Ilfracombe Inklings: Wellshot Hotel

Joanne Robertson

Ilfracombe might be considered Gallifreyan, having two hearts like a certain Doctor.

I’ve told of one, our Post Office, and today I’d like to tell about our other heart, the Wellshot Hotel, otherwise known as the ‘Ilfracombe pub’ or, simply, ‘the pub’.

We have been as fortunate with our publicans as with our postmistresses, all being more than simply business people.

They are of and for the community, and our current publican is as much of an asset as our postmistress.

We are a lucky community, indeed.

Although neither an imbiber of alcohol nor coffee, I have had many occasions to enjoy the pub over the years.

The pub itself is an experience, with its rustic decor, including a collection of hats that were there when I first arrived.

One of my father-in-law’s battered work hats is there, and he still mutters that it is a perfectly good hat.

His brand is displayed as well.

And then there is the money on the ceiling, one of the most novel fundraisers I’ve ever come across.

But what really makes the pub a community hub is the friendly, dedicated staff who always provide warm, smiling service.

It’s a place to meet visitors and enjoy a good feed, a place for local fire brigade meetings, and countless other group functions.

It’s also a place where the community gathers for wakes, after laying to rest one of the members in the local cemetery.

And there’s the annual Christmas Eve party for locals, complete with barbecue and Santa Claus.

Many memorable events have been held on the grounds, from rodeos to concerts to fundraisers.

Plenty of times I have enjoyed the casual atmosphere of kids running tame while the grownups kick back and listen to some of the finest musicians Australia has to offer.

It’s also a place that has put Ilfracombe on the tourist map, drawing people from far and wide to experience what the pub and the town itself have to offer. What Tracy and her team bring to the community is inestimable in value, a real drawcard.

Last month the Wellshot received a well-deserved Community and Achievement award for their contribution to the local community.

They raise money for community groups and host fundraisers for families in need.

I’m sure much more goes on, but hopefully, this gives you an idea of how important the Wellshot Hotel is to the community of Ilfracombe.

It is indeed one of two hearts that bring us together in times of celebration and sorrow, good fellowship and purpose.

May our two hearts continue beating for Ilfracombe into the future.

We really are blessed to have them.