Control Data Australia Memories compiled by Brian Membrey

White Horse Inn

5 Burwood Road, Hawthorn

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Location

South-western corner of Burwood Road and Barton Street, Hawthorn (adjacent to St. James Park).

Memories

According to The Spark Diaries, the venue of our 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2005 re-unions, but personally, not a lot of recollection because I got tied up at work and didn't arrive until around 4.30 at the first and could only stay for about an hour at a couple of others because of football club committments.

I probably have more from the mid-1960 when a mob of louts from Preston posing as a football team had regular stoushes with the ex-Public School boys of East Hawthorn on St. James Park - they always won the footy, we always won the fight, but to be fair they always invited us across to the White Horse (their sponsors) afterwards.

(Although he had retired from the football field by my time, I think the  hotel was run by former Collingwood player Ron Richards, brother of Lou.  Ron was captain-coach of East Hawthorn for several years).

I also have a recollection from the same period of playing with a brand new Preston Technical College against Swinburne Institute on the same ground.

History

What became the White Horse may be the oldest hotel site in our archive.

There is evidence of a John Connell being granted a license for the site as the Hawthorne Hotel in September, 1853, but there are also references to him allowed a license for an unnamed house "on the opposite side of the Richmond punt"  in April, 1851 after being refused permission for the same in September of the previous year.

(Connell in fact operated the punt, which functioned from 1840 until 1852 when a rough-and-ready wooden bridge was built - so precarious that it was tied to trees by heavy ropes when the Yarra was in flood!  It was replaced by today's stone structure in 1860.