Western Hotel (Sturt Street)

From Hotels of Ballarat
Western Hotel
Western Hotel, December 2011
Town Ballarat
Street Sturt Street
Known dates 186o-2024
Evidence Building still in use
Google maps -37.5603464,143.8394671

The Western Hotel was a hotel in Ballarat, Victoria, <1860-2024.

Site[edit | edit source]

The Western Hotel is in Sturt Street.[1], at 1221 Sturt Street, on the south east corner with Ripon Street. Google Maps:-37.5603464,143.8394671

Map[edit | edit source]

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Background[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

The license application in 1864 described the hotel:

James Cox...known by the sign of the Western Hotel, and built of wood, containing bar, bar parlor, one sitting room, and six bedrooms.[2]

In October 1865, the police were called to break up a fight in the bar:

Thomas Clarke was fined 20s, or 24 hours' imprisonment, for creating a disturbance in the Western hotel, Sturt street, on the previous day. He and another man named Michael Stack were fighting in the house, and a constable had to be called in to separate them, when he took both into custody. Stack had been bailed to appear before the court in answer to the charge, but he did not appear, and a warrant was ordered to issue for his arrest.[3]

In March 1871 the Licensing Court refused the renewal of the hotel's license:

James Cox applied for a license for the Western hotel, Sturt street. The police objected to the issue of the license in consequence of the rooms in the house not being of the size and number required by the act. Six rooms, besides those required for his family’s use, were required by the act, and only three were up to the requisite size. Mr Cox pleaded that the hotel had been in existence for sometime. Mr Gaunt said he could not help that, as the act laid down the matter very clearly. If the license had not been allowed to expire all would have been right, but as it was he would strike out the application, so that if it were made according to the act in accommodation, the license could be granted at next sitting. The case was subsequently adjourned.[4]

In April 1906 a gift was resented by customers of the hotel:

Mrs. May Middleditch. who retired from the Western Hotel, Sturt-street, has been presented with a purse of sovereigns by 40 patrons of the house.[5]

In September 1908 the private residence of the hotel licensee was robbed:

A complaint was made to Sergeant Britt on Wednesday by Mrs. Buchanan, of the Western Hotel Sturt-street, that two dresses valued at £5, had been stolen from the private parlour. Accompanied by Constable King, the sergeant interrogated a woman, who gave her name as Wilhelmina Beaupurt and her age as 38 years. She eventually said her daughter knew where the dresses were. A paddock was visited where the woman said the clothes had been concealed but without success, and the police then returned to the house, having provided themselves with a search-warrant. After some time, evidence of tampering with the lining of the bedroom attracted attention and in the ceiling the dresses were found. The daughter gave her name as Annie Jewell and her age as 17. The elder woman stated that the younger one had been adopted by her. They were both arrested in the evening, on a charge of larceny.[6]

In 1914 the Broken Hill City Band stayed at the hotel while competing in the Royal South Street Band Competitions.[7]

In March 1920 the hotel was included on a list of hotels to possibly be closed by the Licenses Reduction Board which held hearings in the Ballarat Supreme Court:

In the case of the Western Hotel, corner of Ripon and Sturt streets, Mr J. B. Pearson appeared for the owner and licensee. Constable King stated that the building was a two-storey brick one of 24 rooms, including 10 bedrooms, eight of which were for public use. The was in very good order, well furnished, and well-conducted. The licensee had no conviction against her. As far as he knew, the eight available rooms were not used by the public. The City Oval Hotel was close by, but it was not such a good building. The Sir William Don Hotel, 24 chains away, was also a poorer building, and was not in such a good situation as the Western Hotel. The Southern Cross Hotel, 28 chains away, was as good a building as the Western Hotel, and was in a better situation. In addition to eight bedrooms at the Southern Cross Hotel, 30 shakedowns were kept on the premises for the use of the public if required. He did not consider the Western Hotel necessary for public convenience. The licensee of the Western Hotel had told him that she did not provide accommodation for the public in consequence of inability to secure female labor. To Mr Pearson.—He had taken people to the Western Hotel at different times, and they had been refused accommodation. The reason given him by the licensee’s husband was that firstly they had no accommodation, and secondly there was no one to do the work. He was given the latter reason last Christmas time. To Mr Lock.—There was not a fixed set dining table at the Western Hotel. Constable Sullivan deposed that certain people had met him in the street and told him that they had been unable to secure accommodation at the Western Hotel. This was the only hotel in Ballarat South that had the reputation of not supplying accommodation in the way of meals and beds. Mr Pearson argued that the accommodation was there but it was not asked for. The Chairman: —If that is the position with regard to a house within a mile of the post office I should say that the statement about the demand for accommodation in Ballarat is exaggerated. Mr Pearson.—The accommodation about the centre of the city is decidedly, insufficient. (To Constable Sullivan)—Have you reported to the Licensing Inspector that accommodation has been refused at the Western Hotel? Constable Sullivan.—No. Mr Pearson. —Do you know, that it is an offence under the Licensing Act to refuse to supply accommodation to the public?—Yes.

May Buchanan, licensee of the Western Hotel since 1906, said her husband helped her in the conduct of the business, and her sister assisted her in the house. There were 15 or 16 rooms, including, nine rooms at the hotel for the use of the public. A superior kind of bar trade was done at the hotel. There were permanent boarders at the hotel until last year, when they had to cease taking, them owing to the illness of her sister. There was no set table kept at the hotel because there was no call for it. She did not know of any one who had been refused accommodation at Christmas time, when her sister was ill. Prior to the war she used to accommodate competition visitors, and on one occasion had 32 bandsmen staying in the house. On another occasion 18 teachers who were in Ballarat in connection with the summer school, stayed at the hotel. Mr Lock.—How long ago was that. Eight years. Mr Lock.—We want modern history.[8]

The publican was fined in December 1925:

Margaret J. O'Neill, licensee of the Western Hotel, pleaded guilty to having persons on the premises on Sunday morning, 6th December, and was fined £2. Four individuals were each fined 20/.[9]

The publican was fined in November 1928:

Louis J. Millhouse, Western Hotel, sale of liquor during prohibited hours on 20th October; fined £2. A charge that persons were found on the premises was withdrawn, but six men were each fined £1.[10]

In December 1984 the hotel applied for a license to trade on a Sunday.[11]

In September 2017, the hotel won a major award:

Ballarat’s Western Hotel has been awarded the best pub in Australia for presentation and service at the Australian Hotels Association’s (AHA) National Awards for Excellence. The Western Hotel came out on top of more than 5000 member pubs and clubs from all over Australia.[12]

Community Involvement[edit | edit source]

The People[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1863 'BALLARAT WEST PUBLICANS' ANNUAL LICENSING MEETING.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 12 June, p. 4, viewed 10 February, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72514938
  2. 1864 'Advertising', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 23 June, p. 3. , viewed 20 Oct 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66345902
  3. 1865 'POLICE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 27 October, p. 4. , viewed 27 Apr 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article112879954
  4. 4.0 4.1 1871 'BALLARAT LICENSING COURT.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 22 March, p. 3. , viewed 21 Aug 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article197561358
  5. 1906 'COUNTRY NEWS.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 21 April, p. 12. , viewed 28 Apr 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article196309645
  6. 1908 'COUNTRY NEWS.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 24 September, p. 6. , viewed 27 Apr 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10164951
  7. 1914 'SOUTH STREET BAND CONTESTS', The Ballarat Courier (Vic. : 1869 - 1883; 1914 - 1918), 18 July, p. 7. (DAILY.), viewed 28 Apr 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73310934
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 1920 'LICENSES REDUCTION BOARD.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 23 March, p. 3. , viewed 17 Jun 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article212060416
  9. 9.0 9.1 1925 'HOTEL PROSECUTIONS AT BALLARAT.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 17 December, p. 19. , viewed 21 Jun 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article155678590
  10. 10.0 10.1 1928 'PROVINCIAL CITIES AND TOWNS.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 23 November, p. 14. , viewed 22 Mar 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article204247055
  11. 1984, 'TODAY'S LAW LIST', The Age, 28 December 1984, pg.10, https://www.newspapers.com/image/122220287/
  12. Victoria Stone-Meadows, 'This Ballarat pub is one of the best in Australia', 28 September 2017, http://www.thecourier.com.au/story/4953959/this-ballarat-pub-is-one-of-the-best-in-australia/?src=rss, 28 Sep 2017, 10:12 a.m.
  13. 1860 'DISTRICT POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 9 June, p. 3. , viewed 10 Sep 2023, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66056337
  14. 1861 'LICENSING SESSIONS.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 14 June, p. 1. (SUPPLEMENT TO THE STAR.), viewed 03 Oct 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66339909
  15. 1862 'DISTRICT POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 18 June, p. 2, viewed 12 February, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66324917
  16. 1863 'BALLARAT WEST LICENSING BENCH.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 19 June, p. 4, viewed 29 April, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72515139
  17. 1864 'DISTRICT PUBLICANS' LICENSING MEETING.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 2 July, p. 4. , viewed 19 Oct 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66346137
  18. 1867 'POLICE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 1 November, p. 2. , viewed 28 Apr 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article112871635
  19. 1871 'LICENSING COURT.', The Ballarat Courier (Vic. : 1869 - 1883; 1914 - 1918), 21 April, p. 4. , viewed 27 Apr 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article191645296
  20. 1871 'POLICE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 27 October, p. 4. , viewed 28 Apr 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article197573738
  21. 1873 'LICENSING BENCH.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 24 December, p. 4. , viewed 31 Jan 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article201608890
  22. 1875 'POLICE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 22 December, p. 4. , viewed 19 Aug 2022, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article200186441
  23. 1887 'BALLARAT LICENSING COURT.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 9 December, p. 2. , viewed 16 Sep 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article209209691
  24. 1895 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 7 December, p. 2. , viewed 16 Mar 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article203767174
  25. 1914 Electoral Roll, Ballaarat, Ballaarat West
  26. 1923 'COUNTRY NEWS.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 4 August, p. 11. , viewed 11 Mar 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article203624234
  27. 1934 'TRANSFER OF HOTELS', The Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 - 1954), 22 January, p. 12. , viewed 27 Apr 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article243213804
  28. 1951 'Hotel Transfers', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 30 August, p. 6. , viewed 14 May 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article205346804

External Links[edit | edit source]