Author Archives

A newspaper journalist, writer and local historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in the Sydney and Illawarra regions of NSW for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides authoring a number of history books, Mick has owned and operated several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limted), Sydney based, City News, and is now with Torch Publications.

  • Lismore Hotel, Sydney

    LARGE signs in the bars of the Lismore Hotel, Pitt Street, Sydney now tell customers to move away from the bar after being served. The signs, 4ft by 3ft, have been erected by the licensee, Mrs Mary Keighery. Last week… Read More ›

  • Commodore Hotel, North Sydney

    THERE’S a modern looking pub trading at McMahon’s Point, North Sydney that gives no indication of its interesting connection with Colonial Sydney. John Blue was granted a license for a two-storey sandstone inn on March 7 1854. He named his… Read More ›

  • Waiter, there’s a moth in my beer!

    LIFE is tough, mighty tough in Derby, in the far north-west of Western Australia. There the moths not only invade the bar and hamper people drinking, but also mop up the beer themselves. There’s not much to do in Derby… Read More ›

  • Waterworks Hotel, Botany

    THE Waterworks Hotel at Botany will reach a significant milestone next year when it marks its 150 year anniversay. Named after the nearby Sydney Waterworks, which was established in 1858, the little pub at the corner of Bay Street and… Read More ›

  • Royal Hotel, Lismore

    LIKE OLD TIMES – At about midday on Thursday, a young man drove up to the front of the Royal Hotel, in Molesworth Street, Lismore, got out of the sulky, took the horse out and tied him up to the… Read More ›

  • Sydney’s stolen beer glass epidemic

    DURING the 1940s, Sydney’s pubs experienced a huge problem with customers stealing beer glasses.  In Sydney’s 600 hotels during 1944, the weekly loss of beer glasses by theft and breakages was estimated by the United Victuallers Association, the forerunner of… Read More ›

  • Grand Hotel, Goomeri

    THE classic art deco Grand Hotel at Goomeri in Queensland was re-built in 1943 after the original pub was destroyed in a tragic fire that killed the publican and his wife, a barmaid, and five guests on December 23 1939…. Read More ›

  • Imperial Hotel, North Sydney

    IN SHADOW OF PYLON AVOIDS AXE Standing in the shadow of the northern pylon of the Bridge is an old building, now known as the Imperial Hotel, which has a romantic as well as an historic connection with the great… Read More ›

  • Commercial Hotel, Morpeth

    By MICK ROBERTS © CONTINUING our road trip to the Upper Hunter, our next port of call was the Commercial Hotel at Morpeth. There seems to have been two Commercial Hotels in Morpeth, the first licensed by Moses Murphy in April… Read More ›

  • Kalgoorlie’s many pubs

      LEGEND has it that at one stage you couldn’t throw a stone in Kalgoorlie without hitting a hotel. Here’s a list of pubs that traded in the Western Australian gold mining town, put together by Perth newspaper, the Western… Read More ›