8 months ago

Fitzgerald's Town

was described as a "Pork

was described as a "Pork Butcher; then of the Springs Track Accommodation House, in the Lincoln district....Publican, and now of the Springs Track aforesaid, out of business, a debtor not in custody" suggesting that it may have survived for at least a few years. Demand for a public house in Lincoln continued to grow and Andrew Melville Arklie’s application for a wine and beer licence in December 1867 was supported by such well known Lincoln individuals as David Galletly, William Geddes, Henry Moffat, and William Tod. The text of his letter of application 11 reads: To William Sefton Moorhouse Esquire, Superintendent of the Province of Canterbury, and the members of the Executive Council. I Andrew Melville Arklie now residing at Lincoln in the Province aforesaid hereby apply for a Conditional Wine and Beer Licence for the house and appurtenances thereunto belonging situate at Lincoln aforesaid and to be known as “The Perthshire Arms” now occupied by me and I hereby certify and declare that no licence has been refused by the magistrates for such a house nor has any application been made for any description of licence for such house. The Commissioner of Police was of the opinion that since the house stood on a busy road and the nearest licensed house was four miles away a licence was justified. However, he added that it was impossible adequately to supervise premises so far from town and that the house could not provide accommodation for travellers halting for the night; a wine and beer licence allowed that wine and beer could only be served to persons taking a meal, there had to be one room set aside for females, and there could be no tap-room or bar. Nevertheless, in February 1868, despite any reservations the police may have had, the licence was granted, doubtless much to the satisfaction of its supporters! It is interesting to note that in that month Edward Burns, who at the time owned the section behind the hotel and fronting William Street, had unsuccessfully applied for a wine and beer licence in Lincoln. The Perthshire Arms must have been an imposing building for according to one newspaper report 12 it “stood out in conspicuous relief as viewed from the show grounds in all the glory of its first coat of paint - a brilliant red”. Within two years Arklie transferred the licence to Dutchman Joseph Henry Sluis, who with financial support from his wife Jemsina, bought the property for 400 pounds. Soon afterwards Joseph was granted a licence for a country hotel, and together the Sluis’s made the hotel a popular 20

social centre which not only catered for thirsty patrons but was also the venue of many public meetings and dinner parties as noted in the preceding chapter. Over the next few years the couple acquired all the land fronting the northern side of Market Square, except the section on the corner of Gerald Street and William Street, and the sections behind which in 1882, along with the Perthshire Arms, they sold to carpenter David William Bartram. At the same time Bartram also bought the adjacent section on the corner of Gerald and William Streets (Lot 1 Block V) where he built a substantial new hotel in brick, lately known as The Famous Grouse Hotel until it was damaged beyond repair by the earthquake of 4 September 2010. According to newspaper reports David Bartram was the builder, a Mr Glanville was the architect, and we may speculate that bricklayer George Jennings who lived in Maurice Street, just a stone’s throw away, laid some of the bricks. The new hotel opened on 1 October 1884, offering guests “splendid accommodation” including private family suites, the best wines, and especially for invalids, comfort, privacy, and quiet. All this, within 12 miles of Christchurch, was to be found in a healthy and beautiful locality and only two minutes’ walk from the railway station! It had a large cellar (20 feet x 16 feet and 7 feet high) and on the ground floor there was a commercial room, and a dining room, (both 18 feet x 16 feet), a billiard room (24 feet x 18 feet), a bar, kitchen, and rooms for the proprietor and his family. Upstairs there were 18 comfortable guest rooms. This building must have been luxurious compared to the Perthshire Arms and was described by the Lyttelton Times 13 as “a capital specimen of a country hotel”. To finance his venture Mr. Bartram took out mortgages with Christchurch brewer S. Manning and Company Ltd who for the next ten years was to be his sole supplier of colonial ale, beer, porter and stout. However, he settled his debt with Mannings within two years by passing title to them, who then sold to Pamela Kate Hill, whose husband F.L.K. Hill was a publican in Christchurch. The terms of sale were unchanged. When the Hills moved to Hawera in 1899 they leased the property to Elizabeth Campbell, a widow of Lincoln who soon afterwards married Thomas Yarr, and together they ran the hotel into the 20 th century. Sadly, the wooden Perthshire Arms building was burnt to the ground after it had been converted into the Lincoln Town Hall by Mr. Hill. Of this more later. 21

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