News (Adelaide) Friday 4 October 1946.


 

Quack Quack

Cartoon by Paul Dorin

Cartoon by Paul Dorin

IN the latter years of the depression, my father Ernie and his younger brother Ron Swan, came up with an idea to make a few bob by oranising a raffle with a duck as the prize.
The problem for the enterprising Swan brothers was, that whilst having the initiative to oranise the raffle and some raffle tickets, neither their fiances nor intentions extended to providing the lucky winner with a duck of the feathered variety.
The winning ticket was held by Mrs Luscombe who, with her husband operated the Bulli Family Hotel.
The ever resourceful brothers obtained a crate used by the local shop keeper to transport breakables and wheeled it, with Ron inside, to the hotel. Mts Luscombe was then presented with her prize “Duck Swan”, a nick-name that Ron (Uncle Duck) carried proudly till his untimely passing.

– Barry Swan (C. 1996)


Pubs and entertainment

Ron Muir (on sax) and James

Ron Muir (on sax) and James “Double” Orvad (piano) entertain the crowd at Woonona Bulli RSL.

PUBS were the principle venues for entertainment early last century.
From simple singalongs between coal miners at the bar, to paid musos belting out favourite songs of the era on the piano, the pub was the place to be entertained prior to the popualrity of licensed clubs in the 1960s.
Some “localised scribble” in the late 1990s from an anonymous 77-year-old correspondent recalls the days of the pub entertainer at Bellambi Hotel in the 1940s.
“I have been living here, near the hotel for over 50 years and remember a young man entertaining customers at the hotel every Saturday. There was lots of singing between the radio broadcasting of horse racing, while the bookies were taking bets. The bookies were always keeping a watchful eye for police raids.”
The Piano player, named “Ted”, lived nearby and he was paid by the publican with a bottomless mug of beer, which always sat in arm length on his trusty instrument.
Ted used to play in Sydney for the Soldiers during the war before they left for Europe. “Oh how the miners loved the old time songs, a lot of singing and dancing till closing time at 6pm.”
With the rise in popularity of licensed clubs in the 1960s new venues were built to accommodate the entertainment needs of the people of the northern suburbs.
Pubs were replaced by clubs during the 1960s as places to be entertained on weekends.


Stately Grieve & the Harp Hotel

Harp Inn Corrimal Street Wollongong c1890

Harp Inn Corrimal Street Wollongong c1890

CRAMPED and outdated, the small Wollongong coaching inn, known as the Harp Hotel, had outlived its usefulness by the mid 1880s.
George Clout took the reigns of Wollongong’s oldest pub in 1883 and during his ownership the pub developed an unenviable reputation as one of the township’s rougher establishments.
The local Licensing Inspector, Senior Sergeant Grieve was known as a tough cop who ruled with an iron fist. He tried unsuccessfully to have the Harp closed in June 1885 after branding Clout an unfit publican who ran a disorderly house.
The stately and solidly built Sergeant told the Magistrates that Clout conducted the Harp badly, drunken persons were allowed to “knock about the place at all hours” and the pub opened illegally on a Sunday.
Complaints had been repeatedly received about drunken men insulting passers-bys and that many of the larrikins congregated at the intersection of Crown and Corrimal Streets he argued in his case to close the old pub.
The Harp was a tough pub to operate during these times with the Illawarra railway works in progress and hundreds of men employed on the monstrous labour intensive project frequenting its bar.
Clout had around 15 of the contractor’s men boarding at his pub, although not sleeping there, they made it their base and, of course, their recreation venue. On weekends many of the navies would pitch their tents in the hotel yard and head for the bar for a heavy drinking session. Arguments were frequent and Clout had his hands full trying to keep order.
Opened in 1839, the Harp was an important public building in the developing little town of Wollongong. The Campbelltown Mail Coach arrived and departed from the house with a passenger booking office situated in the pub’s yard. The Coachman, who lived on the premises, would leave the pub for the overland trip to Campbelltown Railway Station to collect the Illawarra’s mail. Many gathered there to receive news from the outside world.
Grieve’s concerns fell on deaf ears in 1885. The court heard that the host had never been convicted of any offence during his sojourn at the pub and the case was dismissed.
Clout remained as host until 1886, later becoming an Alderman on the Lithgow Council and conducting a hotel in the Maitland district.
The little inn’s days, however, were numbered and the license was cancelled because of the “dilapidated condition” of the premises in 1891.
A new pub replaced the old inn during 1893.


Out the back for a fight

FIGHTING was – and still is – a result of heated arguments in Aussie pubs. The best way to sought differences out was to head outside to see who “is the best man”.
Often the fights turned into a circus with bets being placed and set times organised for the tussel. This was the case in one of Bulli’s early watering holes during March 1880.
The Black Diamond Hotel (1876-1889), on the South Coast of NSW, wasn’t a place for the faint hearted with hard and tough coal miners frequenting the bar.
A fight between two men, Robert Crompton and Richard Covil, arose from a quarrel on a Saturday night in the Black Diamond’s assembly room.
At 9am the next morning the two men confronted each other for 15 shillings a side in “Campbells Padock”. The 48 rounds was fierce and savage, both men covered in blood, with “the bigger man” taking the pickings.
The crowd of 50 onlookers had no worries about their entertainment being interupted with the local constable being sent on “a wild goose chase” when he was told the fight was to be held on the Bulli Pass.

Sly Grog at Otford

ANN Brewer, in custody, charged with sly grog selling at Otford, pleaded not guilty… Senior-constable Henry stated that he and Constable Saunders went to the defendant’s tent, and saw her serve a woman with some rum, and also heard the woman ask the defendant to have some herself; he saw defendant pour the rum out of a black bottle, and saw the woman pay a shilling; defendant said: “You will want all the money you can get to pay your fine”; the woman replied, “Never mind”; defendant then said, “Well leave it there”; we then entered the tent, and asked defendant if she had a license; she replied, “no; this woman brought some rum in, and we divided it; you will not find any rum in the tent”. We searched the tent, and found half a bottle of gin and two other bottles (produced), with rum in; the defendant had been convicted before, and has the reputation of keeping a shanty. By Mr. Muir: I had been in the adjoining tent before I entered the defendant’s; I decline to answer whether I asked this woman to go and get a drink from defendant; I also decline to state who told me that defendant had a bottle of rum ; the woman in the tent searched the defendant. Constable Saunders deposed: I heard voices inside the tent, also glasses being used; I heard the female inside the tent ask for drink, and also heard the money jingle on a tray; the senior constable and I then entered, and saw two empty glasses; I smelt the glasses, and one contained rum; we searched the place and found the bottles produced, containing liquor. Constable Streatfield stated: I arrested the prisoner at Otford; she was secreted in a house and locked in a room belonging to a person named Gardiner; I started to search the house, when Mrs. Gardiner said ‘All right; wait a moment;’ and then went round tho back and unlocked the door; defendant then, came out; I read the warrant to her, and she replied ‘The vile hussy; she has put me away; she is a sneaking serpent in the grass; I got out of my bed and gave her some rum, and she gave me a shilling… I have received several complaints about the defendant’s tent being very badly conducted, especially on Sundays. Defendant stated: I know Mrs. Gardiner, who lives with a man who was convicted for sly grog selling; she came to my tent late last night, and said she was dying, would I give her a drop of rum ; I gave her a small drop, and she threw down a shilling ; I said ‘Take it home, woman; I will not have it I could get plenty money washing for the miners, without selling grog; I have the gin in the tent for my own use, and the rum for making sauce for my boarders; I never told her to leave the money; I never handled the money; I was once treated the same as I am now, but not in this district. Fined £30, or two months in Wollongong Gaol, the alternative being accepted.
– Illawarra Mercury Saturday 22 May 1886.

3 replies

  1. Hi, Edward Powell’s Half Way House Hotel on Parramatta Road Homebush pre-dates the Bald Faced Stag by over 20 years, It was first licenced in 1809. Gov Macquarie stopped there in 1810. The hotel changed it’s name several times eventually becoming the Horse and Jockey in the 1840’s, the Homebush Inn in the 1850’s and back to Horse and Jockey thereafter, and still trading today. In 1883 the original building was replaced by a newer one directly next door, yet the original building survived into the 1890’s. The newer 1883 building was demolished to widen Parramatta Road in the late 1930’s yet immediately re-built 14 feet back.on the same site using funds furnished by the Dept of Main Roads. The hotel owes it’s name to the publican and jockey, James Kerwin, who raced on the Homebush Racecourse in the 1840’s and 1850’s. During the late 1850’s, horse trainer William Cutts became publican and his stepson Johnny Cutts (John Cutts Dillon) went on to become the winning jockey of the first two Melbourne Cups (1861 & 1862). when he took the horse “Archer” to Melbourne on the steamship “City of Sydney” Cheers, Dave

    Liked by 1 person

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