Hotel Licencing and the Temperance Movement

The Licences Reduction Board was formed by the Victorian Government in 1907 in an effort to curb the number of hotels in Victoria. At that time there was in access of 3,507 hotels operating in Victoria. By 1920 the Board began to examine the hotels in Darebin. 

There was a strong Temperance movement in Northcote and Preston and on 21st October 1920 ratepayers were asked to complete a referendum on the future of hotels in Northcote and Preston. The three proposals put to the ratepayers were continuance of current liquor licences, the reduction of liquor licences or the removal of all liquor licences. The results were:

Continuance Reduction No licence
Northcote      2088         265         1930
Thornbury      1738          253         1943
Westgarth      1250          197         1222
Alphington     186            64          342
Fairfield          856           131          985
Preston           1439         209         1270

Despite the results of the referendum which split the communities down the middle the Licences Reduction Board opted for the more moderate approach of closing a selected few hotels. The three hotels which surrendered their licences were the Bridge Hotel, the Darebin Bridge Hotel and the Prince Alfred Hotel.

Edge, Gary (2004). Surviving the six o’clock swill: a history of Darebin’s hotels. Melbourne: Darebin Libraries.

Wright, Claire Alice (2003). Beyond the ladies lounge. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press.