by Sam Roderick
The Bank Hotel on King Street Newtown dates back to 1880 at which time Ralph Mason was the proprietor. The Bank Hotel was a popular location during this period for community and group meetings. Groups such as the Newtown Stonemasons and the Newtown Football Club would regularly meet at the Bank Hotel.
In front of the Bank Hotel was where all outward trams diverged off to St. Peters, Enmore and other places making it one of the busiest parts of Newtown. During this period there was no shelter from heavy rain or fierce heat for waiting tram passengers so they would often seek shelter under the verandah of the Bank Hotel.
In 1912 Newtown celebrated the Jubilee of the incorporation of the Municipality on December 12th 1862, there was a week of Jubilee activities that saw the Bank Hotel decorated along with most of King Street.
In 1913 the Hotel became known as ‘Croads Bank Hotel’ when Mr. Martyn Hyland Croad became the owner.
Applications for liquor licences, at the time, were required to be accompanied by a plan or sketch of the premises to be submitted to NSW Licensing Courts in the Sydney Metropolitan Area for approval. As such, during Mr. Croad’s ownership of the Bank Hotel, architect George A Marsh drew up a plan of the premises to be submitted to the NSW Licensing Courts in May 1916, the application was approved in June 1916. (A portion of the ground floor plan is available through the NSW State Archives and Records, record series Plans of Licensed Premises: Hotel Plans).
Mr Croad, passed away in 1916, leaving a widow, two sons and a daughter. As executor of Mr. Croad’s will his widow Isabella Sophia Croad transferred the licence to herself in 1917 before transferring the Bank Hotel to John Scott in 1918.
The Bank Hotel had a long list of owners and proprietors over the coming years including George Lilya, Henry Reid, Thomas Dowd, W. Meadows, Oswald Kennedy, James Heaney and H. Donnison. The hotel was remodelled in the 1930s.
In 1952 Mr. Francis William Metcalf became the licencee of the hotel and it became known as Metcalf’s Bank Hotel.
On the 4th of June 2010 an electrical fire occurred in the basement of the Bank Hotel, fortunately the fire was contained and extinguished before any damage was done to the historic hotel. The Bank Hotel still operates and remains a popular spot on King Street.
Flynn, C. (1994) King Street in the Twentieth century 1900-1950. Marrickville Council, Library Services Division.
Historical Atlas of Sydney
Howard, R. 1991. King Street / Enmore Road Main Street study: heritage paint scheme. Councils of South Sydney and Marrickville