A view of Bourbong St, c1920s.
A view of Bourbong St, c1920s. Picture Bundaberg

10 old-timey crimes that prove we've always had a wild side

BAD behaviour isn't just limited to the modern era, as a quick flick back through local history shows.

View from Chapel Hill, Mt Perry, c.1904, showing QCC smelters and Railway Station in the background and the post office, Grand Hotel and Wesleyan Chapel in the foreground.
View from Chapel Hill, Mt Perry, c.1904, showing QCC smelters and Railway Station in the background and the post office, Grand Hotel and Wesleyan Chapel in the foreground. Contributed

Men get violent after drinks refusal

With myriad initiatives to get people to behave on their nights out, you could be forgiven for thinking the olden days were a quieter time.

Not quite so much...

In 1903, the quiet township of Mt Perry was the scene of a ruckus when two men were refused drinks one Sunday night.

John Robertson and Frank White were less than impressed with their predicament and started using stones to smash in the Railway Hotel's doors.

One of the stones hit the pub owner, Mrs Anderson.

Bundaberg Botanical Gardens.
Bundaberg Botanical Gardens. Mike Knott BUN280916BIRDLIFE12

Jail for indecent behaviour at botanic gardens

Ellen Bradford was sentenced to a lengthy six-month prison stay for indecent behaviour and exposure at the botanic gardens.

A man named Alix Solomon was also sentenced to 14 days' jail for a similar offence.

When did this happen? 1901, of course.

A poor cow was a victim of a vicious crime.
A poor cow was a victim of a vicious crime. Liana Turner

Sickening attack on man's cow

In 1900, an elderly man who made a living selling milk realised one of his cows had gone missing.

Horrifically, Mr Ogg found his cow beheaded one night, its head resting a metres from its body.

The act was reported to police though it is not sure if anyone was ever caught.

The newspaper at the time said there were hopes police would succeed in "running the perpetrator of the fiendish act to earth".

Drunk white men caused a stir, according to records.
Drunk white men caused a stir, according to records. Natali_Mis

'Drunken white men' cause a stir

In 1904, the newspaper reported that a "pitched battle was fought at McIlwraith St, Childers, between drunken white men and police".

The incident happened after a fight broke out outside the Royal Hotel, and when police tried to intervene, bystanders interfered - violently.

A flasher was sentenced to hard labour.
A flasher was sentenced to hard labour. Contributed

Sickening flasher gets hard labour

In a punishment that many would prefer to today's methods, a flasher was sentenced to hard labour in Bundaberg.

Gustav Larsen got six months prison time and hard labour after flashing a 12-year-old girl and a "married woman" in 1904.

He was charged with "wilful and obscene exposure of the grossest nature".

The Burnett River Traffic Bridge during a flood in the early 1900s.
The Burnett River Traffic Bridge during a flood in the early 1900s. contributed

Scoundrels attempt to rob pastor on bridge

A church pastor taught robbers a painful lesson on the Burnett Traffic Bridge one day in 1907.

Walking along the Burnett Traffic Bridge on a Wednesday afternoon, Reverend Frederick Radcliffe became the target of a group of robbers.

But they got swift justice from the reverend in the form of a buggy whip wielded with vigour.

Police caught them soon after.

Domestic violence was a prominent issue then, too.
Domestic violence was a prominent issue then, too. FLICKr

Woman shot in cruel attack

The Bundaberg Mail and Burnett Advertiser, on December 22, 1913, mentioned that a wave of crimes of jealousy - what we now understand to be domestic violence - had been taking over the country.

An English engineer, William Alfred Broadbridge, claimed he was perfectly sane and "not the least bit sorry" when he decided to shoot 22-year-old Christina Mewburn three times as she carried a watermelon at her mother's refreshment rooms in the city.

One shot missed, but the other two struck Miss Mewburn in each of her breasts.

Mr Broadbridge was charged with attempted murder and while Miss Mewburn recovered, one bullet remained lodged in one breast.

The Bundaberg Fire Station which was built where council offices now stand. It first opened in January 1918.
The Bundaberg Fire Station which was built where council offices now stand. It first opened in January 1918.

Fire alarms smashed by party-goers

Young people wandering home from dances were said to be to blame for the smashing glass on fire alarms in the city.

The revelations came at a fire brigade board meeting in 1921.

Superintendent Hampson said it tended to happen from time to time.

Condensed milk had a set price.
Condensed milk had a set price.

Shopkeeper fined for rip-off

A small business owner was prosecuted in Bundaberg for overcharging for Nestle condensed milk.

In 1921, it was reported that the milk was being sold for a third more than it should have been.

The shopkeeper received a fine for the offence.

Ratbags were putting cakes and fruit in community areas to encourage rats.
Ratbags were putting cakes and fruit in community areas to encourage rats. Tony Martin

Ratbags! Delinquents charged for encouraging critters

A strange trend seemed to have popped up across Queensland where groups of delinquents would throw cake, fruit and peanuts shells in places that would attract rats.

The bizarre trend was reported to mostly be happening in threatres and other public gathering places.


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