Where there’s a thirst, there’s a way

They found a way out when there was beer in plenty, but no glasses

jockey E Britt speaking to Mr G S Luscombe at races New South Wales 12 October 1932 Fairfax Media

Jockey E. Britt speaking to Mr G.S. Luscombe at a NSW race meeting, October 12 1932. Luscombe was licensee of bars at most Sydney race and sports grounds during the 1940s. Picture: National Library of Australia/Fairfax Media.



With beer at a premium at Harold Park yesterday, Mrs Edna Taylor, of Paddington took a kitchen cup.


Brigadier G. B. Kennedy, Concord West, found a paper cup satisfactory. Glasses were hired on a deposit of 6d.

MANY Harold Park patrons who did not have tumblers in their pockets yesterday slipped into the tea room, ordered a cup of tea, tipped out the tea and smuggled the cup into the bar.

Hard-heads after they had had their fill, sold the cups for 2/- each to less enterprising but equally thirsty individuals. When barmen were instructed not to fill glass and china cups ingenuity was undaunted. A single glass taken often to the bar filled friends’ cups.

Reason for these manoeuvres was that Mr. Gordon S. Luscombe, licensee of bars at most Sydney race and sports ground, had announced that, because of enormous loss of glasses, Harold Park dog-racing spectators would have to take their own drinking vessels.

From pockets, parcels, and handbags, men and women produced domestic tumblers and goblets, paper cups — and the whole range of ULVA glasses “souvenired” from hotels.

Those who had not made wise provision had to choose between:

  • Hiring a glass from a stall for /6 (Mr Luscombe had provided 60 dozen in the Paddock, 30 dozen in the Leger).
  • “Lifting” a cup from the tea room.
  • Obtaining a glass from a middleman and no questions asked- 2/- was the ruling price, 3/- common. Borrowing from a friend, or even from a stranger.

Robert Wilson, of Balmain, brought his own tumbler and tucked it in his coat pocket when not using it.

Yesterday he lost 42 dozen of the 80 dozen he hired out at Harold Park, as against a normal 37 dozen lost. But he was undaunted. He said: “They may bring these glasses with them next, time.”

Mr. Luscombe said glasses cost him /6S each. He had had to buy 15,000 dozen glasses this year. Not only were his losses uneconomic, but they were impos-sible to replace.

Next year his supply of glasses would be cut to 60 per cent. Racegoers’ views were:

Miss M. Thompson, barmaid Wollongong: “What else could he do? People have only them selves to blame”.

Mr. Lyn Murray, wharflaborer Randell-street, city: “This is over the odds”.

Mrs. Vera Kennedy, Matlin street, Rozelle: “It is more hygienic and scarcely an inconvenience to bring your own glass in your handbag”.

Mr. G. F. Raymond, bricklayer, Hampden-road, Artarmon: “What a blow to morale! This extra nerve-strain ruins a quiet afternoon’s drinking”.

– Sydney Sun December 3 1944


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Categories: beer glasses, Sydney Beer

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