McKendry’s Hotel

 13:01. The Enigmatic Mr. Cook. 

            The beginnings of what is now known as Trader McKendry’s Tavern are shrouded in mystery. A license was granted to a certain Thomas Cook of Cashel Street in 1865 (Lyttelton Times 6th April 1865, p5), and it may be assumed that this license was applied to the house then known as the Warwick Arms Hotel. As the list does not state that the license was a new one, it may be safe to assume that Mr. Cook’s application was for the renewal of an existing license. But how far back did the license extend? When was a liquor license first granted to the property on the north east corner of the intersection of Cashel and Manchester Streets?

It all seems to begin with this Mr. Cook.

Thomas Cook was a boarding house keeper. He applied for and was granted a wine and beer license for his house in 1858 (MacC536), subject to the fulfilment of undertakings on his part, undertakings that are now unknown. What his house may have been like it is impossible to tell but it was not long before he fell foul of the Licensing Bench. On Tuesday, 10th May 1859, Mr. Cook, along with many others, was in the Resident Magistrate’s Court in Christchurch for the annual hearing of applications for Public House licenses for the ensuing year. He would have had cause to be nervous as he had had a recent brush with the law and a Court case was pending on a very serious matter.

Name after name was called, application after application heard. Some were granted, others rejected. Eventually the name of Thomas Cook was called and his application for a wine and beer license was formally made to the Bench which was made up of John Hall R.M., C C Bowen, C O Torlesse, D Innes and Joseph Brittan, Esquires, with Mr. J W Hamilton as Chairman. When Mr. Cook’s application had been read, a Mr. R Packer arose and stated to the Bench that “the applicant had conducted his house in a very disorderly manner, to the very great annoyance of the neighbourhood; that there was no proper accommodation for lodgers, and that the business had not been carried on upon the promise applicant gave of good management when the license had been granted (the previous year)” (Lyttelton Times 14th April 1859, p5). Undeterred, Mr. Cook produced a memorial, signed by fifty-four names, in favour of granting his application. Not to be outdone, Mr. Packer trumped this with another petition containing eight names against granting the application. The Bench was clearly impressed with Mr. Packer and was unanimous that the application should be refused, but declined to make a decision at that point. The decision would be made at a later hearing, after matters pending before the Resident Magistrate’s Court had been heard.

The matters pending arose from a series of events that began at 20 minutes to six on the morning of 5th April 1859 (Lyttelton Times 20th April 1859, p5).

            Roger Deacon, a brewer employed by Mr. Packer, was on his way to work at the nearby Cashel Street brewery on the morning of 5th April 1859. It was autumn and the nights were starting to draw in so it was dark at the time and Mr. Deacon was interested to note that a light was on in the parlour of Mr. Cook’s boarding house. Sneaking a look through the window he saw Cook and a certain George Howard, together with two other men, seated about a table playing cards. There was cash on the table, to the value of at least £2, and Deacon saw Cook pass money to the other men at the table. He concluded that the men must be gambling, and not for the first time either. He quietly withdrew and informed the Police. He later deposed in Court that he had seen cards being played in the house during the day.

            John Price, Sergeant of Police, was quickly on the scene and, looking through the window at 5:40 a.m. quickly ascertained that his informant was indeed correct. He saw Cook and Howard and two other men whom he did not know at the table playing cards and silver coin on the table to the value of £2 – £3. What Sergeant Price did then is not clear; the two unknown men were never identified, so it must be assumed that he did not immediately proceed into the house and arrest them, but obviously he perceived that criminal activity was taking place and thus Mr. Cook was subsequently charged with permitting gambling in his house in contravention of the strictures of the Public House Ordinance. He appeared in the Christchurch Resident Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, April 12th 1859, to answer for his crimes before Mr. John Hall, Esquire, RM.

            Mr. Cook did not deny the charge; he had been playing a game of cards known as “blind hooky”, and George Howard corroborated this. The latter said on oath that the game had begun at 10:00 p.m. and had continued until 6:30 a.m the following morning. He deposed that he had been playing with Thomas Cook and two other men whose names he did not know or could not remember. They had been from the North Island, he said, and had joined in the game. The stakes were unlimited and he, Howard, had won between £3 and £3-10-0. Mr. Cook was called to the witness stand and was asked for an explanation upon which he again fully admitted all that had happened. He was fully contrite and “regretted exceedingly that he had broken a law of which he was in ignorance at the time that the offence was committed, and he would make it his especial care that such a proceeding should never occur again in his house”. As to the card playing that Deacon had witnessed on previous days, Mr. Cook averred that his house was always full of people and that often men came up from the country to while away an hour or two and inferred that he could not watch everything all the time. He emphasised again that his house was a busy one and produced butchers’ bills to prove that his kitchens were bustling all the time. To prove his point, he produced invoices to show he had paid £40 to one butcher alone during the previous month. The bench deliberated and convicted him, but sentence was deferred until the following day.

The next day Mr. Cook faced the full Bench: Mr. W G Brittan, Joseph Brittan, Thomas Cass and John Bealey, Esquires, Mr. John Hall, Esquire, R.M., presiding. The Bench was inclined to be merciful, but nevertheless the offence was serious and professed ignorance of the law was no defence. The Bench noted that this was the first case of its kind upon which the information had been sufficient to lead to a conviction, but it was apparent that gambling was an endemic evil throughout the City and a stop had to put to this iniquitous practice. Mr. Cook was informed that a fine of £10 was summarily imposed and if he should be found again in breach of the law on a similar account he would be liable for a fine of £20 which was the maximum penalty allowed by law. It would also be the duty of the Court to lay a report of the case before the Justices of the Licensing Bench upon the occasion of the next Licensing meeting. Mr. Cook departed the Court a much chastened and much poorer man.

That ended the Court’s business for the day save for one short but serious case. Following the hearing of the case against Mr. Cook, James Purvis and John Skelton were arraigned and each fined 10/- on charges of tethering goats in the public streets.

            The ultimate effect of the case is not known, although quite clearly Mr. Cook retained his license and continued to trade. But two questions remain unanswered. Was his license renewed? Was the premises upon which the gambling took place the premises that are now known as Trader McKendry’s Tavern?. Circumstantial evidence would suggest a verdict of Yes to both. Mr. Cook is on record as having continued to trade, so his license must have been ultimately re-approved. The exact location of his boarding house during his little contretemps is never specifically given, but the facts of Deacon’s testimony and his employment at Packer’s brewery would suggest a very close proximity at the least to the present site of Trader McKendry’s. Further, as Mr. Cook seems to have retained his license and is on record as holding the license of the Warwick Arms Hotel there is no particular reason to suggest that he moved elsewhere than the north east corner of the Manchester Street – Cashel Street. This would suggest that a license has been attached to this site since at least 1858.

13:02. A Drinking Shanty?

            What Mr. Cook’s house was like and what the nature of his clientele are questions that are now unanswerable, but some representation may be drawn from the reminiscences of Mr. R E Green. Writing in the “Star” in 1924, Mr. Green cast his mind back to his youth in the 1850’s and 1860’s and described the drinking culture of Christchurch at the period. The picture that he paints is one of Dickensian squalor.

            Liquor licenses, he tells us, (Star 16th August 1924), were granted to almost anyone who could afford to pay the licensing fee. Licenses were granted to “any kind of a shanty, and, worse still, retail licenses for wine and beer were granted to general storekeepers, public and private boarding houses, restaurants, confectioners and private houses, by setting apart one room for a bar, or tap room as it was called.” Quite how true this was is open to question, and the details of the hearing of applications for Public House Licenses in Christchurch in 1859 (Lyttelton Times 14th April 1859) would suggest that Mr. Green exaggerated somewhat. At that hearing some thirty three applications were heard by the Bench, of which 11 were refused, 3 adjourned and 19 granted (3 with stern conditions). Few reasons for refusal are given, but those that are tend to give Mr. Green the lie: Francis Haskins of Papanui was refused because the Bench did not think it desirable to grant licenses to stores where no accommodation was afforded to the public. Henry Roil’s application was refused on the grounds that the Bench did not consider him to be a fit person to hold a license.

            Much of Mr. Green’s writing is redolent with such hot-house prose and semantically loaded phrases such as “the liquor traffic”, and that “(liquor) licenses were nothing short of a curse to the community”. Mr. Green presents himself more as a proselytising prohibitionist and moral ideologue  than as a serious historian or impartial observer. His picture of the times must, therefore, be viewed with due caution. Nevertheless it is without doubt a valid perspective, and does give some insight into the social conditions then prevailing in the fledgling City of Christchurch.

            The licenses, Mr. Green explains, were a curse on the community “because men and women who would not be seen going into a public house would go into these places ostensibly to buy tobacco, bacon or boots, but their purchases were generally of a liquid nature. Mothers with babes in arms and children trailing at their skirts would go into these stores to get some soap, starch or stockings, and some mothers would meet in one of their houses for afternoon tea, and would despatch their children with a billy to one of these stores to get the needful to fill their cups, and were told to tell the storekeeper to put it down as tea, treacle or tapioca, and father never knew”. On scores of occasions Mr. Green had seen children carrying billies, bottles or jugs for beer entering these grog-shops at their mothers’ behest.

            But it was the “drinking dens” that were real sinks of iniquity and vice in all their horrid manifestations, the resorts for all conditions of males and females. Many had passages that passed right through the house and on both sides of the passage were doors that led into tiny rooms furnished with one or two chairs and a table, and sometimes a sofa. Some had windows but others had only a skylight. “Some of the drinking shanties were so close to each other no matter what good resolutions some persons would make to go home when they had had enough, it was almost impossible for them to do so; they would no sooner get clear of one door when they would be up against another door, where someone would be ready to pull them in”. He could point out at the time of writing where there had been no less than twelve drinking places in Colombo Street between the Square and Peterborough Street, and the same number in other directions.

13:03: The Warwick Arms.

            What Mr. Cook’s first establishment was like, whether a house of high repute or a quagmire of moral turpitude, cannot now be determined. Its earliest development, likewise, is a matter of conjecture but it appears to have begun sometime before 1858. In that year he was granted a wine and beer license and presumably proceeded to run it after the manner of a public house with meals, accommodation and a bar. Despite his problems with the licensing Bench he apparently continued to run the Hotel until his death in 1866.

            Little else is known of Mr. Cook. He was married at least twice and had at least one daughter. Her name was Mary Ann and she married James Brightwell Banks on New Year’s Day of 1860. The records state that she and Mr. Banks were wed before the Rev. Charles Fraser at Mr. Cook’s house (MacC536), but whether the ceremony was performed at the Hotel or at Mr. Cook’s private residence is unclear. His second wife, Sarah Ann, died on the 19th of November 1865 at the age of 33, and he himself died on the 2nd January 1866, a mere six weeks later. Whatever the turmoils of his personal life, Thomas Cook had prospered; when he died his estate included the Warwick Arms Hotel, the Shearer’s Arms Hotel in Windmill Road, three sections on the outskirts of the City and eleven acres at Papanui.

            Mr. Cook was succeeded  by Mr. James Ferguson Douglass, who was publican by July of 1866. Little is known of him save that he was born in 1842 and described himself on his marriage certificate of 26th August 1876 as a farmer. His occupancy of the Warwick Arms did not last long, and when he was bankrupted in August of 1868 he was living at Leeston. He had land at Ellesmere and later at Ashburton, so presumably his fortunes recovered. He returned to Christchurch and in December of 1876 applied for a wine and beer license for a boarding house that he had on the corner of Durham and St. Asaph Streets, but was refused.

            Exactly when Mr. Cook’s house became known as the Warwick Arms Hotel is not clear, but it was certainly referred to by that name by 1869. At five minutes to one o’clock one Sunday morning in July of that year, smoke was noticed issuing from the stables of the Warwick Arms (Press 19th July 1869). Somebody ran like the wind for the block and a half to the White Hart Hotel in High Street and the fire bell was rung to be immediately echoed by the bell at the Fire Brigade station. With amazing despatch, a fire appliance under the command of Fire Foreman Mr. H C West was on the scene within three minutes, and, a good supply of water being on the premises, the blaze was swiftly extinguished without too much damage. It was a lucky escape for the two men who were asleep in the hay loft: stables stocked with hay are notorious for the speed and ferocity with which a fire can take hold and the pair almost certainly owed their lives to the gallant men of the L.L. & G. Volunteer Fire Brigade.

            Fire broke out again ten years later, in March of 1879 (Press 20th March 1879, p2). This time it was at 10 o’clock at night and fortunately there were many people on hand in the house and in the bar to give assistence. The blaze broke out in a linen cupboard, where a large amount of linen and clothing belonging to guests in the house was stored. By this time the Hotel was furnished with a large concrete water tank in the yard and a swiftly formed bucket brigade soon had the fire under control and then out. The blaze was a minor one, causing about £30 worth of damage, and there was no need to call out the Fire Brigade, but it nevertheless had the potential to be disastrous. Only early detection and swift reaction prevented what could well have been a disaster.

            The Hotel had by this time became The Queen’s Hotel. The publican at the time of the fire was William Randoll Smith, the son of Captain William Randoll Smith, and a man of long experience in The Trade.. Mr. Smith Jnr. had been in a business partnership with his brother Thomas, but they broke up and dissolved their partnership in 1866, and Mr. Smith took the Caversham Hotel (later the King George Hotel on the corner of St. Asaph and Madras Streets). By 1871 he had taken The Crown Hotel on the corner of Montreal Street and South Belt (Moorhouse Avenue). He later took the Queen’s Hotel, probably in early 1879, but died there on 26th February 1880 at the age of 42. He left a widow, Mary (nee White) and a daughter, Rhoda, and was buried at Barbadoes Street Cemetery (MacS569).

Local legend would have it that the Hotel burned to the ground in 1879 and was rebuilt in the same year in brick and stone, but this is almost certainly not the case. Firstly, no such fire was ever reported in the newspapers and surely, if a minor fire in a cupboard was a matter of media report, a general conflagration would have been headline news. Secondly, the building renovated by publican Fred Mercer in 1956 (see below) was a timber construction. There may well have been very extensive refurbishment at this time, and the Hotel may have been substantially upgraded, but total destruction by fire followed by complete rebuilding would seem to be out of the question. By 1880 it had accommodation for 14 guests and, although it has been renovated and altered internally many times, it is possible that something of the original structure still remains.

13:04. “Trader” McKendry.

            The years passed, publicans came and went. The Hotel changed hands several times and by the 1920’s the time had come for another change of name as well. James McKendry had owned Branson’s Hotel in Dunedin for many years before moving to Christchurch in 1925. His wife Emma (nee Genet) was a Christchurch woman who also had had a long association with Branson’s and with the Trade, having been born in 1876 at the Templeton Hotel. Before she died in 1969 at the age of 93 she would sometimes entertain people with tales of the early days and could well remember horses and gigs, horse troughs and a hitching rail outside Branson’s. Mr. McKendry purchased the freehold of the Hotel while it was still under lease to Mr. J J Cotter, but took it over himself the next year and renamed it McKendry’s Hotel. He acquired the nickname of “Trader” McKendry due to his penchant for buying and selling goods of all sorts. It is rumoured that the Police would have been most interested in some of “Trader” McKendry’s transactions, but nothing has ever been definitively proven in this matter.

            Mr. McKendry was a keen trotting man, and well known within the racing fraternity. He owned several horses over the years, including Belinda, Delightful, Quick Fire, and Southern Smile. One of his most prized possessions was a solid silver cup awarded by the Forbury Park Trotting Club when Quickfire won the New Zealand Trotting Club Stakes on 29th January 1927. Jim “Trader” McKendry ran his Hotel until his death in 1940, and the property passed into the hands of his wife Emma. Mrs. McKendry was unwilling to take up the running of the business herself, and McKendry’s Hotel was leased to a number of licensees for the next sixteen years: J A Joyce (1941), Mary Joyce (1942), Andrew Hugh Todd (1946), and Thomas Cunningham Malcolm (1954). By that time the Hotel was beginning to get a little run down and the Licensing Commission had some words to say on the matter.

            “From time to time we seem to have been urging on the people in this Hotel to do something, but we can now say without hesitation that something more definite than plans will be required by the September quarterly meeting” said the chairman of the Commission, Mr. F F Reid S.M. (Press 2nd June 1954). The Police had put in an objection to the renewal of the Hotel’s license because of the decrepit outward appearance of the building. Plans for alterations had been prepared after previous objections by the Police, and had been rejected by the Building Controller even though they had been approved by the Committee. Modified plans were then submitted and it was proposed to paint the Hotel in the spring. The Chairman noted that this was quite reasonable, but also drew attention to the fact that the committee now had wider powers than previously and could require work to be done at any time. The Hotel was reprieved, albeit with a warning, and the Committee approved the transfer of the license from Andrew Todd to Thomas Malcolm.

The decision, however, was no more than a reprieve and something would have to be done about the increasingly deteriorating condition of McKendry’s Hotel. The old hostelry was becoming shabbier and shabbier due to the unwillingness of successive licensees to spend money on anything other than the most essential problems. Even those repairs that were effected were done “on the cheap”, passing the problem on to the next licensee of a building that was even then nudging a hundred years old. Mrs. McKendry decided to take matters in hand, and approached her son-in-law Fred Mercer.

Fred had seen action overseas in World War II as a member of 26 Battalion, NZEF. He had been through some of the fiercest engagements of the Italian Campaign, and received severe shrapnel wounds to the legs in the closing days of the battle of Monte Cassino. Returning to New Zealand, he met and married Rita, the second daughter of James and Emma McKendry. Rita was Fred’s senior by eight years and his second wife. Although Fred had had no experience in the Trade himself, he undertook to shoulder the running of the Hotel in 1956.

Despite his lack of experience, Mr. Mercer proved to have a real talent for Hotel keeping. His first priority was to bring the old building up to proper standards and substantial sums of money were well spent on extensive renovations that included new beer tanks, interior work, new carpets throughout, and the plastering of the outside walls that gave the Hotel substantially the same appearance that it has today. He was ably assisted by members of the McKendry clan: Emma herself, his sister-in-law Eunice (Rita’s elder sister), and Eunice’s son Peter McKenzie, who acted for many years as assistant manager.

            Mr. K Luhrs had owned the Redwood Motel before selling out to Dominion Breweries, and continuing to work for the Breweries as a motel manager. He purchased the freehold of the Hotel from the Mercers in May of 1972 and kept the name “McKendry’s Hotel”. Repeating his earlier financial strategy, he sold the Hotel on to New Zealand Breweries two years later, in May of 1974 (Press 3rd May 1974, p2) and leased it back. This was a common business strategy in the 1970’s as the Breweries had found it difficult at that time to recover the large cost increases in brewing, and greater production was needed to recoup the huge capital outlay that had been made. “This requires an increased number of outlets, and faced with competitive activity, we have taken steps to protect our sales” said Sir Clifford Plimmer, Chairman of the Board of New Zealand Breweries (Press 3rd May 1974, p2). “We have been able to lease many of the properties back to the former owners, who are pleased with this arrangement.”

13:05. The Cantabrian.

The price of the sale was not revealed, but the Breweries’ plans were. They intended to redecorate the Hotel in the style of an Old English Corner Inn, and the Breweries’ South Island Manager, Mr. R J Harrison assured the Press that the renovations would involve a “reasonably substantial expenditure, although site limitations meant that the Hotel could not be expanded. Nothing more could be said of the matter at that point as no plans had been finalised or even drawn up and, of course, anything that was proposed would have to be submitted to the Licensing Control Commission. Changes were to take place, but they would take rather longer to execute that had at first been anticipated.

New owners often need to impose a “new image” on their recently acquired establishments, which all too often entails a change of name and it was at the time of the change of ownership that McKendry’s Hotel was rechristened. The new name originated in a conversation between the manager of the pub and Wally Argus, a former Canterbury Representative, Kiwi and All Black. Argus and the Manager had been talking about the Cantabrian Rugby Club, which was open to men who had played forty or more first-class matches under the jurisdiction of the Canterbury Rugby Union. The  “Cantabrian” sounded like an ideal name for the pub, the suggestion was put to the Breweries, who also liked the sound of it, and McKendry’s Hotel became The Cantabrian Tavern.

The extensive renovations promised in 1974 finally took place after almost five years, and, after a closure of a few weeks, the Hotel, now the Cantabrian Tavern, reopened in November of 1978 (Press 8th November 1978 p4) under the advertising slogan “The Cantabrian the Way You Want It”. The Hotel provided a “colonial atmosphere at public bar prices at ‘Trader McKendry’s’ bar”, an ideal place “for that quiet drink away from the crowd in the Gallery”, and “an outstanding range of ales, wines and spirits at The Liquor Shop”. The building had taken on a new image, both inside and out. The building had been repainted and the internal decor transformed into the comfortable “neo-colonial” style that was coming into such vogue in the 1970’s.

The large public bar, extending along Manchester Street, became Trader McKendry’s Bar and was totally redecorated, being furnished with colonial style tables and chairs of wood and leather. An elevated area on the Manchester Street side provided a ‘snug’, and an old-style fireplace and ceilings were installed. The walls were adorned with 19th century equestrian prints and an old brewery advertisement. The former lounge bar was christened the Gallery and was also provided with similar decor. Ken West, who designed the interior, had drawn his inspiration from a number of sources including the Mountaineer Hotel at Queenstown, and the Romney Arms Tavern and Flanagan’s Hotel in Wellington. The Cantabrian re-opened under the management of the latest Mine Host, Mr. Nigel Mattison. In accord with New Zealand Breweries policy of recruiting leading sporting figures wherever possible in its ranks of marketing and hotel management staff, Mr. Mattison was a well-known softballer, having been captain of the Canterbury provincial softball team in 1977.

If Mr. Mattison was well suited to the role of landlord of a sports-oriented tavern, the next incumbent was unsurpassable. William Fergus McCormick was born in 1939 and was an ardent rugby player. “Fergie”, as he was known, became a rugby legend in his own lifetime. He was selected for the Canterbury provincial team in 1959 as fullback and by 1974 had played in 200 games for the side. In July of 1974, after the match against Fiji, his remarkable achievement was recognised with the presentation of a painting of an English pastoral scene and Mr. C H Rhodes, president of the Canterbury Rugby Union, paid tribute to Fergie’s length of service and his many great deeds on the rugby field (Press 29th July 1974, p13). And many were his great deeds. A feisty little man who was never afraid to speak his mind, he was likened to the legendary George Nepia.

            Fergie left a trail of broken records behind him. He broke Don “the Boot” Clarke’s record of most points in first class rugby, and “Snow” White’s mark of most appearances for a union. For thirteen years he held the world record for most points in a test match, a tally he racked up at Eden Park in Auckland against the Welsh (Press 12th June 1991, p28). He was selected for the All Blacks in the late 60’s and early 70’s and altogether played 43 times for New Zealand, including 16 Test Matches. His last appearance as an All Black was against the Lions in 1971, and his later exclusion from the national team left him disgruntled. The All Blacks’ loss was the Canterbury team’s gain, however, and Fergie continued to play brilliantly at provincial level for four more years.

            A severe knee injury in 1974 was the beginning of the end. Despite intense therapy and workouts running in the surf, the damage was irreparable and the pain was excruciating. The indomitable Fergie would not lie down however; he had at least one great moment in his sights. Despite the pain and an uncontrollable knee that deprived him of the ability to kick accurately, nevertheless Fergie was on the field when Canterbury played Scotland in 1974 and earned himself the eternal adoration of Canterbury fans by scoring Canterbury’s winning try over the Scots (Press 12th June 1991, p28). But his active career was over. Eight games later he was dropped from the side.

            What was he to do now, this person whom fellow All Black Chris Laidlaw was to later describe as “that small, indomitable, continually muttering figure, prowling about in search of action” (Press 12th June 1991, p28)? He was only 36 years old, and there was a lot of time ahead. Fergie and Nigel Mattison were fellow sportsmen and friends. The suggestion was made that Fergie might think about a career in The Trade and thus it was that Mr. McCormick began work at the Cantabrian. In 1982 the Hotel was taken by Noel Cleaver, and Fergie was retained as manager. In 1988 Mr. McCormick joined in partnership with Martin Fuller and together they purchased the lease of the Hotel. The following year they were joined by Ian Robertson and the trio brought the freehold.

13:06. The Trader Restored.

            The partnership endured for some four years, until 1993, when the team split up. Fergie departed to start his own bar at “Ferg’s – One Street Over” on the corner of Hereford Street and Hereford Lane, while Messrs Fuller and Robertson continued to ply the trade of the Cantabrian. In 1995 extensive renovations were made to the old inn and it was renamed “Trader McKendry’s Tavern” in honour of the most colourful publican in its long history. Mr. Mercer, long since retired, was consulted on the matter of the change and was delighted to see the Hotel revert to its traditional name. Rita Mercer, sadly, died in September of 1995 at the ripe age of 93, but at least lived long enough to see the memory of her father recognised once more.

“Trader’s” continues to trade today on what may yet be definitely proven to be the oldest extant licensed site in the City.

Comments

  • Carol Bell  On 30/01/2014 at 11:36

    Really interesting.my mum worked as head waitress there ,in the forties believe it was used by the army for there time off.

  • Jenny  On 02/02/2014 at 13:40

    My Grandad Fred Mercer and my Nan Rita were awesome people and are still missed to this day. Grandad: 2nd NZEF 26BTN 548270 2LT Died 11.2.2000 Aged 88yrs, and Nan – Rita Mercer need McKendry Died 27.9.1995 aged 92 years

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