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POPPYCHRISTINA

The Australian House

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This article is about one of Sheffields lesser known pubs, the Australian House on Fawcett St at Netherthorpe.

My interest in this pub was stimulated by the discovery of an old family photograph which shows the pub and my grandmother as a young woman. The pub was licensed to her father, Henry Thacker at the time the photo was taken.

The pub was located on the corner of Fawcett St and Finlay Street and sold Berry's Ales which were brewed in Sheffield by Thomas Berry and Co Ltd which owned the Moorhead Brewery at the bottom of The Moor.

In 1884 the premises were used as a grocers by Arthur Leonard. By 1893, 23 Finlay Street is mentioned as being used as a pub under the licenseeship of one Robert Gunthorpe.

Henry Thacker (my great grandfather) had taken over the license for the pub in 1901. The 1901 census states that Henry was 34 years old and had been born in Waddington near Lincoln. His wife Rebecca was Sheffield born. They had three children,enry aged 6, Thomas aged 4 and Rose who was aged 2. They later had another son,William.

Rebecca's family owned a number of pubs in Sheffield and it was said by my grandmother that her father loved to visit them on a pub crawl. Her mother would then estimate how much Henry had spent on his crawl and would then take her daughter shopping and spend a similar amount on clothes or jewellery.

Thacker retained the license for the pub until 1926 although it seems that the premises may have become smaller as by 1913 84 Fawcett Street was being used as a pawnbrokers shop by Arthur Radford.

It is possible that the name of the pub, Australian House derives from two possible sources. One theory was that it was named in memory of the old pub on West Bar which had been named The Australian Arms. This pub seemed to stop trading c. 1893, about the same time as the Fawcett Street premises became a pub.

The other possible explanation for the name was that it was named after the nearby Australian Works based on St Phillips Road. This works was responsible for the manufacture of steel products such as saws. It is very likely that the pub was frequented by local workers wanting to quench their thirst after a hard days work.

When Thacker left the pub it passed onto Frederick Bunting and the address was given as 83 Fawcett Street and 23 Finlay Street. The pub existed until 1936 with Bunting still holding the license.

In post war years a new public house was built close by. This pub was called The Boomerang to maintain the Aussie link.

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Published in Beer Matters Issue 378 August 2008 by permission of David Burkinshaw.

Unfortunately the print of the photo is not good enough to print on this site. I will ask if we can have a copy.

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Lots to ponder on there, Thank you and Thanks to David.

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Lots to ponder on there, Thank you and Thanks to David.

The photo was taken c.1920-22 on the opposite side of Fawcett Streetfrom the Australian House.The photographer has probably got his/her back to St Stephens Church.

The two women in the photograph are on the left Rebecca Thacker, the wife of Henry Thacker and on the right Rose Thacker,the grandmother of David Burkinshaw.

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Does anyone know anything about the history of The Boomerang? I suspect it was probably built in the 1960s and it shut around 2001. It interests me as I used to work around there and the signs for the pub are still there 15 years later!

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On ‎10‎/‎03‎/‎2016 at 2:32 PM, theimposter1979 said:

Does anyone know anything about the history of The Boomerang? I suspect it was probably built in the 1960s and it shut around 2001. It interests me as I used to work around there and the signs for the pub are still there 15 years later!

That's because it keeps coming back;-),  It was a good pub in it's day with Maude at the organ and

a good old sing song.  Like most pubs of the day you had to get in early or you wouldn't get a seat. 

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I lived in the Boomerang from 69 to 72 my parents were landlord and landlady...It was a cracking pub at that time always full...That was before the decline of public houses started ...

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