Derby Hotel (Dowling Forest)

From Hotels of Ballarat
Derby Hotel
Picture needed
Town Miners' Rest
Known dates 1858-1908

The Derby Hotel was at Dowling Forest, Victoria, <1858-1908>.

Site[edit | edit source]

The Derby Hotel was described as being at Dowling Forest[1], or sometimes Miners' Rest.[2] By 1908 the hotel is being described as being in the centre of Miners' Rest.[3]

Background[edit | edit source]

In 1868 the hotel is being referred to as Tait's Derby Hotel,[4] and other references often call it simply Tait's Hotel.

History[edit | edit source]

The license renewal was objected to by the police in June 1858:

William Tait, Derby Hotel, Miner's Rest. This house and premises were represented by the inspecting constable as dirty and unfit to be occupied. The applicant accounted for some small disorder, which he appeared to regard as being exaggerated by the Inspector, by saying his servant had just gone away. Postponed till Friday for another inspection.[5]

The hotel was mentioned in the newspapers, after a man was assaulted and robbed after leaving the hotel.[6]

In March 1902 the publican's daughter was severely injured and later died after an accident at the hotel:

A distressing burning accident happened at Miners' Rest on Tuesday, when Miss Jones, 16 years of age, daughter of Mr. T. Jones, licensee of the Derby Hotel, received such injuries that it is feared she will not recover. She had been preparing tea at the kitchen fire, when her dress became ignited. Her screams brought her parents to her assistance, and the flames were extinguished. The unfortunate young woman had by this time been severely burnt about the body.[7]

The hotel was recommended for closure at the License Reduction Board hearings in May 1908. The hearings gave an insight into the nature of the hotel business at the time:

Licenses Reduction Board, Before Messrs Andrews, Barr, and Camming.

The Licenses Reduction Board met yesterday at the Supreme Court, and dealt with the following hotels:— DERBY HOTEL. Derby Hotel, Miners’ Rest, owner; Mrs Mary Ann Jones, licensee, Thos. W. Aley. Mr J. B. Pearson appeared for the owner. Licensing Inspector Balchin said that the Derby was an old wooden building, in poor repair, well kept, and furnished, and well conducted. The position of the house was good. The rent was 25s per week, and the assessment £35. In view of the number of hotels along the road, and the number in the Dowling Forest division in excess of the statutory number, he considered the hotel was not required. Constable Hovey said the building was an old one, beyond repair, but was in a good position. It was the only hotel in the township of Miners’ Rest, the nearest licensed houses being three-quarters of a mile away. If a new building were erected in place of the present one, he thought the hotel should be kept open, as it was required for the convenience .of the public. He thought the Dowling Forest and Newmarket hotels should be closed in preference to the Derby. The Chairman — Were you consulted when the list was being prepared?— No. Mr Pearson said the building might be an old one, but Mr and Mrs Jones had found it habitable for a number of years. He thought the decay was more apparent than real. Whatever repairs were necessary would be effected by the owner. Mrs Mary A. Jones, owner, said she and her husband resided at the Tam O’Shantor Hotel. At one time they were in the Newmarket Hotel. They gave this hotel and £525 to the Ballarat Brewing Company for the Derby. From 1897 to 1901 she kept the Derby; and then leased it to the present licensee, who paid £315 for the ingoing. The house was in the middle of the township, and close to the Mechanics’ Hall, which was frequently used for concerts, meetings, and balls. The trustees of the hall did not approve of liquor being taken in there. Consequently the Derby was well patronised when any entertainment was held, in the hall. There was a good demand for stable accommodation, and the roadside traffic was very good. There was some trade also brought in by several training stables in the neighborhood. Thomas Jones, horse owner and trainer, and husband of the previous witness, gave evidence. The Derby, he said, did a much better trade than the Newmarket. To the Chairman— He could not account for the Newmarket liquor returns being only £10 less than the Derby. Clement Bond, farmer, of Mt Rowan, said that the Derby was more conveniently situated for the people of the township than the Newmarket. John Darcy, of the Commercial Hotel, Armstrong street, said that the Derby was the hotel chiefly required, in the neighborhood. If the hotels in the locality were for sale, he would give £300 more for the Derby than for any of the others. James Feery said that as far as he knew the Derby was always the most popular house in that part. Mr Pearson— Have they got any new attractions at the Newmarket lately ? —I don’t know. Mr Cumming— What’s the attraction — a gramophone? Mr Pearson—No. I believe it’s a piano, with a couple of nice-looking pianistes. Thomas William Aley said he paid £300 for the ingoing but the results had not justified the investment. To Mr Barr— On the business he was doing he would reckon 7s 6d a. week was a fair rent. The business was not paying. Mr Barr— What has caused the business to fall off?— There are no M.L.A. competitions now, and no quadrille parties. - Is the sporting trade gone?— Some of the jockeys left me because I would not let them do as they liked. Would a licensee who could attract them do more business?— Yes. As far as you are concerned, you want to get out?— l do. Do you want your own money back? — No. Mr Barr— You heard what Mr Davey; said. There's a purchaser for you. The Chairman — Would you take £100 for the ingoing ? — Yes. Mr Pearson— When did the place lessen in value?— After I had been there twelve months. You have lost heart over the business, haven’t you?— Yes. You said dances had stopped in the hall. Is there a dance there this week?. — Not that I know of. Is there a cricket club there? — No. A football club? —No. Do you subscribe to them to help them along?— No. Have you an iron quoit club. — No. You didn’t know that there was a Miners’ Rest Cricket Club, and that they played a match in Ballarat last year?— No. Decision was reserved.[3]

Community Involvement[edit | edit source]

Meetings[edit | edit source]

  • Dowling Forest Cemetery:
    • Management meeting April, 1868:

At a meeting of the inhabitants of Dowling Forest and surrounding district, held at Tait's Derby hotel, Miners' Rest, on Thursday, the 9th instant, to take into consideration the past and future management of the Dowling Forest Cemetery, (Mr Thornton in the chair), the following resolutions were carried unanimously.[4]

    • Election of new trustees for the cemetery at the hotel in January 1869.[8]
  • Dowling Forest Racecourse Railway, meeting to discuss a proposed line to the racecourse, August 1882.[9]

Politics[edit | edit source]

  • John Longmore, October 1869, election meeting.[10]

The People[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1862 'DISTRICT POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 25 June, p. 4, viewed 17 February, 2014,
  2. 2.0 2.1 1863 'BALLARAT WEST LICENSING BENCH.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 19 June, p. 4, viewed 29 April, 2014,
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 1908 'Licenses Reduction Board.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 7 May, p. 4, viewed 9 October, 2015,
  4. 4.0 4.1 1868 'NEWS AND NOTES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 13 April, p. 2, viewed 28 October, 2015,
  5. 5.0 5.1 1858 'DISTRICT POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 12 June, p. 2. , viewed 28 Jul 2019,
  6. 1861 'EASTERN POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 13 June, p. 1 Supplement: SUPPLEMENT TO THE STAR., viewed 17 February, 2014,
  7. 1902 'COUNTRY NEWS.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 26 March, p. 6. , viewed 18 Jan 2019,
  8. 1869 'NEWS AND NOTES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 11 January, p. 2. , viewed 13 Jul 2016,
  9. 1882 'ADVERTISEMENT MEMOS.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 9 August, p. 3. , viewed 13 Apr 2019,
  10. 1869 'NEWS AND NOTES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 7 October, p. 2, viewed 1 June, 2015,
  11. 1858 'DISTRICT POLICE COURT. Friday, 18th June.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 21 June, p. 2. , viewed 10 Aug 2019,
  12. 1859 'DISTRICT POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 28 May, p. 2. , viewed 18 May 2020,
  13. 1861 'LICENSING SESSIONS.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 14 June, p. 1. (SUPPLEMENT TO THE STAR.), viewed 06 Jun 2024,
  14. 1872 'POLICE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 4 December, p. 3. , viewed 19 Apr 2016,
  15. 1873 'POLICE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 9 December, p. 3. , viewed 20 Apr 2016,
  16. 1880 'POLICE INTELLIGENCE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 14 December, p. 4. , viewed 02 Dec 2018,
  17. 1882 'LEARMONTH LICENSING COURT.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 19 December, p. 3. , viewed 02 May 2016,
  18. 1883 'LICENSING COURT.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 18 December, p. 4. , viewed 25 Feb 2018,
  19. 1885 'LEARMONTH LICENSING COURT', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 22 December, p. 3. , viewed 06 May 2016,
  20. 1889 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 7 December, p. 2. , viewed 12 Oct 2018,
  21. 1908 'COUNTRY NEWS.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 3 October, p. 20. , viewed 02 Aug 2017,

External Links[edit | edit source]