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The Old Pubs of North Adelaide

Royal Oak Hotel, O'Connell Street, North Adelaide, 1971

Photo taken 01 January 1971

State Library Catalogue Reference: B 60927

Gilbert, SH, photographer

According to Bob Hoad in his book 'Hotels and Publicans in South Australia 1836-1993' the Royal Oak was first established on the east side of O'Connell Street in 1855. The license moved to the present site in 1866. A balcony was added in 1881. The Baker family held the license from 1932 to 1974.

Adelaide, Thursday.
When John McCulloch’s name was called at the Criminal Court on Tuesday there was no answer and the hence ordered a warrant to be issued for his arrest. Yesterday morning a fresh complexioned Scotsman stood in the dock to answer a charge of inflicting serious bodily harm on Walter Bateman, Ferres, of North Adelaide, on May 5. The accused pleaded not guilty, and the jury returned a verdict of not guilty.

Ferres said that after going to a football match on Saturday afternoon he visited the Royal Oak Hotel, North Adelaide, to get a horse from some stables at the rear. He had one or two drinks and, went into the yard. Two men were standing there, and as he passed he was struck on the back of the head and knocked unconscious. He was taken to the Adelaide Hospital and afterwards moved to a private institution.
McCulloch: Were you drunk that afternoon? - No.
Do you remember calling anyone a "pommy"? --Never in my life.
Dr. Hobbs, Resident Medical Officer j at the Adelaide Hospital, said that Ferres was suffering from severe injuries to the face, and stitches had to be inserted in the upper lip and chin.
To McCulloch: Ferres was suffering moderately from the effects of liquor when he was taken to the hospital. His gait was unsteady and his speech was indistinct.
To Mr.. Eric Millhouse (Crown Prosecutor) : The injuries received might have added to his unsteadiness.
Joseph Henry Morris said that he saw a man strike Ferres. He went towards him and was also struck by the same man. He reported the matter to the police.
McCulloch: Are you not known as "Iron Bar Joe"? -Yes.
Constable Galvin stated that when he spoke to McCulloch about the assault he said: "A man has to defend himself when a fellow hits him on the head with a bottle." McCulloch was sober, and his head was cut and he bathed it at the police station.
Giving evidence on oath McCulloch said that he played football and changed his football clothes at the Royal Oak Hotel. After having a drink or two in the bar he went to the convenience where he met Ferres, who was in a drunken condition. Ferres said "You are one of these pommies." He replied "That's all right, cut it out." Presently Ferres struck him with a bottle, and as Ferres was drunk he took the blow without retaliating. He received another blow and fell down. Ferres was on top of him, and they were struggling on the ground for a while and then got up and parted.'
Barrier Miner, Thursday 9 August 1923, p1

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