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.

  • Beer is not the best

    LITHGOW unionists, who have declared a “beer strike,” will inscribe on a “dishonor roll” the names of men caught drinking beer. This beer strike habit is growing serious. There has been an epidemic of it lately. Pretty soon the breweries… Read More ›

  • Largs Pier Hotel, Largs Bay

    Young Kangaroo Likes Her Drop Of Beer JOEY, an 18-month-old blue kangaroo doe owned by Mr. W. J. Parsons, manager of the Largs Pier Hotel, Largs Bay, (South Australia), joins her owner in a glass of beer every day-but no… Read More ›

  • Pubs of the Gippsland Mountains

    THERE is nothing in the colony of its sort to rival the rugged scenery of the North Gippsland mountains (Victoria), over which it is necessary to travel in order to reach Omeo and the Glen Wills goldfields. In fine weather… Read More ›

  • Royal Hotel, George Street, Sydney

    The Royal Hotel, George Street, Sydney 1870s. Mystery sword discovery in hotel basement WHEN the old Royal Hotel in George Street Sydney was demolished and preperation began on a replacement building in 1928, workers found an old sword in a… Read More ›

  • Queensland hotel advertisements

    WAY before the online services of Trivago and Wotif, there were other means to search for hotels in Australia. Most states had a “hotel and boarding house directory”, a small booklet listing the hotels, their features and prices. Here are… Read More ›

  • Entrepreneur and Publican James H. Shekleton.

    By MICK ROBERTS © NOT far from where once a long-forgotten bush pub traded, 450kms east of Perth in the Western Australian outback, sits the lonely grave of Scotsman, Tom Davidson. The goldfields of Western Australia are a strange last… Read More ›

  • Kinglake Hotel, Kinglake

    By MICK ROBERTS © THE terrifying roar of an approaching bushfire is a sound familiar to many a publican at the Kinglake Hotel – a small Victorian pub established in 1908. Located 56 km north-east of Melbourne, the pub is… Read More ›

  • Grog & Uncle Obadiah

    By JOHN QUINN “STRIKE me,” said Uncle Obadiah Quinn, “what’s this about a Kalgoorlie publican spending £2000 on additions to his premises to discourage excessive drinking?” “Name of Lionel H. Walker,” I said. “Licensee of the Boulder City Hotel.” “First… Read More ›

  • Local Taphouse, Darlinghurst

          Palace Hotel, Darlinghurst By MICK ROBERTS © THE Palace Hotel was first licensed in December 1878. A craft beer pub, specialising only in Australian brewed beers, the Palace at the corner of Flinders Street and South Dowling… Read More ›

  • Oroya Palace Hotel, Sandstone

    SANDSTONE is a small town in the Mid West region of Western Australia, 661km north of Perth. The town was first settled in 1894 as part of a gold rush. By 1907 the population of the town had swelled to over 6,000 and it… Read More ›