Who did run the Belgravia hotel in Nicholson Street Footscray in 1950? The answer is, George Stanley and Eva May Quinn. This reference inquiry was answered by searching the online, Tetlow index to the Robert K. Cole collection of hotel records: city and suburban hotels compiled by the State Library of Victoria’s Genealogy Team volunteer, Eric Tetlow.
The Index contains over 21,000 entries for select Melbourne and suburban hotel licencees and others taken from the original workbooks in the Robert K. Cole collection of hotel records held in the Library’s Australian Manuscripts Collection, (MS 7592). Transcriptions of entries in the workbooks are located on open access in the Library’s Helen Macpherson Smith Genealogy Centre, (G 994.5 C67H). The information covers the years c1841 to 1949 and was gathered by Robert K. Cole from various sources such as post office directories, newspaper notices and trade journals.
Searches for licencees (and others) and hotel names can be performed using the online Tetlow index… through the Library’s website. A search for the Belgravia hotel as a Hotel name provides the reference, Volume 2, page 149.
Following the Index entry (Volume 2, page 149) we see that George Stanley and Eva May Quinn took over the licence of the Belgravia hotel in July 1950 from Linda and George Henry Newsome. The page also presents a list of licencees of the Belgravia hotel between 1875 to 1917 (there is a gap between 1918 and 1949).
Of interest there is an annotation that reads, “Quinn’s had Rainbow hotel, Fitzroy & Grand, Warrandyte & G.S. Quinn had St Andrew’s, Queenstown”. Snippets of interest may be found for certain hotels including notices of funeral processions leaving a hotel, failed or withdrawn licence applications, fires, auctions and the occasional description of hotel interiors. From the entry for the Barkly Arms/Oriental hotel, Williamstown we learn that licencee Biddy Walker “was one of the greatest friends the sailor men ever had.”
If you think you have a hotelier in your family history you may wish to search the Tetlow index…
Even if you don’t have a hotelier, your relatives may have had an association with a particular hotel in an area. When I was a young boy my father and uncles would meet at the Royal Oak hotel in Nicholson Street, Fitzroy after the football each Saturday. The licencees at the time were Mr and Mrs Walsh, the parents of the well known television personality, Mike Walsh.