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Woolsthorpe Union Station Hotel, WOOLSTHORPE, VIC

The heart and soul of Woolsthorpe
23 Manifold St
Your rating: None Average: 3.9 (15 votes)
+61 3 5569 2391
+61 419 537 940
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About Woolsthorpe Union Station Hotel: 

Recently refurbished 2013 | Fantastic meals | Beer garden:

Thought to have been built in 1866 the first recorded licensee of the National Hotel was a Mrs E Beggs. Not much is known about her, except that she married James Moran, who, under the laws of the land operating at that time, assumed control of the hotel and became the licensee.

In November 1872 a meeting was held at the National Hotel to appoint a Committee of Management for the New Year's Sports to be held at the hotel and in May 1873 the Woolsthorpe Races were conducted at the hotel. Mrs Beggs was, it would seem, well-known for the table she kept at the hotel and satisfying patrons who were accommodated there.

Two sons of the Hon W Bayles were being driven in a buggy and pair by Fred Hughes across the ford at the creek, which was running high and strong. The current carried trap and horses down the stream and swept the occupants out. William J Bayles, being able to swim fortunately caught his brother, who could not, and who was then holding onto a small bundle in the water and gallantly stuck to him til he brought him to land with himslef much exhausted. Poor Hughes, who appears is a married man living in Warrnambool was never again see on the surface.

The horses after being swept a considerable distance, got free from the buggy bringing the pole with them, while the strong current carried away the buggy causing it to roll over and over for a distance of a quarter of a mile. The shock received by Norman Bayles, caused his brother William to have him put to bed at Mr Moran's Hotel, but he was alright. The Koroit Police immediately on hearing of the accident went to Spring Creek to recover the body of Hughes but found it utterly impossible without the assistance of a boat, which was at once telegraphed from Belfast, and expected the next morning, when a systematic search commenced. The small harbour boat was despatched with Mr A C Turner.

This accident happened in December 1875. Three years later James Moran, landlord of the National Hotel, was brought beofre the Koroit Police Court. Moran had been arrested by Senior Constable Gray on warrant and was charged with grievously assaulting John Kelly. Moran was accused of knocking down Kelly with a stick and kicking him in May 1878 and was remanded in custody until a week later for the police to prepare their case against him. The complainant appeared in court with his head bandaged up, and Constable Gray informed the Bench that he had found it necessary to bring Kelly into Belfast to have his head dressed and body examined where he had been kicked about the head and breast. A week later evidence was taken from Dr Baird, Kelly, Divine, Allen, Gleeson and Constable Gray for the prosecution and Messrs Smith and Hammond for the defence. The Bench decided on reducing the charge to one of common assault and fined Moran 40s and 9 pounds 17 s and 6 d for professional aid and other witnesses summoned by the police.

James Moran was then proceeded against by Senior Constable Gray for permitting an unlawful game to be played in his licensed house. For this offence the defendant was fined 20s and 21s in costs.

A big commotion was caused in the Moran household in April 1880 when it became known that Martha Beggs, daughter of the former Mrs Beggs, has absconded with Joseph Thompson, groom, at the National Hotel.

When a hotel licensee applied for a renewal of his/her licence, the old licence for the previous year had to be produced. James Moran often caused himself a postponement of the granting of his renewed licence when the old licence was not offered in court. The National Hotel, under the new rules introduced by the Liquor Act of 1887, was in the Minhamite Division in 1888, but by 1892 was allocated to the Woolsthorpe District. The licensing fee was 50 pounds during this period.

Fire occurred in the fowl house, close to the kitchen at the National Hotel on a Wednesday in December 1900. It was impossible to say how it became ignited. An old gentleman, who was sitting in the kitchen, noticed the smoke rolling past the window, and by the time he got outside the whole of the building was alight, and the flames travelled very quickly to the kitchen, and thence to the main building, which was very old and dry, and the whole structure had become a heap of ruins within 3/4 of an hour from the discovery of the fire. The hotel was insured with the London and Lancashire Company for 200 pounds and the furniture with the same company for 100 pounds.

A great deal of the furniture, including the piano was saved. Mr Jenkins was in Melbourne at the time. The day was very hot. A large number of persons was about at the time and assisted in getting out the furniture.

The hotel was rebuilt in stone. In December 1910 it was noted that the Woolsthorpe Racing Club was still meeting at the hotel, with G Smith as the Secretary. It is a curiosity to note Martha Jenkins as licensee from 1898 to 1901. Was the Mrs Beggs' daughter returned and married?

National Hotel - List of Licensees:

12.11.1872 - 09.05.1873 - Mrs E Beggs - L
22.12.1876 - 18.12.1884 - James Moran - G
03.12.1885 - 05.12.1887 - James Jenkins - T, G
15.12.1888 - - James Moran - G
11.12.1889 - 14.12.1897 - James Jenkins - G
13.12.1898 - 11.12.1901 - Martha Jenkins - G
10.12.1902 - 05.12.1904 - William Clancy - G
05.12.1905 - - F Pettingill - G
03.12.1908 - 02.12.1909 - John E Crowe - G
03.12.1912 - - J H Toogood - G
02.12.1913 - - John E Crowe - G
03.12.1914 - 05.12.1916 - S O'Callaghan - G
1920 - 1922 - Arthur Tuckwell
1923 - 1925 - Robert Miller
1926 - 1936 - Alexander Bilston
1937 - 1947 - G Walsh
1948 - 1950 - R C Hinton
1951 - 1962 - C R Hockley
1963 - 1967 - DH Smyth and R Lowenstern
1968 - 1974 - DJ Kincade
1975 - 1976 - AT and SC Fitzgerald
1977 - 1980 - AJ and SD Brown
1981 - 1983 - Archobld and Linke
1984 - 1986 - I and J Lillie
1987 - 1995 - SR Levett and GL Butler
1996 - 2013 - Geoffrey Levett
2013 - 2017 - John and Di Bowd
2017 - present. - Michelle McQuilton-Guyett

The restaurant caters for 70 people and you will need to book to ensure you get in as the resurgence has seen bookings at record levels. Our accomplished Chef Sam is very well known in the Region and sources fresh, local produce to provide mouth-watering dishes. The restaurant is open Wed - Sun for dinner and Sunday for lunch, call 5569 2391 to reserve your table. We look forward to sharing the warmth of the hotel, our locals and our great hospitality with visitors from near and far.


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Comments (3)

Gail Carlyon's picture

Gail Carlyon (not verified)

Three of us had Saturday night dinner at the Pub. It was great, newly refurbished, happy locals and friendly host and hostess. The chef supplied tasty meals at very reasonable price. We will certainly come here again. Good luck to John and Di.

I cannot believe what these people have done for this town and the Hotel. You even need to book now to get a table on a Friday or Saturday night. They have just blown everyone away! Do yourself a favour and drop in, the meals are AMAZING, the staff are so friendly and you feel as though you have been here before. The locals are just so down to earth and welcoming! We will be back for sure. Who could imagine such an amazing little pub could burst at the seems with such an awesome vibe! Congratulations John and Di!

Trevor's picture

Trevor (not verified)

Called into this pub when travelling thru on holidays over Easter 2013. Cold beer, great pub food, atmosphere and publicans are friendly and very hospitable. Will come again.

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