Who remembers those classic commercials in which Remington shavers were spruiked by Victor Kiam, the man who famously “loved them so much I bought the company”?
Well, this is the story of the barmaid who loved the pub so much she bought it. Jo Scott started work as a kitchen hand in outback Queensland’s Wellshot Hotel when she was a 16-year-old schoolgirl. She wasn’t old enough to work in the bar. Born and bred in Ilfracombe, near Longreach in western Queensland, today Jo is the proud owner of the pub she practically grew up in.
“After I left and went away to college, I would come back on the train, get off and go straight to the pub to work behind the bar,” she told me when I was researching my book Great Australian Pubs. “I just love it; it has never been just a job for me, even though it is hard work.”
Ilfracombe’s only pub, the Wellshot Hotel is named after Wellshot Station – the largest sheep station in the world at the time it was built, 1890. And strangely, despite being 650 kilometres from the Queensland coast, Ilfracombe was named after a little seaside village in England.
I chose the Wellshot for my final guest blog for Tourism Queensland’s Pub of the Week series…but don’t worry, there’s still plenty of pub stories to come.