Control Data Australia Memories compiled by Brian Membrey

Queen's Arms Hotel

340 High Street, St. Kilda

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Location

North-eastern corner of High and Pakington Streets (1866).  High Street became the southern section of St. Kilda Road around 1975 after the street was widened on the western side from the Junction to Carlisle Street.

Memories

The emergency runner comes into the field following the late scratching of the Post Office Club.

None from my perspective. Ron Bird originally suggested the Post Office Club a block to the north was favourite lunch spot for the Accounts Department, but Colin Elliott has confirmed their pub was the Queen's Arms.  He remembers some minor uproar when the crew arrived one Friday to find the price of steaks had risen to a dollar!

History

"St Kilda Road" through St. Kilda is a relatively modern usage after the original High-street was widened following the demolition of most of the western side from the junction to Carlisle Street.

Despite being a fraction further from the city, the Queen's Arms actually preceded the Buck's Head (later Post Office Club) by several years.

The license was first issued to John O'Farrell in October, 1866, but not without some debate.

"Opposing the application, Mr. Bradshaw said he had been instructed by the council to represent that the house was quite unfit for an hotel. Mr. Stephen for the applicant said that Mr. Bradshaw had no locus standi, a three days' notice of objection not having been served, and that his interference was irregular. The bench stated that if did not consider that a public house was required in the locality in question, nor did they think there was sufficient accommodation, but granted the license considering they were almost compelled to do so by the Act".                                     

      The Telegraph, St Kilda, Prahran and South Yarra Guardian, 20 October, 1866

The condition of the original building (as with many hotels of that time) must have been of some concern; O'Farrell's annual application for renewal held over in 1870 to allow repairs to the hotel to be completed.

"House" as referenced by The Telegraph was probably true, virtually any building that could offer a parlour (bar), sitting room and a bedroom independent of the publicans personal requirements could nominally be license as a hotel.  There is no confirming evidence, but a new building was probably erected in 1872 under the provisions of much tighter Licensing Act.

From that point on, the Queen's Arms led a sedate life with little of its history recorded; the only incident of great note was a licensee, William Lindsay being sued in 1893 by the Chancellor of the University of Melbourne, Dr. Robert Brownless after a carriage being driven by Lindsay at excessive speed knocked Brownless down in Swanston Street, fracturing his shoulder and dislocating a knee.  Described as "aged", (he was noted as a vice-chancellor as early as 1864), Brownless claimed £2,000 but the case was settled out of court and the actual sum remains unknown.

The Queen's Arms survived a Licenses Reduction Board hearing in 1926, but in a rather strange twist was refused a license to serve liquor with meals in 1934 (... Accounts Department, exit right en masse)!

Yet to check further, but 1904 directories show a J. O'Farrell operating a grocery next door to the hotel and the chances are that this was either the original licensee or a descendant.

Today

The Queen's Arms must have been about the furthermost eating spot that Control Data utilised, although perhaps the late addition of Mario's in Brighton may now take the title.

The hotel was sold in 2003 and converted to residential use, now known as the Capitol Apartments


Middle : St. Kilda Junction, circa 1928, looking north-west, St. Kilda Road, right and Queen's Road to the left.  The two-story building on the corner of Queen's Road and Queen's lane (mid-left) remains today. The St. Kilda Road tramlines can be seen branching into Fitzroy Street and Wellington Streets.

Bottom : The junction, 1901, looking south along High Street showing the three-story Junction Hotel and tower on the corner of High Street (now extension of St. Kilda Road) and Barkly Streets. Fitzroy Street to the right.  The Junction was a Coffee Palace, or a temperance hotel proviing a large number of rooms for accommodation as well as other function and leisure facilities. It was totally isolated by the junction re-development of the late 1960s and was demolished, the land now part of the median strip.  The shops to the left suffered the same fate.