Email: info@mudgeehistory.com.au
Author/Administrator: Diane Simmonds
Mudgee, NSW
Phone: 0488 065 456


 

 

 

 

 

MUDGEE MENS CLUB

BRIEF HISTORY

by Barbara Hickson

Architect and Heritage Adviser (c)

 

 

 

 

 

MUDGEE MENS CLUB

BRIEF HISTORY

 

History

5 Lovejoy Street: for the Mudgee Club (circa 1906)

 

The property on which the Mudgee Club house is built was initially surveyed as part of  Lot 2 Section 9 and granted to George Cox as a Crown grant on the 5th December 1838 along with all of the blocks in that section.

 

George and Elizabeth Cox later sold land through real estate agent Henry Crofsing (later spelt Crossing). At this time the street was known as Market Place and Robertson park opposite was the Market Square.

 

aerial.jpg

 

It is believed that this land may have been the site of the first Kellet store in Mudgee when young William Kellet and his partner Nicholls Powell opened a small temporary outlet for McArthur and Co. of Sydney.[1] However the young store men soon moved to the Westend of Market Street.

 

 

The Mudgee Club building was probably constructed around 1906-1911 and  designed by architect Harold Robert Hardwick. At that time he may have been an alderman on the Mudgee Council. [2]

John Broadley provides the following history of Harold Hardwick which is available on the Mudgee Historical Societies website http://www.mudgeemuseum.com/?i=523/mudgee-architect

Harold Robert Hardwick (A.I.A.) was born 6 November 1866 at Rylstone, sixth child and fifth son of John William Hardwick and Rebecca, nee White. John William Hardwick, born circa 1826, was a son of William Hardwick, a merchant of Leeds in Yorkshire, and his wife, Mary Ann, nee Farrar. William had died in 1840, and Mary Ann had subsequently remarried to Henry Oxley. John William's health and his relationship with his step-father prompted him to emigrate to Australia and in August 1852, at the age of 26, he set sail on the maiden voyage of the Great Britain to Melbourne. The Great Britain was the first vessel to be jointly powered by steam and sail.

John William brought substantial capital with him to Australia – £1,000 – and travelled around Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales. Whilst in Sydney, he painted many delightful sketches of the eastern suburbs.

He settled in Rylstone, east of Mudgee, establishing a general store, and in 1856 in the Wesleyan Chapel at Rylstone, John married Rebecca White, born in 1836, daughter of George White and Alice, nee Burden, of Rockville, Rylstone. John and Rebecca had ten children, all of whom were born in Rylstone; three did not live to adulthood: George (1857), Edward (1859), William (1860), Arthur (1862-1878), Lilian (1864), Harold (1866), Charles (1868-1882), John (1871-1880), Alice (1874) and Reginald (1876). In 1859 John began the construction of a sandstone house in Rylstone known as Hedingley, which still stands, and the adjoining store.  John served on the local school board for many years, was a lay preacher, a Justice of the Peace and a magistrate.  He died at Ryde in 1891 and Mary Ann died at Ashfield in 1910.

Little is known of Harold Hardwick’s early life. After qualifying as an architect, Harold practised in Sydney until 1898, when he moved to Mudgee and established his architectural practice in Davidson's chambers in Market Street East. In 1898 he married Adele Florence Wells, born in Mudgee in 1878, daughter of Henry Edward Alexander Wells and Laura, nee Richards.

Harold and Adele had five children, all born in Mudgee: Effie (1899), George (1901), William (1903), Adele (1906) and Charles (born and died in 1908).  According to his grandson, the Reverend Alfred Robert Hardwick, Harold was a strict Methodist who went to church every Sunday and he was one of the first to have a car in Mudgee. Harold died in Mudgee in 1935 and Adele died in Mudgee in 1943.    

Harold Hardwick's Briefs

·         Many of Harold Hardwick's architectural briefs in the district are well-known, but there are also many houses and commercial premises in the town which may be attributed to him. Notable items, with approximate dates of design or construction, include:

•    Pharmacy, Market Street: for Ebenezer Sheppard, later Elton’s (1896)
•    Forgandenny, 19 Short Street, for Dr Charles Lester (1898)
•    Mt Pleasant, Cassilis Road: for Adam Roth jnr (1898)
•    Additions to Heaton Lodge, Mudgee: for James Loneragan (1900)
•    Lauralla, cnr Mortimer and Lewis streets: for H. E. A. Wells (1902)
•    Chapel and extensions to stables at Havilah, Mudgee: for Hunter White (1906)
•    5 Lovejoy Street: for the Mudgee Club ( c.1909)
•    Fairview, Bombira: for John Frederick Roth (1906)
•    Kojinup, cnr Market and Lewis Streets: for William Hattersley (1906)
•    Yatala, cnr Court and Gladstone Streets: for John Kellett (1907)
•    Rexton, Douro Street: for William Richards Lester (1908)

·         5 Lovejoy Street: for the Mudgee Club ( c.1909)
•    Warrungunyah, Ilford: for Walter Sydney Suttor (1910)
•    Buildings at Mudgee Hospital (1910)
•    Wollar Anglican Church (1914)
•    Wollar Catholic Church (1914)
•    Shenstone, Lawson Street: for Richard Loneragan (1918)
•    13 Lovejoy Street: for Thomas Lovejoy, Town Clerk (1915)
•    Kandos Anglican Church (1921)
•    Masonic Lodge renovations, Perry Street (1923)
•    Broughton Private Hospital, Short Street: for Matron Campey (1925)
•    Additions to Heaton Lodge, Mudgee: for J. E. Loneragan (1926)
•    Sunday School, Mortimer Street: for Methodist Church (1927)
The above list is not definitive.

Spenfield, at 73 Lewis Street, was for many years Harold Hardwick’s own residence. This original house (date of construction not known) survives and was extended in 2000.

Harold Hardwick also undertook numerous briefs in the Central West and beyond, where resident architects were no doubt rare. He designed a substantial Catholic Church for Moree, the plans for which survive but which does not appear to have  been built. He also appears to have designed numerous buildings in his home town of Rylstone.

streetscape 1921

 

Part of a streetscape photo in the Mudgee Club dated 1921 and the work of a Sydney photographer HG McBurney of Castlereagh St Sydney. (Excerpt from a Photograph on the wall of the Mudgee Club. BjH)

 

 

 

 

 

The history of the Mudgee Club

 

The Mudgee Club[3][i] began its existence in 1900.  In a letter to James Loneragan by Ted Loneragan in 1900 it is suggested that the club was created in an attempt to overcome the town’s “petty snobbery and class distinction in welcoming a wide variety of members.” 

 

The first meetings were held in the back rooms of the offices of  Crossing & Cox in Lovejoy Street (then Market place).  Mr. GH Cox who  was a grazier and very well known in the district, addressed the meeting and  become the Club’s  first president.

The club started its first bank account with the Bank of NSW on the 31st August 1900. At that time the president was GH Cox with vice presidents CD Mears, R Rouse jnr.  and S Nickoll; secretary CJ Barker and at least seven committee members including GM Rouse, JH McEwen, JW Duesbury,  ER Loneragan, Jas. Parker, HC Charlton and Henry Crossing.

Mr. GH Cox’s  leadership of the club was short lived when he died at his house at  Burrundulla, on 28th November 1901. The Sydney Morning Herald on 3rd December 1901 made reference to the many tributes to this pioneer whose funeral was held at St John's Church and conducted by the Bishop of Bathurst.

First President COX

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. GH Cox First president of the Mudgee Club

A special purpose building was constructed on this site. Harold Hardwick the architect was engaged, possibly as early as  1906  to design the ‘Gentlemen’s Club’ house. The date of the opening was shown as Tuesday 15th June  without a year noted, but 1909 was deduced as the likely year by R. Lamond.[4] Herbert McPherson was secretary.  (HM was secretary from 1909 to 1943 – so other possible opening years are 1915 and 1920. ) The opening was celebrated by a ‘smoke evening’.  In a photograph of the occasion the building was not quite complete with front balustrade, pedestrian gate and path way still under construction.

 

 Mudgee Club House c

 

The purpose of the club was largely social. They provided their members with a place to play billiards and pool, provided newspapers and periodicals such as the WW1 magazine called The Sphere, ran the occasional party such as New Year’s celebrations, made donations to good causes such as the Red Cross  and they assisted with town events such as the centenary celebrations in 1921. (Perhaps this was when the McBurney photograph was taken below).

 

streetscape and park 1921 extra

 

The Mudgee Club took out a liquor license, in July 1930.

The club was usually struggling to stay solvent and raised money by payment of member’s dues, sales of refreshments and having poker machines. From 1936 members who were 3 years in arrears for membership fees were expelled. It was not until 1939 that a finance committee was established. A mortgage on the property was paid off in 1942.

 

A club calendar in 1968 shows the clubs main activities being Billiards and Pool,  Cricket, Golf and a Melbourne cup party with sweep. In 1973 card games were introduced where ladies were encouraged to attend.

 

There were various club renovations and extensions including repainting and more major additions and renovations in 1969 costing 4,000 pounds.

floor planIn 1976 alterations to the rear of the building included adding a cool room, and changes in the toilet areas.

Prior to this major additions to the east side of the building were planned but not executed.

FLOOR PLAN IMGThe Club however did not thrive and various attempts were made to halt the financial decline. As a men’s only club it had become somewhat of an anachronism , belonging to an earlier period of time, whilst when it started it was probably considered ahead of its time.

In 2006 an extraordinary meeting was held to decide whether to amalgamate with the RSL or the golf Club. The Golf club was the decision but this was delayed for a year due to legislative changes. On the 25th November 2011, 110 years on from its inception, members resolved to wind up the club. The President at that time was CH Cox, a descendant of the founding president.

The lower  plan has been developed from two existing plans of the building and on site building fabric. An undated plan indicates the fireplace between the Lounge and Bar which is no longer there. Otherwise the building still contains most of its original wall fabric. Ceilings were probably all pressed metal and some of these in the lounge- bar area have been removed.

 

 

 

honor roll WW1

Various items of fixed and loose furniture are still within the club rooms.

  1.  The list of past office bearers of the Mudgee Club is located on a wall in the club room as shown below. There are portraits of most of the presidents along the south wall of the main club room.

 

 

 

 

 

notice board club

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. A timber honor roll commemorating WWI

 

  1. Text Box:
    Portraits of past presidents: 1900 to 2010

 

 

 

 

  1. Marble plaque commemorating V. Cox and J. Wright who served in WWII

memorial

  1. Billiard and Pool equipment

 

P1010600_0156

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Chairs, tables,  and loose other items of loose furniture

letter rack

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



[1] History of Mudgee by Ernest Hume p 103

[2] Australian Town and Country Journal 6 sept 1905

[3] The Principal reference for this history is ‘The Mudgee Club’ by  Robert Lamond A compilation of records.

[4] The nearest Tuesday 15th fell in 1909 when the man who sent out the invitations Mr. Herbert McPherson was secretary.



 


 

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