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.
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.
|Article Date Event Date||Notes|
|30 Dec 1865||First 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 1869||First 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 1869||First newspaper reference to the "Druids' Hall".|
|24 Jun 1871||First 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 1871||First 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 1873||First newspaper reference to "Stoker's Hall".|
|5 May 1875||Adding five extra bedrooms for accommodation.|
|10 Oct 1878||Coronial 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 1903||The "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 1914||License was transferred from Charles Nelson to George Malbon.|
|21 Jan 1916||G. Malbon changes the name of the hotel from "Gold Miners' Home Hotel" to the "Central Hotel".|
|24 Jun 1916||Reduction in licensing fee for the Central Hotel.|
|17 Jan 1921||Central Hotel up before the Licenses Reduction Board.|
|18 Jan 1921||At 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 1921||Central 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 1926||Gold Miners' Arms hotel demolished.|