Washington House / Charleston Studios



, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Update, 17 April 2018

Currently (at 17 April 2018) the whole block, including the old Scott’s / DJs building and carpark are being turned into apartments, with apparently some shops on the ground floor. Last weekend (14-15 April 2018) someone on the Facebook Lost Newcastle page mentioned that there were some ghost signs on the front of the building, close to Wolfe St. They also added some photos, including an interesting blue one for KODAK. Yesterday (16 April 2018) I went down there and took some photos as well. There are 3 ghost signs — running from east to west — 2 (“LOWE’S”, “SELL IT FOR LESS.”) from the clothes store LOWE’S, and the 3rd (“KODAK SUPPLIES”) from the WASHINGTON SOUL chemist shop. (“Sell It For Less” was Lowe’s slogan.)





Original article below…


Three years ago when I started to catalogue the older buildings of the Newcastle CBD & surrounding suburbs with my camera, I started to take more notice of signs on the front of said buildings. Sometimes they were – for example – ‘halls’, ‘centres’ or ‘houses’. Near the front of the north-east corner of the old Scott’s / David Jones store in the Hunter Street Mall is the sign, ‘WASHINGTON HOUSE’. (The building is nearly opposite the trendy One Penny Black café.) See photo of the sign below…

WH 2015 tn

above, ‘WASHINGTON HOUSE’, December 2015 (photo: Matthew Ward)

George Washington portrait‘Who was this ‘Washington’ the building was named after ?’ I wondered. One wag suggested to me it might’ve been named after George Washington, one of the heroes of the American Revolution and the first president of the United States. That didn’t make much sense to me (what did the great general have to do with Australia, let alone Newcastle?), but the friend said it was possible. He is a university lecturer – the friend – so he’d have a better idea than I do, I thought…

Last week I did a search on good old Trove for the name ‘Washington House’ and ‘Newcastle’. I found an article (Newcastle Morning Herald, 17/6/1931) on how the Charleston Studios building (that had been operated by the [by then] late photographer Harry ‘Henry’ Charleston when it was stated as 163, 167 Hunter Street) had been developed into another building, leaving only the front facade and walls (according to the above article it would’ve been officially opening on Friday 19/12/1931). The article mentioned the man after whom the building was named: Washington Handley Soul (better known in the early part of the 20th century as businessman Washington H. Soul (n.b. Soul Pattinson was a subsidiary company of Washington H. Soul and Co.).  See photo of Mr. Soul below…

Washington. H. Soul portrait

above, Washington. H. Soul, portrait (Sydney Morning Herald, 14/12/1927)

Here is the Googlemaps streetview from June 2015 in case you want to ‘walk around’ the space:

Here is the full article describing the remodelling of Charleston Studios into Washington House: 


Hunter-street Building


Confidence in the future of Newcastle has been definitely expressed by Washington H. Soul and Co. in the complete remodelling and renovation of the Charleston Studios, Hunter-street, Newcastle. In future this building, which is of three storeys, will be known as Washington House. It will be opened on Friday. The premises were erected 25 years ago by the late Mr. H. Charleston. At a cost of more than £5000, extensive alterations have been made, the only portions of the original building to remain being the front and side walls. The new premises are attractive in appearance, and effective for display purposes.

Besides accommodating Washington H. Soul and Co., Washington House will serve Lowe’s. Ltd., a firm prominent in the business life of Newcastle for the past 10 years. Portion of the ground floor is occupied by Washington H. Soul and Co., and the rest of the ground floor and the whole of the first floor by Lowe’s, Ltd. The second floor is divided into a hairdresser’s suite, occupied by Miss Olive Lavington, the remainder being a dental suite and store space for Washington H. Soul and Co.

Including the modern fittings which have been installed by both firms, the work has cost in the vicinity of £9500.

Almost the whole of the old building was demolished to make way for new and modern premises. The interior walls have been replaced by a steel-framed structure carrying the new floor and motor house for the lift machinery. The old shop frontages were removed, and the whole front underpinned while new girders were placed in position to carry the existing front wall.

After this particularly dangerous work had been accomplished, modern shop fronts were installed. These are planned so as to prove effective when viewed from any angle, either inside or outside the shop. The top hamper, on which the names of the occupants have been placed, is illuminated so as to represent an enlarged electric sign by night. The arcade floor and the floor in Washington H. Soul and Co’s shop is of terazzo, shaped into diamond patterns by means of brass strips. From this arcade the lift and stairs serve the first and second floors.

Messrs. Baker and Lamb, of Maryville, were the builders, Goninan and Co., Ltd., the sub-contractors for the structural steelwork and awning, and Edmunds, Moir and Co. for the electrical installation. A Standard Waygoods lift has been installed. Messrs. H. and E. Sidgreaves prepared the window fronts and fittings. The architect was Mr. W. D. Jeater, A.R.I.B.A., A.R.T.A.A., of’ Newcastle.


The retail druggist business which is being housed in the new building represents another unit in a chain of stores established in Newcastle and on the Coal- fields. Operations were begun in Newcastle in 1907, when Soul, Pattinson (N/c.), Ltd., a subsidiary company of Washington H. Soul and Co., was formed.

The company’s activities have extended to such an extent that, including the Washington House venture, there are now six of its retail businesses in Newcastle and on the coalfields – three in Newcastle, one in Hamilton, one in Maitland, and one in Cessnock. It also has a photographic workroom in Wolfe-street, Newcastle.

The name of Lowe’s has been familiar for the past 32 years, with their six great men’s and boys’ wear stores in Sydney and a branch in Newcastle, which they opened 15 years ago in Hunter-street. The only departments carried on at this branch were tailoring and ready-to-wear clothing,and during that time quite a substantial business has been built up.

Expansion of business, however, brought a demand for increased space. At last the opportunity has come to secure premises in the heart of Hunter-street, which will be opened on Friday for the display and selling of Lowe’s many wares.

Mr. Lowe is a well-known figure in the business life of the State. He began business 32 years ago with a staff of one man and a boy with a capital of only £250. He is now Managing Director of Lowe’s big chain of men’s and boys’ stores, employing, all told, nearly 1000 people. In opening the store Mr. Lowe is displaying confidence in Newcastle, which, he states, is fast becoming the Birmingham of Australia. He will visit Newcastle on Friday.

– Newcastle Morning Herald, 17/6/1931


Here is a photo of the building as it stands today. It has been vacant for about two years. It was previously a menswear store, Gentlemen’s Outfitters (now further east on Hunter Street in the old Ell’s building). Click the image to enlarge…

Washington House, Dec. 2015

above, Washington House, Dec. 2015. Photo by Matthew Ward

Washington H. Soul passed away on 13/12/1927. Here is a short notice that appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on 14/12/1927:



The death occurred early yesterday morning of Mr. Washington Handley Soul, at his residence, Agincourt, Albert-road, Strathfield.

Born in London 82 years ago, Mr. Soul entered the mercantile marine as a boy, rising rapidly to the rank of master. He came to Sydney in 1863, and, joining his father, Mr. Caleb Soul in business, established the well-known firm in Pitt-street, which carries his name to the present day. Mr. Soul retired from active business about 24 years ago, when the amalgamation with Messrs. Pattinson and Co. took place.

Apart from being one of Sydney’s prominent commercial men for about 50 years, he took a very keen interest in the Masonic movement of New South Wales, and held many high offices in the Grand Lodge, including that of Grand Treasurer for several years. His benevolent gifts to the Craft are widely known, his greatest donation being the magnificent Masonic Temple at Beresford-road, Strathfield, which bears his name.

Mr. Soul enjoyed excellent health until a few months ago. His wife predeceased him four years ago. The surviving daughters are Mrs. E. F. Pollock, Mrs. A. A. Nassoor, and Miss Jessie Soul.

The funeral will leave his late residence today, at 2 p.m., for South Head Cemetery.

– Sydney Morning Herald, 14/12/1927


Before Washington House, the building was Charleston Studios, a photography business where locals could have their photographs taken and framed during the late 19th & early 20th century. The business was operated by a Mr Harry ‘Henry’ Charleston.

Charleston Studios had previously been at another location, a block or so east, at 58 Hunter Street Newcastle, near the corner of Hunter & Newcomen Streets (c. 1899 –). It would have been in the same space as is now occupied by the Discount Chemist (and before that, the Commonwealth Bank, which was built to replace the old Rawson Hotel). Here is the Googlemaps streetview from June 2015 in case you want to ‘walk around’ the space:

Below is an 1891 photograph showing Charleston Studios when it was at 58 Hunter Street, Newcastle. Click the photo to see  a bigger image that will also give you a glimpse of the famous Municipal Baths that was on Newcomen Street (you’ll also notice a banner for ‘Newcastle Swimming Club’ hanging from the front of the Baths building). Photo by Ralph Snowball, Cultural Collections.

Charleston Studios at earlier premises, 58 Hunter Street, Newcastle

above: Charleston Studios at earlier premises, 58 Hunter Street, Newcastle (1891, photographer: Ralph Snowball, Cultural Collections)

And a couple of photos of the old Rawson Hotel, that replaced the above building… 

Rawson Hotel, 1959 (Photobank)

above: Rawson Hotel, 1959 (Photobank)

Rawson Hotel 1957 State Library

above: Rawson Hotel, 1957 (State Library)

Here are some photos taken at the 58 Hunter Street premises:

Here is an article describing Charleston Studios moving into the new premises, a couple of blocks west on Hunter Street (The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser, 27/2/1907):


Residents of Tamworth and district are naturally interested in the progress of Newcastle. It is here that most of those born in the northern country districts get their first sight of the ocean. On holidays the beach is always crowded with visitors from inland, who flock down to enjoy the sea air and have a dip in the briny. The Newcastle beach ever offers welcome to pleasure-seekers, and the members of the council are fortunately aware of its natural advantages. They arc constantly making improvements that will add to the comfort of the visitors and the attractions of the seaside.

Sydney Mail article

above: Charleston Studios, 1907

Newcastle is rapidly advancing. During the past five years the number of fine buildings that have been erected has made a distinct change in the aspect of the city. One cf the latest erections is among the more noteworthy. This is the building erected for Mr. H. Charleston, the well-known photographer. We reproduce a view of the exterior. The inside is even more handsome than the outside. For neatness of design and adaptability to their purpose the new Charleston Studios it is claimed, cannot be excelled in Australasia. The buildings occupy a frontage of 50ft to Hunter-street, and are three floors in height. The ground floor comprises two commodious shops and a vestibule. The latter is connected with the studios, and forms the central portion of the building. The vestibule has an imposing entrance, with a marble threshold, and is tiled with specially designed ceramic tile paving, bearing the words “Charleston Studios.” and embodying the Cornish coat-of-arms with the motto “One and All.” At the rear of the vestibule are the printing, framing, and toning rooms. A wide, handsome staircase gives access to the first and second floors of the building, comprising two studios, measuring 47ft by 33ft and 30ft by 17ft respectively, a beautifully appointed wait- ing room, with office, three handsomely furnished dressing rooms, each having the most modern lavatory conveniences ad- joining. The retouching, mounting, and finishing rooms, and the various dark rooms and changing rooms, are, in conjunction with the rest of the accommodation designed to meet the latest developments in photographic art.

The front of the building is designed in   the Flemish Renaissance style of architecture, and presents a striking and ornate appearance, being a distinct improvement to the centre of the city. Whilst they are a gain to Newcastle, the advantage the new studios will be to their enterprising owner will be enormous. For the past 17 years Mr. Charleston has had a wide reputation for artistic photography in the business conducted at the old premises, 58 Hunter-street. Notwithstanding the fact that he was severely handicapped with very unsuitable premises, Mr. Charleston maintained the highest standard of workmanship.

The number of patrons increased year by year, until “Charleston” became a household word in Newcastle and through out the northern district. Therefore the removal to new and larger studios has been a matter of necessity. Not only can a larger business be done with greater ease than in the old studio, but there will be a greater certainly in the result. The lighting of the new studios has been very carefully planned, and may be said to be absolutely perfect. In the larger studio a group of about 150 persons may be photographed with ease and certainty as to the results. The glass in this studio has been specially imported from England, and gives a light that is very soft and pleasing to the eye. The smaller studio is used chiefly for single figures, and is excellently adapted for taking children. Mr. Charleston’s portraits of children are well known. Few have been so successful with the little ones as he has. The secret of his success with children Mr. Charleston attributes to proper understanding of and sympathy with them. But when one glances at the various specimens of artistic portraiture to be seen at the studios, it is apparent that Mr. Charleston is equally successful with all subjects. Many of the pictures are printed in the most beautiful modern processes, and are splendid works of art.

In each department a specialist is employed, so that every detail gets particular attention. The enlargements made by the Charleston studios are to be seen in homes all over northern New South Wales. Special attention will be paid to this branch of work in the new premises, as the facilities for their proper production are all that could be desired. A life-size portrait, of one’s ancestor may be supplied as easily as a “locket” of the latest baby. In fact, there is nothing in modern photography that the Charleston studios cannot do, and that well. The prices are as low as, if not lower than, in any part of Australia.

– The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser, 27/2/1907)

Here are some photos taken at the later, more eastern premises:

And the Death Notice of Mr Harry Charleston, at age 66 (Newcastle Herald, 26/8/1930),

Obituary, Mr HARRY CHARLESTON (Newcastle Morning Herald, 26/8/1930)

Obituary, Mr HARRY CHARLESTON (Newcastle Morning Herald, 26/8/1930)


Other Credits:

  • Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of George Washington (Courtesy of George Washington’s Mount Vernon)

© Matthew Ward, 2015, 2018

Thank-you for reading this blog article. Feel free to follow me  🙂



Grand United Order of Free Gardeners, Newcastle NSW Australia


, , , , ,

Notes on the friendly society, the Grand United Order of Free Gardeners, with respect to Newcastle (and surrounding districts) NSW Australia lodges.


The foundation of the Grand United Order of Free Gardeners is based on the Old and New Testaments. There are many branches in the Newcastle district, which include the Pansy, Mistletoe, Rosebud, Snowdrop, Daisy, Eden, Dewdrop, Forget-me-not, Cornstalk, Royal Oak, Mignonette, Lily of the Lake, Flower of Cessnock, and Violet. Free Gardenry was introduced into Australia on a charter granted in Scotland to open the Victorian Lodge in Melbourne on September 20, 1864. Other branches soon spread. A charter was applied for and received for the Sydney district in 1870. The first provincial Grand Lodge was opened in Sydney in 1881. At present there are 89 branches in Australia, all carrying out the principles of friendly society work.
—Newcastle Morning Herald, Sat. 01 Dec. 1934, page 7.


  • Cornstalk : Catherine Hill Bay
  • Daisy : 
  • Dewdrop : Stockton
  • Eden : 
  • Flower of Cessnock : 
  • Forget-me-not : 
  • Lily of the Lake : 
  • Lily of the Valley : Toronto ?
  • Mignonette : Lodge No. 20. Charlestown ?
  • Mistletoe : 
  • Olive Leaf : Minmi. Opened Fri. 29 Aug, 1884.
  • Pansy : Lodge No. 21.
  • Rosebud : 
  • Royal Oak : Lodge No. 9. Wallsend ?
  • Snowdrop : 
  • Violet :  


Research by Matthew Ward

G.U.O.O.F. Hall, Auckland St. Newcastle NSW Australia


, , , , , , , , , , , ,

The G.U.O.O.F. (Grand United Order of Oddfellows) Hall was on the Eastern side of Auckland Street, Newcastle NSW Australia. It might have been Lodge 1086 (according to a ticket in a time capsule [see Herald article below] ). It was demolished (along with other buildings in the Civic Arcade block) in 2013 to make way for the University of Newcastle “New Space” building. I will add info / images as I find them…

GUOOF Oddfellows Hall "Auckland Street" Newcastle NSW Australia, 2013 "Matthew Ward" 2013

G.U.O.O.F. Hall, Auckland St, Newcastle NSW Australia, 2013 (photo © Matthew Ward, 2013)

In Feb. 2013, the building was demolished and behind a foundation stone (visible in the photo above next to the side door) was a time capsule. An article from the Newcastle Herald is here and is presented in text below (fair use, research) …

GALLERY: Time capsule uncovered
BEN SMEE, Civic Reporter

A TRULY odd time capsule, which lay beneath Auckland Street for more than 100 years, has unearthed a long-forgotten part of the city’s history.

A demolition crew found the cracked bottle, apparently placed by the Grand United Order of Oddfellows, under the foundation stone of the Performing Arts Newcastle building yesterday morning.

The building, opened in 1907, was originally the ‘‘Oddfellows Hall’’ and the headquarters of the society’s City of Newcastle Lodge.

Once the significance of the find was realised, most of the contents were sent to the local-studies section of the Newcastle Region Library.

Inside the bottle was a collection of remarkably well-preserved documents, memorabilia and coins.

They include a program and tickets from the friendly society’s Grand Jubilee banquet, held at Newcastle Trades Hall in 1905.

Those lucky enough to attend the £5 affair dined on ox tongue and merrily toasted ‘‘The King’’, ‘‘Parliament’’ and ‘‘The Press’’.

A copy of the Newcastle Morning Herald and Miner’s Advocate, from March23, 1907, indicates when the capsule was buried.

The Herald reported a few months later in July 1907 that the building had been opened with ‘‘a gold key, suitably inscribed’’.

‘‘There was no want of enterprise or lack of enthusiasm among the brothers of the City of Newcastle Lodge, who had from time to time during the past 52 years done so much for the cause of Oddfellowship, the aims and objects of which were to visit the sick, relieve the distressed, bury the dead and for the uplifting on their fellowmen,’’ the article said.

Bob James, a Tighes Hill-based historian, confirmed that the Performing Arts Newcastle building was once the lodge.

‘‘Newcastle was very strong, both in friendly societies and the Grand United Order of Oddfellows,’’ he said.

According to Dr James, the friendly societies were the beginning of insurance societies and health funds.

The Grand United Order of Oddfellows came to Australia in the 1840s, he said.

The Performing Arts Newcastle building is one of five at the intersection of Auckland and Hunter Streets that will be demolished in the coming months to make way for a planned University of Newcastle city campus.

—Newcastle Herald, 14 Feb. 2013

A followup article the following day revealed  more information about the hall and the Oddfellows…


© Matthew Ward, 2018

Toni’s Cafe, 93 Hunter St, Newcastle NSW


, , , , , , , , , ,

Toni’s Cafe was situated at 93 Hunter Street, Newcastle NSW Australia, from c. 1940 – 1947.

Toni's Cafe

Toni’s Cafe

I was made aware of Toni’s Cafe while searching Trove. A double page promotion of the cafe stated it was at 93 Hunter St, “Between Bolton and Newcomen Streets”. By the odd number I worked out it was on the southern side of Hunter St, maybe opposite Ell’s where a current day cafe has been operating for many years. I was wrong by a few doors. With the help someone on the Lost Newcastle Facebook group, I was able to work out that Toni’s Cafe closed c 1949 and changed into the Treasury Cafe, and the address of the T.C. was, you guessed it, 93 Hunter Street. Today, 93 Hunter Street is the address of The Deck Homewares and Fashion. Before it was Toni’s Cafe it was a wine bar called, “The Wine Bar” run by a John Craydon.

Here is the current day street view of the building:

Newcastle Sun, 2 May 1940

Newcastle Sun, 2 May 1940

Newcastle Sun, 2 May 1940

Newcastle Sun, 2 May 1940

Here is the link to the full article from the Newcastle Morning Herald, 2 May 1940

Research © Matthew Ward, 2017

Stained Glass Window – “Garner The Fruits Of Industry”

12 Bolton Street Newcastle Newcastle NSW Australia, 14 August 2017. West side of Bolton Street. The stained glass window is above the front door. I believe at the beginning of the 20th century this building was the Savings Bank of New South Wales.


above: Photo by Matthew Ward, 14 August 2017. Larger version here.


Screen Shot 2017-08-15 at 6.14.36 PM

above: The Newcastle Sun, 16 Nov 1948, p.1


There is mention of the phrase “Garner The Fruits Of Industry” re the Haymarket branch of the Savings Bank of New South Wales.



In an article in The Sydney Morning Herald, 13 Dec 1904, p.8:

Screen Shot 2017-08-15 at 6.26.44 PM

More information to be added as I find it.

Reseach by Matthew Ward, 2017


Cafés of Newcastle NSW Australia

A list of Newcastle CBD cafes, most no longer in existence although the buildings may still be there.


Astoria Cafe, SW cnr Hunter & Newcomen Sts. @ 2017 the Ground Floor Cafe.

Bank Corner Cafe, 699 Hunter St, near Rice’s Books, 1930s. Building still there, vacant.

Bowery 1950s/ Pepperina 1990s, Bolton St. @ 2017, a law firm.

Brown Darby Cafe, Hunter Street, near the Clarendon Hotel. Demolished after the 1989 Earthquake..

The Coffee Inn, Hunter Street (opp. Post Office)

Embassy Cafe, Hunter Street. @ 2017, still running as the Embassy Cafe.

Hotcakes Tearooms, 685 Hunter St, 1929

Kurt’s Coffee Lounge, Devonshire Lane / Street. Building still there, bought in 2016

Kosciusko Cafe, Telford or Pacific St. Demolished in the late 1970s to make way for the then new Pacific Park.

Lighthouse Coffee Lounge, Union Street (see photo, Sternbeck 1986, to add)

Myola Cafe, Newcomen St. @ 2017, where Harbourside Trimmers is. (See photo below, NMH, 23/2/1939). Demolished c. 1950s

Myola Cafe

Myola Cafe

Niagara Cafe, N side of Hunter St, part of the Hotel Hunter building, between Market & Newcomen Sts. Building now a spices vendor.

Paris Cafe, Perkins Street (I believe where the Temperance Hotel was, later the Doll Hospital). @ 2017, for the last couple of years has been the Vinyl Cafe.

Rudy Rico, Perkins St, 1947, run by Jerry Cominos

Toni’s Cafe, 93 Hunter Street, Opp Ells, 1940-1949. @ 2017, building still there I believe.

Wattle Cafe, SE cnr Hunter and Telford Sts,


Research by Matthew Ward

A. A. COMPANY SANDSTONE PILLAR, cnr. Gordon Ave. & Alexander St. Hamilton Sth.


, , , , , , ,

Sandstone Pillar, cnr. Gordon Ave & Alexander St Hamilton Sth (Newcastle)

Sandstone Pillar, cnr. Gordon Ave & Alexander St Hamilton Sth (Newcastle)

“WHERE Gordon-avenue begins its long, straight journey down to the foothills of Glebe, there are islands of grass in its middle, and stubby palms, with two sandstone pillars announcing the “Garden Suburb.” The pillars were placed there in 1914 by the Australian Agricultural Company. Mr. H. A. Phillips, who lives near-by, said the company once had a coal line in the avenue. It ran from the Great Northern Railway line and, at Tudor-street, swung round behind the site of the ambulance station, where it met up with the lines to Glebe Pit and the city waterfront. In those days, around 1911-12, Tudor-street was “not of much ac-count” and Denison-street was the main road through Hamilton. “It was all scrub, over towards Merewether, until they shifted the racecourse from Hamilton South to Broadmeadow,” he said. “There was plenty of space for allotments, then. Now, there’s none at all.” Mr. Phillips pointed out from his verandah to a tall building which pokes its head up over the houses. “Wood Brothers built that place as a brewery, but they didn’t use it.” he said. “There was never a bottle of beer in it.” In the current phase of its beerless history, the brewery is Wood-street branch of the Newcastle Technical College.
— Newcastle Morning Herald, Sat. 1 Mar, 1947.

Proposed Removal

A proposal has been made that the two stone pillars at the Tudor-street section of Gordon-avenue, Hamilton, should bo removed. The pillars were erected by the

Australian Agricultural Company in 1914, and it was then proposed to erect another pair at the Glebe end of the avenue. That part of the scheme, however, was not carried out. Recently a deputation from Hamilton Council discussed with the company’s superintendent, Mr. Henry, the question of removing the pillars. The company, it was said, would offer no objection to the removal, one pillar to the centre of Gordon-avenue on the northern side of Tudor-street, and the other to the centre of the intersection at Glebe-road. Before anything is done, however, the council will call for an estimate of cost, and that, it is thought, will be a bar to the scheme.

—Newcastle Sun (NSW : 1918 – 1954), Friday 28 September 1928, page 6



Research by Matthew Ward

© Matthew Ward, 2017

Facebook, Lost Newcastle Popular Post Topics


, , ,

In the last few years there have been thousands of posts to Lost Newcastle. There are new topics every day, but there are some popular topics that are brought up again and again. Here are some of those popular posts and links if available.

    • Banks,
      • Commonwealth
    • Dinny’s Pawnbroker, Hunter St, 1960s – ’90s
    • Cafes,
      • Niagara Cafe, Hunter St, also Beaumont St Hamilton
    • Chicken,
      • K.F.C. (a.k.a. Kentucky Fried Chicken), cnr. Hunter & Brown Sts; cnr King & Burwood Sts
    •  Clubs,
      • Crazy Horse (a.k.a. Rumours, Leroy’s, Mercury)
      • Gunfighter’s Rest, Hunter St
      • Newcastle Workers Club
    • Hotels,
      • Great Northern Hotel, Scott St
      • Star Hotel, Hunter / King Sts (including Star Hotel Riot)
    • Milk, free bottles of at school, 1970s
    • Pies
      • Darby Pies, 1970s – ’80s
    • Floods
    • Earthquake, 1989
    • Pasha Bulker ship, Nobbys Beach
    • King Edward Park
    • Municipal Baths (indoor pool), Newcomen St, early 20th century
    • Fred C. Ash building, Hunter St
    • Frederick Ash building (“New”), warehouse, Burwood St)

The Lost Newcastle Facebook page is here…


GREAT NORTHERN HOTEL, Interesting Information


, , , ,

1866, English, Art work edition: The wreck of the Cawarra. [picture]. Jackson, Arthur Levett, 1834-1888, (engraver.) - Libraries Australia

1866, English, Art work edition: The wreck of the Cawarra. [picture]. Jackson, Arthur Levett, 1834-1888, (engraver.) – Libraries Australia


The following is information re: the Cawarra shipwreck :

Cawarra shipwreck

Information from David Porter, copied from LakeScan re the wreck of the Cawarra


Research by Matthew Ward








NEW GREAT NORTHERN IS REVELATION, The Newcastle Sun, 10/2/1938


, , , , , , , ,

One of the many striking features of The Great Northern Hotel is the new buffet at which is destined to be the Mecca of diners.

One of the many striking features of The Great Northern Hotel is the new buffet at which is destined to be the Mecca of diners.

Last Word in Hotel Service and Comfort


Rebuilt after 70 years Rebuilt after 70 years without the sparing of expense, the Great Northern Hotel, on the corner of Scott and Watt streets, Newcastle, may be regarded as being in the front rank of Australia’s best hotels. Dignified in design, and with appointments emphasising solid comfort and beauty of finish, the hotel immediately impresses the visitor by its perfect layout and facilities which it offers.

The first impression of the beautiful interiors is gained when the visitor walks into the spacious foyer from the Scott-street entrance, an impression which Is strengthened when the reception office, elevators and Service Bureau are approached. Inviting settees and lounge chairs make the foyer an attractive rendezvous.

A feature of the foyer Is the carpets, which are also to be found in all the public rooms and the bedrooms.

Opening from the foyer is a lounge room with service from the saloon bar. The dining-room, reception room, the main lounge and the kitchens are on the first floor.

The dining-room itself is most attractive, with its high ceilings and old ivory colored walls, with the beautiful frieze and heavy drapings. Cosy chairs and tables furnish the lounge, where drinks, teas and suppers are served. The reception room has a sprung floor, and is most popular for dinner dances. All these rooms are conveniently placed to the kitchens, which are the last word In utility and equipment.

The second, third and fourth floors are planned with external recessed light areas, so that all bedrooms and lounges open to the outside air.

Panoramic Views

These floors contain 52 single and 24 double bedrooms, 24 of which have their own private bathrooms and toilets, while three rooms form self-contained suites. There is plenty of bathroom accommodation on all the floors.

The fifth floor has a large roof area, with a smaller one on the sixth floor. From these vantage points, vast panoramic views of the ocean and harbor are seen. Facilities for commercial travellers are provided amply, in that five sample rooms are provided, with appointments which facilitate the effective display of samples.

The magnitude of the construction work in connection with the hotel is shown in the quantities of materials used during the period that elapsed since the old hotel was demolished in 1936. Details are: —

Excavated soil, 2400 cubic yards; concrete, 1900 cubic yards; steel, 120 tons: suspended awning, 211 feet; flat roof area, 180 super yards; bricks, 100.000; plastering and cement rendering. 18,398 super yards. Tiling: Floors, 700 super yards; walls, 1894 super yards. Capping: Angles and bands, 4905 lin. feet; painting, 19,396 square yards; glazing, 9000 square feet; timber firring to false ceiling of coffee room, dining-room, and foyer, 2140 super feet: floor area, 25,000 square feet; floor bearers and joists, 3300 super feet.

Service Bureau

The hotel’s service bureau is proving to be very popular. It is adjacent to the lift, and visitors may obtain there any local information they desire, and a shopping service is instituted and for the convenience of guests who suddenly find that they require something, the bureau is at their service.

The buffet, or ‘Aboriginal Room’ is interesting. The walls and ceilings are faithful reproductions of aboriginal rock drawings. A special licence enables the hotel to serve liquor with meals until 9 p.m. A special ‘between meals’ service is arranged.

In planning the Great Northern Hotel, consideration was given to all the facilities that a modern hotel should provide.

A lounge-room with service from saloon bar, a writing-room, telephone booths, letter posting facilities, porter’s luggage-room and men and women’s toilets also enter on to, or are easily accessible from, the entrance vestibule.

The saloon bar, having direct access from Watt-street, is also accessible from the entrance vestibule in Scott street, and the buffet, for quick service of meals, entered off Scott-street, is also connected to the main entrance vestibule.

The public bar, bottle department, and public lavatories are situated at the corner of Scott and Watt streets, but are not accessible from the main hotel, except by staff. Men and women’s cloak-rooms and lavatories are entered from the stair landing and crush space, and a large kitchen, fitted with every modern convenience, having stainless steel cooking equipment of the latest and most hygienic type, and fitted with powerful ventilated, and an electric servery lift from this kitchen feeds a smaller servery kitchen on the ground floor at the rear of the buffet. Housemaids’ pantries are provided on each floor for the convenient service of morning teas, and on the third floor, an ironing and drying-room is provided for the convenience of women guests.

The cellar is provided under the bar section for the cool storage of drinks, and a large refrigerating plant is provided so that all drinks can be served at a desirable temperature. Adjacent to the goods lift and back servery stair is a second smaller cellar containing hot water boiler, fitted with automatic stoker, and a second boiler to provide steam for the heating units placed throughout the hotel. Connecting passage is provided between these two cellars, so that the bar staff can gain access to the service stairs and their lounge-rooms without crossing the main vestibule and public spaces. The exterior of the hotel Is faced with terra-cotta up to the underside of awning, and the remainder with semi-glazed textured bricks. Many Cooperate Many firms cooperated in making the Great Northern Hotel the fine structure it is, no small part being played by the Newcastle Gas and Coke Co., Ltd. This well-known firm, in addition to Installing a heavy duty cooking range, griller and toaster, a Jackson water heating appliance and gas coppers for the laundry, provided a special clothes drying room, the first installation of its kind in Newcastle. The equipment of the ‘Unitair’ Laundry Dryer consists of: An insulated drying room,

A series of sliding clothes’ racks with ample line space. A gas-heating unit, fitted with a safety pilot control, and an automatic fan to keep the air In rapid circulation. This laundry dryer is the first installation of its kind in Newcastle and it is claimed that within five minutes of their entry into the drying chamber, light clothes will be ready to iron. Other advantages of this dryer are: The protection of the clothes from dust and smuts and the prevention of tearing by the wind. The dryer obviates the necessity for large drying areas and enables drying work to be carried out satisfactorily under all weather conditions. It saves building space and building costs. John Bridge and Co., Newcastle water installation engineers and plumbers, were responsible for the whole of the installation of water, steam heating in the kitchens, and hot water supply for the hotel. Malleys, Ltd., engineers, of Mountain-street, Sydney, designed, manufactured and installed the kitchen equipment, including the stainless steel and porcelain enamel units. Northern Chromium and Electro-Plating Co., of King-street. Newcastle, who specialise in chromium, nickel, copper-oxidising, silver and the like have many beautiful samples of their art in all parts of the hotel. Bricks were supplied by the Waterloo Brick Co., whose works are at Thornton, the cement by Stevenson’s Ltd., of Mayfield, timber by Andrew Cook and Sons, and sand and metal carting by H. H. Chadwick. Other firms who assisted were H. and E. Sidgreaves, shop and shop front fitters, of Sydney, Tylers Ltd., of Sydney, bath and toilet accessories, and Mauri Bros, and Thompson refrigeration.

The Newcastle Sun, 10 Feb. 1938

Research by Matthew Ward