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Continental Hotel, Broome

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The old Conti before demolition. Photo: Bruce Howard.

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The new Conti nearing completion. Photo: Bruce Howard.

By John Larkins *

THERE could have hardly been a more Australian pub than the old tin Continental at Broome. A great, ugly edifice but oh, so charming. One day they decided it had lived too long.

So they began to build a smart new pub behind it, but they used their imagination – the interior decorators came from Perth and sat in the old bars to absorb the atmosphere. And finally they created a new pub which looked almost as ancient as the original.

In a country where so many old places are being ruthlessly destroyed, it is a refreshing sight.

Personalities at the Continental Hotel, Broome. Photos: Bruce Howard

IN the early 1970s, writer, John Larkins and photographer, Bruce Howard went on a 40,000km pub crawl around Australia, telling their wives, “Don’t wait up!” With Larkins wonderful words, and Howards’ fabulous photos, they chronicled an amazing snap shot of Australian pub culture – many, both people and pubs, which have now gone. From that expedition they had published “Australian Pubs”. These are excerpts from the now out of print book.

 

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Categories: Western Australia hotels

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