Engine and Driver Hotel

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Fast Facts
Type of organisation: Business





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Fast Facts
Town or Locality: Gawler South


The Engine and Driver is the original name of the hotel now known as the Criterion Tavern, which is located at 18 Nineteenth Street, Gawler South (formerly Murray Street, Bassett Town), opposite the Gawler Railway Station. The hotel operated as the Engine and Driver from when it was first licensed in 1858 until 1863, when on the 14th September the proprietor Mr Catchlove applied to the Bench of Magistrates quarterly meeting to “alter the name of his house at Bassett Town from the Engine and Driver to the Criterion Hotel” (South Australian Register 15 Sep 1863).

Around the time of the name change the hotel underwent extensive building work. The Gawler Correspondent to The Adelaide Express reported:

“Great revolutions and alterations are taking place amongst our hostelries. The Engine and Driver Hotel at the Railway Station has become the “Criterion” and has been improved and beautified so as to form one of the most picturesque buildings of the kind in the colony. Mr Catchlove leaves us much regretted, and Mr Bassett succeeds him. (The Adelaide Express 9 Mar 1864).

It is sometimes suggested that the Engine and Driver Hotel was located at 13 or 15 Twenty First Street, Gawler South. However, the hotel at this address is likely to have been Evanston's Ram's Head Hotel.

For information and photographs of the hotel in later years see Criterion Tavern.


Engine and Driver Licensees 1858-1863

The following information has been gathered with permission from “Hotels and Publicans in South Australia” by J.L. (Bob) Hoad Adelaide 1986 ISBN 0 86745 002 9 and ISBN 0 9595446 2 3

1858 Causby G.

1858 - 1859 Eldridge J.

1859 - 1860 Catchlove C.

1860 Schmidt J.F.

1860 – 1861 Bassett W.

1861 – 1863 Catchlove H.

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