Stoker’s Hotel

John Stoker opened the “Gold Miners’ Arms” Hotel in Lambton in 1865 and was the licensee up until 1885. In 1869 Mr Stoker extended his premises and built a large upstairs hall (40 feet by 24 feet) that was often used for various meetings or social gatherings. This hall was often referred to as “Stoker’s Hall”, “Stokers Long Room” or “Druids Hall”. From around 1871 the hotel is also known as the “Gold Miners’ Home” hotel.

In 1916, the new licensee George Malbon changed the name of the hotel to the “Central Hotel” and continued to run it until 1921 when the Licenses Reduction Board delicensed the hotel, paying £1460 in compensation. George Malbon died later that year in September 1921, aged 63. The hotel building was subsequently demolished in 1926.

The University of Newcastle Cultural Collections has a couple of photos of this hotel, and by comparing these with one of the frames from a 1904 panorama of Lambton taken from the North Lambton hill, I was able to confirm that Stoker’s hotel was situated on the north-east corner of Elder and Grainger streets.

StokersHallND StokersHall1904

Stoker's Hotel. Photo by Ralph Snowball. University of Newcastle Cultural Collections.

Stoker’s Hotel. Photo by Ralph Snowball. University of Newcastle Cultural Collections.

The photo above is not dated but is probably in the period 1884 to 1885, as Ralph Snowball only started his photographic career in 1884, and John Stoker ceased to be the licensee in 1885.

Note at the extreme right in the photo above can be seen a sign advertising “Druids’ Hall”. The hall was constructed in 1869.

Sign for "Druids' Hall"

Sign for “Druids’ Hall”

The "Gold Miners' Home" hotel 1893. Licensee W. Baker. Photo by Ralph Snowball. University of Newcastle Cultural Collections.

The “Gold Miners’ Home” hotel 1893. Licensee W. Baker. Photo by Ralph Snowball. University of Newcastle Cultural Collections.

One frame from a panorama of Lambton in 1904. The "Gold Miners' Home" hotel is visible in the extreme left of this photo. University of Newcastle Cultural Collections.

One frame from a panorama of Lambton in 1904. The “Gold Miners’ Home” hotel is visible in the extreme left of this photo. University of Newcastle Cultural Collections.

Article Date Event DateNotes
30 Dec 1865First newspaper reference to the Gold Miners' Arms hotel - "On application a license for bagatelle, was granted to John Stoker, landlord of the Gold Miners' Arms, Lambton."
20 Mar 1869First newspaper reference to "Stoker's Hotel"
15 Jun 1869"Mr. Stoker himself is going to extend his premises by building an assembly room sufficiently large to contain 500 people. Such an edifice is very much wanted here, as there is not at present any place in the township (chapels excepted,) able to contain 150 persons."
17 Jul 1869 Mr. Stoker, of the Gold miner's Hotel, is about commencing a large concert-room, forty by twenty-four feet, to be fitted up with a stage, and other necessaries
27 Nov 1869First newspaper reference to the "Druids' Hall".
24 Jun 1871First newspaper reference to the "Gold Miners' Home" hotel. "TO LET in the rising township of Lambton, a Shop and Dwelling-house, with stabling, opposite the Gold Miners' Home. Apply to JOSEPH HUNTER on the premises."
1 Jul 1871First newspaper reference to "Stoker's long room".
18 Jul 1871
15 Jul 1871
Public meeting held in Mr. Stoker's long room, to nominate people for election to the first Lambton Council.
9 Dec 1873First newspaper reference to "Stoker's Hall".
5 May 1875Adding five extra bedrooms for accommodation.
10 Oct 1878Coronial inquest held at Stoker's Hotel into the death of Thomas Syemour and Robert Brown in Lambton Colliery's Mosquito Pit.
27 Nov 1885
25 Nov 1885
The license of the Gold Miners' Home Hotel, Lambton, transferred from John Stoker to William Ralph.
10 Dec 1903The "Gold Miners' Home" hotel is still referred to as "Stoker's Hotel" even 18 years after John Stoker ceased to be the licensee in 1885.
8 Oct 1907
6 Oct 1907
Death of John Stoker, aged 75.
3 Jul 1914License was transferred from Charles Nelson to George Malbon.
21 Jan 1916G. Malbon changes the name of the hotel from "Gold Miners' Home Hotel" to the "Central Hotel".
24 Jun 1916Reduction in licensing fee for the Central Hotel.
17 Jan 1921Central Hotel up before the Licenses Reduction Board.
18 Jan 1921At the license renewal hearing "Sergeant Harrison stated the building was composed of weatherboards, very old, but in a fair state of repair. Of the seven bedrooms, four were for the public use. Practically no catering was done for travellers."
20 May 1921Central Hotel to be delicensed and compensation paid - £1100 to owner, £360 licensee; total, £1460.
28 Sep 1921
26 Sep 1921
George Malbar [Malbon], the former licensee of the Central Hotel dies aged 63.
10 May 1926Gold Miners' Arms hotel demolished.

Shark attack

I watched two rugby league matches this weekend. Yesterday I watched my son’s under 15’s team beaten by the Belmont North Sharks 74 to 10, and today I watched my local NRL team the Knights go down to the Cronulla Sharks 62 to 0, for a combined deficit over two games of 126 points. That’s one hell of a shark bite. Ouch!

The Cronulla Sharks, moments before they cross for yet another try.

Moments before Sosaia Feki crosses for yet another try for the Cronulla Sharks.


Gutter language

It happened again this morning on my way to work. An elderly man (not the same man as before) doing his ‘civic duty’ by throwing rubbish into the drain beside Hunter Stadium. This time however, I foolishly decided to challenge him about this, and in return copped a gobful of abuse telling me to mind my own f****** business.

As I rode away afterwards I reflected … I’m a human being living on this planet … it IS my business to care about how humanity is trashing the planet.


HP2101nw wireless print server on 64 bit Windows

I bought a HP2101nw wireless USB print server for a bargain price from an eBay seller, and I had trouble getting it working on my Windows 7 64 bit laptop.When installing the software to configure the print server, there was an error about the driver not installing correctly, and the configuration software wouldn’t recognise the print server and allow it to be configured.

When I checked the system requirements I found that the HP support page only listed 32 bit drivers for Windows XP or Windows Vista. For a while I rued not checking the system requirements more carefully before purchasing, and thought I’d done my dough.

Img_4155But with a little more perseverance I found that a 32 bit Windows operating system was required only for the initial configuration of the device (to set the WiFi network and password) and after that I was able to get connections to the print server working from other Windows based PC’s.  The steps that worked for me were:

  1. Using a Windows 7 32 bit laptop, I installed and ran the configuration software from the supplied CD, and configured the printer server with the WiFi network and password.
  2. I then downloaded the Windows 7 32 bit driver as referenced in a discussion on the HP support forum.
  3. I was then able to install this driver on the following machines and get them connecting to the wireless print server.
    1. Windows 7 64 bit
    2. Windows 7 32 bit
    3. Windows 10 32 bit


A few months after writing this blog post, the print server just stopped working, and nothing I tried would resurrect it. The purchase turned out to be a dud after all.

Park Ave Then and Now

The photo below (from the University of Newcastle Cultural Collections) is looking along Park Ave Kotara, with Joslin St heading up the hill to the left. This new estate was being advertised in 1925 so I suspect that the photograph dates from the same time.

Intersection of Park Ave and Joslin St Kotara, 1925. University of Newcastle Cultural Collections.

Intersection of Park Ave and Joslin St Kotara, circa 1925. University of Newcastle Cultural Collections.