As the Guildford Hotel controversy still rumbles on in the background, Dodgy Perth looks back to a time when the scandal took place inside the building. And it was all revealed by accident.
In 1927, Bassendean residents were clamouring for a hotel of their own, since the suburb still didn’t have one. A few locals opposed the idea. They had only moved to Bassendean, they said, so they could keep their daughters away from the evil drinking types.
In the licensing court, James Wilkinson was giving evidence about why Bassendean needed a hotel. The accommodation would benefit his FIFOs, he said, and sporting groups needed somewhere to meet. The bench was sceptical. How useful would a hotel be for sporting groups, when it would have to close at 9pm each night? Surely that would be a little early for committee meetings?
Don’t worry about that, blurted out James. All we have to do is pay the landlord £1 each for a special license and we can keep drinking until 11pm. We do it all the time at the Guildford Hotel. Suddenly, the proceedings fell silent.
“The police will be interested,” quietly observed one official. At this point, James probably realised he’d dropped the hotel’s landlord right in it.
So remember, when the Guildford reopens, £1 buys you a two-hour extension to closing time, otherwise they’re not being true to their heritage.