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.

  • Hotel Dynasty: Sarah Lindsay

    By MICK ROBERTS © OFTEN overlooked in the pages of history, women played a pivotal role in the day to day functioning of Australian inns and hotels. The wives of  pioneering publicans were often young and their duties were physically… Read More ›

  • Clifton’s lost pub – The Imperial

    By MICK ROBERTS © Time Gents was invited to a ‘meet and greet’ at Clifton’s former Imperial Hotel on the NSW South Coast back in 2015 to hear about plans for its restoration and transformation into an eatery and function… Read More ›

  • The ghost of Bulli pub

    By MICK ROBERTS © MISSING trays of glassware and boxes of spirits, mysteriously turning-up later, cutlery re-arranged in the dining room, locked doors found wide open, eerie taps on the shoulder, and weird sounds throughout the middle of the night,… Read More ›

  • Bellambi’s harbourside pub

    By MICK ROBERTS © WHILE many who call Bellambi home know of their historic watering hole by the railway station, some may be surprised to learn of their first pub, down by the sea. Today’s Bellambi Hotel – opened in… Read More ›

  • Parramatta Road’s Bald Faced Stag

    By MICK ROBERTS © SEVEN kilometres from the heart of Sydney, along the Parramatta Road at Leichhardt, is one of the city’s oldest trading pubs. Although built in 1926, the Bald Faced Stag Hotel has served up beer under several names… Read More ›

  • Heathorne, the Jamberoo brewer

    By MICK ROBERTS © WHEN 52-year-old Henry Heathorne arrived alone in Sydney from Portsmouth on the ship Candahar in the winter of 1842, he had a tough job in front of him. Heathorne, a Kent brewer, had been called upon… Read More ›

  • Barton’s bar: the flash Irish cabman

    By MICK ROBERTS© DESCRIBED as a “flash looking little cab driver”, Irishman Jimmy Barton and his wife Elizabeth established what is today considered Kiama’s oldest operating business. Trading as the Kiama Hotel on the corner of Teralong and Shoalhaven Streets,… Read More ›

  • The Stonemasons’ Arms/Victoria Inn Ultimo 1834-1867

    By MICK ROBERTS © RUBBING my hands over the damp, cold sandstone walls of what could be Sydney’s oldest pub cellar, I knew there was a story to be told. A brief tour around what remains of Edward Turner’s 1834… Read More ›

  • The Kennedy brothers

    By MICK ROBERTS © THE Kennedy brothers, Hugh, John and Richard attempts at respectability in Australia seemed to have started off on the right foot. The three Irishmen built a portfolio of properties, and established a profitable cattle trading business,… Read More ›

  • Before Sydney’s Hilton Hotel was the Bull’s Head Inn

    By MICK ROBERTS © SPEAKING at the officially opening of the Sydney Royal Arcade in 1882, a council alderman described the Bull’s Head Inn and surrounding shops as “massed filthy dens and cesspits”, and their demolition to make way for… Read More ›