Illawarra Hotels

Flash light greeted Mrs Riley’s drinkers after hours

By MICK ROBERTS © DURING the days of the ‘six o’clock swill’, after last drinks were called at Thirroul’s Ryan’s Hotel – at the time, the town’s only pub – swards of men would stagger down the road to continue… Read More ›

Unlucky pub roustabout was killed by a train while on his way to collect a £30,000 inheritance

By MICK ROBERTS © A drifter, William Price did most odd jobs around the pubs where he worked in return for boarding and lodgings. He did jobs like tapping beer kegs or barrels, to collecting glasses, cleaning toilets, and emptying… Read More ›

The rise and fall of billiard saloons and their notorious ‘sports clubs’

By MICK ROBERTS © RELIGIOUSLY, during most of the first half of last century, a steady stream of men could be seen crossing the road, backwards and forwards, from Bulli’s Family Hotel to the billiard and hairdressing saloon, on Saturdays…. Read More ›

The wild men of the 22 mile camp: ‘Here the visitor must either shout or fight’

By MICK ROBERTS © AMERICA’S Wild West could be considered tame compared to the wilderness separating what is today Sydney’s southern suburbs from the Illawarra region, during the mid to late 1880s. Notorious shantytowns sprang up in the bushland to… Read More ›

Debauchery at Sutherland’s Railway Hotel, where half-naked, drunken men fought, their ‘faces bruised and torn’

By MICK ROBERTS © THE workers camps that sprang up for the men building the South Coast railway and improvements to the Royal National Park, south of Sydney, during the mid to late 1880s became notorious for their violence and… Read More ›

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