Glen Innes history: The social hub of Braemore

Under construction: Building Braemore in 1905. The building had a number of uses, including as a men's club.
Under construction: Building Braemore in 1905. The building had a number of uses, including as a men's club.

“Braemore” at 98 West Avenue was built in 1905 by William Augustus Cramsie, of “Glendon”.

Cramsie was involved in many organisations in the town and it is not surprising to find he served concurrently as mayor and Severn Shire president in 1914, 1915 and 1919.

By 1928, the Reverend H. K. Gordon, a former padre in World War 1, was living at “Braemore” as the vicarage was fully occupied by the Misses Walden’s Leighton Girls’ School.

Two dozen men... met at the Town Hall in February 1928, decided to form a men’s club, and by the end of the year, 98 West Avenue was theirs...

These ladies had taken over the former Church of England Girls School, which had opened in 1919 and ran until 1926.

Two dozen men led by Colonel J. F. White met at the Town Hall in February 1928, decided to form a men’s club, and by the end of the year, 98 West Avenue was theirs, as fortuitously, the girls’ school had closed, and the minister could return to the vicarage.

The first steward and housekeeper were John McCausland and his wife Eva who lived there until 1944.

As steward, John was to be on duty until 11pm, but it was expected that he would stay longer if required, without official overtime pay, as late stayers were to recompense him from their own pockets.

As well as indoor duties, he was responsible for the grounds and Eva did all the cleaning and supplied the meals.

Originally rates were bed and breakfast 7/6  - although this was reduced to 6/- during the depression in 1933 - luncheon 2/-,  afternoon tea 1/-,  cards 1/-,  use of tennis courts for a half day for four players or more 4/-.

A billiard table table was bought for £174/2/6 and a wall had to be knocked down to fit it in.

An early charge of  £10/- per night for horse stables was later reduced to 2/6 if horse bedding and feed were supplied by the member.

By 1930, social activities included snooker tournaments, monthly dinners, tennis nights, and a bridge night when members were permitted to invite up to six lady guests.

In 1980, Braemore received a heritage listing, although there were some unsympathetic additions, the Glen Innes building was still considered to have historic, social, architectural, aesthetic rarity and landmark state significance.