The Six O'Clock Swill
Australia Crest

The start of 1955, 1st February to be exact, brought the end to The Six O'clock Swill where drinkers had previously been restricted to finishing their hotel drinking early in the evening. It was a dire time before then with the beer guzzling frenzy being watched by bemused visitors and with drinkers being too scared to move from the bar for fear of losing their place.

Following a lost vote in 1947 the drinkers finally won with a narrow win in The Referendum of 1954. Pubs could now keep their doors open to 10.00 p.m.

The origin of the restrictions was a directive from the Federal Government to the States in 1916 following a riot amongst soldiers at Liverpool army camp. Restrictions were to be lifted after World War 1 but somehow the habit lingered on.

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