Bottled mouse

Anyone fancy a game?

Anyone fancy a game?

When it first obtained a license in 1886, the All Nations Hotel (now Games Sports Bar) was already operating as a boarding house. The name ‘All Nations’ suggests literally that. Everyone was welcome, whether Irish, English, Italian, or whatever. It probably did not include Aboriginal people, however.

In 1905 a skittle alley (with other extensions) were added to the design of an architect we have already come across, William Woolf. When Woolf went bankrupt in 1898, he owed £470, borrowed at an exorbitant rate. He revealed to the court he had fled Melbourne and Sydney with other un-remitted borrowings. Great architect as he was, he was definitely a man who lived well beyond his means.

The Games Sports Bar does not seem to be able to keep a name for two weeks running. Originally the All Nations (1886-91), it became the Cosmopolitan Hotel (1891-1905), when new landlord, M. R. Davies, arrived from Townsville, where he had run a pub of that name. Then it transformed into Union Hotel (1905-39), Red Lion Hotel (1939-90), Aberdeen Hotel (1990-2015), and under a new name right now. But for how long is anyone’s guess.

In 1921, an odd case about the Union Hotel came before the courts. John Simopolis bought a bottle of Swan beer from the pub, and started drinking it. Suddenly he noticed a dead mouse in the bottle. Naturally he felt a little queasy at this point and, although there were no long term medical effects, he sought £25 compensation from the pub and the brewer.

A number of brewery employees testified it would be impossible for a mouse to get into a bottle during the manufacturing process. The defence lawyer claimed it was a frame-up. The judge was not convinced and awarded £10 10s damages to Simopolis.


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