Morning Star Hotel Williamstown

Here is a message from the owners of the Morning Star Hotel to say they will not be reopening after the lockdown ends . George

Wishing everyone well in these crazy times and wanted to say thank you to each and everyone of you for making the experience of living in and owning a pub an enjoyable one we will look back on fondly. It is with heavy hearts that we advise that we will not be reopening the Morning Star post this lockdown, the financial impact is simply too great. We thank the patrons, staff and local community with all of our hearts! Stay well, stay safe and we wish you all well for the future! From The Dean Family x

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Williamstown Morning Star Hotel

Good to see The Hobson Bay Council taking good care if this Bills water trough.
the repairs were done on site by Grimwares.

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The Lost Troughs of Audley

he Lost Horse Troughs of Audley

Posted on September 29, 2017by billshorsetroughs

  Lost Bills Water Trough.

This post was put up in Sept 2-17

Some years ago  when a young fireman was fighting a fire in the Royal National Park {RNP]  he noticed two abandoned horse troughs. He returned to this place some 20 years later to discover both troughs still there half buried in thick scrub some 30 metres from a main cleared area of the tip in the remote area known as Artillery Hill both were still there in the same neglected state.

One is a Bills trough and the other trough was manufactured by the Marrickville concrete company of Richard Taylor.

It is believed the two troughs were dumped there after a large fire destroyed the Old Audley Guest House 1975 which was once a very popular holiday resort. Rangers in the park are aware of the existence of these troughs and it was once thought the troughs could have been included for relocation in the Audley Master plan the State Government dedicated $1 million in its Heritage Projects budget in 2009 -2010. It seems a shame that so far nothing has been done the preserve them as they once played a very importance place in our  History, the troughs remind us  that man was once  dependent on animals for travel and the carriage of goods and that the horse was once an everyday presence on our streets.

Maybe is the RNP does not want them they could be donated to the nearby Sutherland Shire where they already looking after two Bills water troughs.

I invite people to send me photos of Bills troughs to they are always welcome..

On 14th July 2020 i posted these two Water troughs on a site called Old and Abandoned Australia the response has been amazing with over 800 likes and 250 comments . Note the parks management are aware of these two troughs and have said fiance is the reason they have not been recovered and put up on display for public viewing.

Regards George Gemmill. 22/7/2020

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Stanhope Bills Water trough

My hobby for over the past 30 years has been collecting photos and locations of where the water troughs donated by George and Annis Bills can still be seen . My list is about 350 now and always welcome people to sending me a photo of troughs.

Here is a short history and photos of some located near Stanhope. A map shows with red dots Victorian towns who have a Bill trough located there.

Always willing to pass on any information i have collected and to share for anyone seeking more can in box me at

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Water troughs stolen in the UK

Since September 2019 troughs have been reported taken from areas in south London and Kent: Penge, Bell Green, Downham, Chislehurst, Coombe Lane and Widmore Green.

According to Kent Police, the latest theft was a 8ft x 2ft (2.4m x 61cm) trough taken between 3-6am on January 5 from the A26 London Road in Southborough, near Tunbridge Wells.

Like most municipal animal troughs it is inscribed with the name of a donor, in this case the name of Sir David L Salomons with the date 1894.

Photos from Google street view June 2019

A second trough was reported stolen from Eridge Road in Tunbridge Wells, but Kent Police has not yet logged its disappearance. It is inscribed George and Annis Bills – Australia to one side, and to the end Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association (MDFCTA).

Historian Alan Underwood has catalogued and created a database of many of the MDFCTA community troughs and has been helping to collate information about these thefts.

He said: “I first started researching the MDFCTA’s fountains and troughs about 15 years ago.

“I came across the remains of five that had been stolen in London over a period of about five years previously.

“To my best knowledge, in the intervening 15 or so years before September 2019, only one further trough (in Woolwich) has disappeared.

“What has triggered the current spate of thefts?”

Anyone with information on any of the thefts should call the police on 101.Regarding the Penge theft, use the police crime reference number 3320094/19, for Chislehurst use the number 3320566/19 and for Coombe Lane it is 3838235/19.

Regarding the Tunbridge Wells troughs, contact Kent Police on 01622 604100, quoting reference 5-0425.

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Williamstown Water Troughs

Williamstown has two Bills water troughs in the Hobson Bay Council and both have recently received much need TLC done by Grimwades. one located in it original location sine about 1930 in front of the Morning Star hotel and the other one  which was in Nelson place in front of the Yacht Club was restored  and relocated in to Commonwealth Reserve.  Photos shows the repairs being done to these BHTs Well done to the Hobson Bay Council for preserving these two historical troughs for future generations to view

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Bangalee NSW Water trough

Just had some update photos sent to me for the Bangalee NSW trough where it located on Illaroo Road . Please send me any new photos you have ./ Keep smiling George

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Historical water troughs

Punch 19

Near Seymour there are two very large Historical water troughs they are in a very well preserved state and must be over 100 years old. Beside the troughs, mounted on a big boulder is a plaque which has engraved on it.

Top R H corner is a horse head and on the L H Side is a Slouch hat with Emu Plumes.

These troughs are dedicated to the Memory of the horses and soldiers who tented them while camped in the Seymour area during their service to the nation in time of war.

1914 –1918 to 1939— 1945.

 Dedicated on 21st June 1982.


When you visit this quiet site you can pause and reflex on the scene from many years ago when Solders from the Light Horse Brigades milled around to enable their trusty Steeds to relieve their thirst.

RIP all the light horse soldiers and their mounts.

 We will remember them.

George Gemmill Stanhope RSL Sub Branch.


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Bills troughs with Plaques

Just had a holiday and passed through these towns and good to see the BHTs are being looked after  plaques explaining the George Bills Story . The Orbost BHT is still in the Shire Yard in Shackleton street and have been told the Historical Society is working to have it restored and relocated at the Old Slab Hut in the Main Street.

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Bills Water Troughs

Posting some old photos of working horses we all once relied on horses for travel and delivery of good . It was George Bills wisdom that when he passed away he arranged for Water troughs to be supplied free of charge to let the horse have a drink of nice clean water .

many of these water trough can still be seen today and if you see any of them .I would appreciate if you could send me a photo to


Enjoy the photos George Gemmill

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