Sunday Evening in Gulgong

 

Edward Aldridge, who was better know to the general population of Gulgong as “Ned” was feeling very sore and sorry for himself. It had been a pleasant Sunday afternoon and the weather was fine. Along with many of the locals, Ned, was drawn outside into the streets, enjoying his day of rest, following the usual week of heavy toil.

 

As the sun set, and the cooler evening air moved in, many of the people congregated in Queen Street, near the Star Hotel.   Soon loud and angry words arose from the crowd. He could not recall later how it all started. Somehow, Ned found himself caught up in the melee as blows, not only with fists, but bludgeons, iron bars, fire pokers, driving picks and loaded whips, were wielded in wild abandon.

 

Concerned that his friend would find himself in trouble yet again with the constabulary, the publican, Mr Bindu urged Ned to come inside. He then closed the door to the crowds outside. Unfortunately that action led to the door and windows being smashed in before two policemen arrived and took three main offenders into custody.

 

Upon reading a report of the incident in the Town & Country Journal the following Saturday, 4 November 1871, Ned could not help but raise a rye chuckle at the conclusion of the article, which commented, “The damage to the heads and bodies of the belligerents must have been considerable, but may probably be repaired at less cost than that to the door and windows of the hotel.”

 

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