Trouble on the Sabbath

Now open on Sundays

Now open Sundays

How Thomas ‘General’ Jackson found time to design the Royal Standard Hotel (now Hotel Northbridge) is baffling, since he had at least nine children in his household, the result of two marriages.

He studied in England under Edward Barry, designer of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Although responsible for many buildings, when the General died in 1929, the obituaries were more interested in his role in founding bowls in WA, and his skill as a player, than any of his architectural achievements.

Landlords often ended up in court by selling booze on a Sunday. You could only sell beer to a bona-fide traveller on the Sabbath. A famous ruling said a bona-fide traveller was:

A man who drinks to travel, not a man who travels to drink.

In 1903, George Hiscox, licensee of the Royal Standard Hotel, was charged with Sunday trading. Fortunately he had a brilliant defence lawyer, Edward Hare.

Constable Brodie swore he visited the hotel at 10pm one Sunday, and found three men drinking in the front bar. Brodie knew that one of them, Flynn, lived on Bulwer Street.

Mr Hare asked if it might not have been pints of ginger beer in front of the patrons.  Brodie had to admit he had neither tasted nor smelt the contents.

“It was brown liquor,” insisted the constable. “I can tell ginger-ale from beer. And I am sure it was beer, because it is Flynn’s usual drink.”

“Never mind about that,” said the sly lawyer, for all anyone knew “Flynn may have been to the Salvation Army that morning, and renounced beer for ever.”

The bench decided to dismiss the case, without calling upon the defence.