Old news from Armidale and New England

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Hotel Fire at Walcha

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Monday 29 August 1938, The Courier-Mail (Brisbane)

Guests Escape, Lose Luggage

TAMWORTH, Sunday. — The Royal Hotel at Walcha, a two story brick building in Fitzroy Street, was almost completely destroyed by fire early this morning. The main portion of the premises, comprising guest rooms and bar, was destroyed, the kitchen, pantry, and storeroom being saved. The fire was first noticed when smoke entered a guest’s room. The alarm was given, and all the guests were awakened, all the accommodation at the time being occupied. The electric light failed, and a number of guests, were unable to recover their, belongings before the fire compelled them to leave. The licensee, J. McDermott, his wife, and family escaped in night attire. A call was sent to the fire brigade at Armidale, 40 miles distant, and it arrived two hours later, to find the hotel well alight, but the kitchen, pantry, and storeroom were saved. The brigade pumped water from the Apsley River nearby.


Luckily a strong westerly wind was blowing, otherwise an adjoining furniture shop would have been destroyed. As it was, the walls were badly scorched and windows broken by the heat. This building was saved by a bucket brigade before the arrival of the Armidale brigade. Everything in the upstairs portion of the hotel was destroyed, and only a piano and a little furniture were saved from the ground floor. Money in the till was lost, as well as money kept by guests in their rooms. The safe was salvaged after the fire, but on being opened it was found the notes and cheques it contained had been destroyed. The building and contents were owned by A. E. Leedham, of Brookfield, Dungog, and were covered by insurance.

Written by macalba

April 11, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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