Let us take you back in time and throughout the history of the Temora Hotel and the Royal Hotel West Wyalong in country NSW.
The current building is the last hotel to be constructed in Temora, occupying the site of the old Tattersall’s Hotel which was burned down in a major street fire of 1931. The Hotel never closed after the fire and continued to trade from a remnant left standing on the street front. Plans were drawn up in 1932 and the premises rebuilt in 1933. Before the fire, which burnt the hotel down, the Temora Star Newspaper of 1881 refers to the premises as Curtain’s Temora Hotel.
From 1969 there have been 15 licensees in the hotel, with some remembered publicans being Mr. Ken Kerr, and Alf & Joyce Swaffield from 1955 to 1975. A former WWII fighter pilot, Alf Swaffield came to Temora from Toowoomba via Eugowra in the 1960s. The Swaffields renovated the bar in 1980, lowering the ceiling and moving the bar counter to roughly its current position.
The current façade and décor reflects an art deco feel and could certainly be mistaken for that style, but in fact is a Spanish mission style, reflected in the arched windows and veranda archways as well as the bell towers at either end of the building. The doors on the northernmost Hoskins Street entrance are the original doors from Tattersalls Hotel and parts of the old hotel remain under the current bar area, including concrete steps and pathways leading to the yard and tap room.
Whilst there is more renovations and interior designing to come for the Temora Hotel there is one patron that doesn’t seem to abide by the call of ‘last drinks’ …., A Hotel Ghost?
Several people have reported seeing fleeting glimpses of ‘the hotel’s ghost’ usually in the downstairs hallway and dining room, always wearing a blue dress. She is said to appear as a moving object only seen in peripheral vision, and anyone who reports to have seen her says, if they look directly at her, she disappears from sight.
Seemingly harmless, she is often seen more in the winter months wearing a white shawl over her shoulders, and usually in the early evening, closing the dining room door.
The Tattersalls Hotel, Hoskins street photographed in 1924 the publican at this time was J. Ryan. It started life as all hotels in early Temora, as a single story weatherboard building erected by Alexander J. J. Warby in 1881 next to Warby & Orbell’s sale yards. Warby sold it to Jerry McCulloch soon after it was built and McCulloch ran it for a about a year. From this time it had a succession of licensees including Alexander Stewart in 1899, who had transferred from the Golden Gate in DeBoos Street. In 1907 while Michael Cahill was in charge and tenders for a replacement two storey brick building were advertised. The new hotel was completed the same year. The architect was Alfred Allen of Sydney.
The building firm Spencer & Spencer made additions to the rear of the building in June 1925
During the 50 years of the Hotel’s existence it had 31 changes of Licensee, the average length stay of each Publican being approximately 18 months, which is the highest of any pub in Temora up till that time.
It was replaced by the Hotel Temora after the fire in 1931 which destroyed all the buildings up to Loftus street.
Information courtesy of the Temora Shire Council and Tooths Brewery Archives
Royal Hotel West Wyalong
The current Royal Hotel was built in 1914 after a devastating fire burnt the hotel to the ground in 1912 along with the Oddfellow’s hall. The fire broke out at 1.30am on a Monday morning and The fire had been in progress some minutes before the alarm was raised. This was the biggest blaze that the residents had witnessed since the block of buildings from the Globe Hotel to Morris’ corner were destroyed. The local fire brigade arrived at an early stage, but it was some time before water could be obtained, the hoses at length being run into, the underground tank at the Commercial Bank. Owing to the strong wind blowing, the fire had obtained too firm a hold on the buildings for the brigade to do any effective work.
In addition, it was a difficult matter to get sufficient men to man the pumps. By this time, Turner’s Royal Hotel, on the western side of the hall was in flames throughout—it was very evident that any attempt to save the building would be futile. However, no time. was lost in removing a quantity of the furniture and effects, but many valuable articles had to be abandoned to the flames. Mr Jas. Turner, junior. had £50 of worth of new furniture stored in the cellar of the hotel. This, together with a new bicycle, and a quantity of luggage, etc., Con all of which there was not a penny insurance) were completely destroyed.
Royal Hotel 1914……..courtesy of The Wyalong Advocate and Mining, Agricultural and Pastoral Gazette (NSW : 1900 – 1928) Saturday 20 February 1915 p 5
The new Royal Hotel which has just been completed is indeed a decided ornament to Main Street, and marks an epoch in the business history of the town. It is a fine two-storey brick building, commodious and well ventilated, and will assist materially in the catering in an up- to-date manner for visitors, travellers, and our increasing population. Mr Rahnenfuehrer is the architect, and Mr. Stephenson the contractor, both gentlemen carried out their duties well and the structure is indeed a credit to them, as well as to the proprietor Mr. Peter Power.
The front presents a picturesque and highly finished appearance. The windows and doorways are arched, and all the bricks are tuckpointed. The tasteful colouring of the plastering, and the neat design of the parapet, lend considerable attractiveness. The bar is roomy and well appointed. The counters are of oak and cedar, with large overhead shelving of the same material. There is a small private bar at the rear of the front bar, connected with the latter by swing doors. Passing along the main entrance, to the left is the office, on the side of which is an aerial, 6ft.x 6ft., running the full height of the building, which provides excellent ventilation and light. At the rear of the office is the private apartments of the license. At the rear of the bar are two bar parlours. On the ground floor are three bedrooms, kitchen, cook’s room pantry, etc. The dining room is a large and splendidly appointed room, 40ft. x 18, and will accommodate upwards of 60 persons at one sitting.
A large cellar provides ample accommodation for the storage of draught and bottled stock. Mr. Power has rather a good idea for keeping the beer in casks cool, which is by utilising the drip from the ice-chest through sprinklers on to the casks which are in a cement receptacle.
On the top floor are four double bedrooms, eight single bedrooms, a large assembly or commercial room, dining room, bath room, etc.
All the rooms are well furnished throughout. Particular attention has wisely been paid to ventilation which is a very necessary feature in this hot climate. Every room opens to a hall, of which there are three on the top floor, in addition to the spacious balcony, On the eastern side. there are also several ventilation windows, and on the day of our visit with the temperature about 104 in the shade there was a delightful feeling of coolness throughout the building.
Lighting is by acetylene gas, and the water supply is by a cement underground tank of 46,000 gallons. Unfortunately, practically no rain has fallen since the tank was completed, but when a good downpour occurs it will provide a permanent supply for domestic use. In the spacious yard is a septic tank, and the other appointments are up-to date. A back staircase leads to the
top floor from the yard. On the other side of the lane at the rear of the hotel are the large commodious stables, with a roomy yard. The hotel is thoroughly up-to-date in all details, and is a decided acquisition to that section of the community who require first-class accommodation.
Royal Hotel 1926…. of The Wyalong Advocate and Mining, Agricultural and Pastoral Gazette (NSW : 1900 – 1928) Tuesday 23 February 1926 p 2
Royal Hotel Stables Destroyed
Cow Severely Scorched—Little Dog Perishes
The clanging of the fire-bell at about 3 o’clock on Sunday morning, and the appearance of a large conflagration in the vicinity of Main Street, brought a fairly large crowd to the scene, which was at the stables of Mr. F. J. Bohm’s Royal Hotel. The fire was first noticed and the alarm given by some members of Warren’s circus, camped on the adjoining allotment, and even then the building, which was of wood and iron, was well ablaze.
The Fire Brigade attended, but as no other buildings in the vicinity were threatened, and water is scarce at present, it was deemed inadvisable to draw to any extent upon the underground tank in the yard of the Globe stables, where the hoses were laid.
The Brigade extinguished an electric light post which was well alight and which if it had fallen would have thrown out the Grenfell Street section.
In different compartments of the stables were Mr. G. Long’s Nash car and Mr. Bohm’s Chevrolet car, both of which were totally destroyed.
Mr. Bohm’s milk cow was tethered in one of the stalls close to where the fire started, and received a very severe scorching, although it is expected that she will recover. A little dog belonging to Mr. W Howard was tethered in another stall and perished in the flames. A number of pups and dogs in other parts of the stables were rescued before they had been injured.