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If it's from a distant time, dilapidated, down-and-out or doomed – we'll be fascinated!



AMRM Review

And the Salvation Army Band sings When the Saints Go Marching In
Dubbo
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Our Telecom pagers have been receiving a few messages from our readers, as to what is happening with volume two of the Walsh Island Dockyard book? Well, we recently took out a short term lease on this commercial property at Dubbo. Being locked away from the outside world and with the spirit of the Salvos on our side, within our 1935 surroundings, much brainstorming was made. With assistance provided by the Tooheys brothers and energy gained from mixed grills, volume two's progress has nearly reached the proof reading stage. After this stage, we will be off to the printers.

Octoberfest 2014
Octoberfest 2014
Octoberfest 2014
Bow River Publishing headed to Ardlethan NSW, for our annual Octoberfest in 2014. Although, we do struggle to find our inner German, we do embrace consuming beer and food. 2013's Octoberfest had a few hick-ups at Collarenebri for the team. This time over in 2014, we ensured that we had enough fuel for the return trip home. It does unfortunately seem, that we here at Bow River Publishing are cursed by rural hotel closures. The first casualty encountered was the closed Palace Hotel in Ariah Street.
The Palace Hotel at Ardlethan. So imposing, yet so down-and-out in 2014. With out steins of beer, german sausages and beef schnitzels, the team headed for another venue to celebrate.
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Octoberfest 2014
Octoberfest 2014
Although so close to the busy Newell Highway, which links Queensland to Victoria via regional NSW, there are some endearing aspects of Ardlethan that progress has forgot. This image shows classic retro advertising in Ariah Street, reminding the Bow River Publishing team of life back in the pre 1980's. A time when we enjoyed long work lunches with prawn cocktails and packets of Winnie Blues.
For Bow River Publishing's pubophiles, this image is of much interest. Approx 500 metres off the Newell Highway is the London Hotel Motel at Ardlethan. This impressive motel sign being used to draw in the tired and fatigued driver. The London Hotel Motel is an interesting study of pub culture the original hotel faces the railway line and the circa 1960s add-on motel faces the highway. An example of how travellers emabraced road transport as opposed to rail travel. .
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Octoberfest 2014
Octoberfest 2014 salvation. The London Hotel was where we bunkered down. In order to celebrate with our 'Oktoberfest' comrades in their tents in Germany, we chose to spend the sixteen day drink fest under the mild Australian skies at the London Hotel. During our sixteen days we read, drank, wrote and learnt many useful pieces of information, which may unearth in future publications? In the town which proclaims to be the home of the kelpie dog, and with a belly full of sauerkraut and Tooheys Old, life was good. It was a dampner though, to be reminded about the cessation of passenger service to Ardlethan that occurred in 1983. The 489 km trip out of the Coolamon Shire and back to crowded Sydney, allowed us time to consider where we may spend Octoberfest in 2015?

Bow River Publishing's Walsh Island Dockyard book
featured in the Newcastle Herald

Walsh Island Book
download


Click on the image for a larger versionNorth Western Motors Neon
During 2010, Bow River Publishing's vehicle required repairs at Mungindi
NSW. Overheating and desperate - we were filling up the leaking radiator
using hot twist tops that we had rolling around in the back, in order to get
us across the Queensland border. We had to wait till a book royalty cheque
cleared, to allow sufficient funds in our account to pay our bill. We
thought our old Bankcard in the glove box would have worked?

Click on the image for a larger versionNorth Western Motors Neon
North Western Motors Mungindi's neon sign. Making a signage heritage
impression on visitors entering NSW.

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Hoges Night


Thanks to our employees and readers who attended our Paul Hogan concert night. The night has refreshed our motivation to live-by, research and appreciate all things from Australian culture in the 1970s and 1980s. We needed this Oz culture energy burst to sustain us. On ya Hoges, Leo Wanker and Arthur Donga!

Bow River Publishing's tour to south west NSW during July 2014

Bow River Publishing's promise to visit our NSW south west customers occurred during July 2014. The weather was cool, book sales moderate and a number of our old stomping ground watering-holes were sadly closed. Some of these pubs we had hoped to conduct book signings at. The golden age of country pubs, our youth and tolerance for hangovers is diminshing.

Royal Hotel at Canowindra
Junction Hotel at Canowindra
When the team is on the road, with have a strict highway code. No take-away food from Uncle Sam is to be consumed. As such, counter meals at the Royal Hotel at Canowindra require our attention.
The Junction Hotel at Canowindra. For the research team, kegs on the footpath indicated that the taps were flowing, and provided lubrication to unlock 'writer's block'.
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Criterion Hotel in Young
Railway Hotel at Cootamundra
Neon signs are now a rare and endangered species. Failed transformers and broken tubes have taken their operating toll. One such example of Claude Neon's finest, is still mounted above the awning at the Criterion Hotel in Young.
We had hoped to conduct a book signing and sales weekend at the Railway Hotel at Cootamundra. Sadly, this once proud pub is now a victim of job losses caused by railway mechanisation and rural decline.
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Railway Hotel at Cootamundra
Terminus Hotel at Tocumwal
Battered and bruised, the former Railway Hotel at Cootamundra.
Under gloomy conditions, the Terminus Hotel at Tocumwal contemplates its survival.
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Terminus Hotel at Tocumwal
Victoria Hotel at Forbes
During Bow River Publishing's south west NSW tour, we were struck by this patriotism and national symbolism atop the Terminus Hotel at Tocumwal. We toasted this promotion of Australian fauna - possibly used to impress colonial Victorians on the eve of Federation?
Travelling vast distances across the south west plains, we tried and were unable to have anyone answer the phone at the Victoria Hotel at Forbes. The tentative plan was to have a book signing and sales weekend at this sprawling art deco temple to rural beer consumption. Unfortunately, the pub is now empty. The glory years are over - even the word 'Victoria' is removed and no longer acknowledged in the current day.
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Star Hotel at Narrandera
Conargo Hotel
The Star Hotel at Narrandera is an unfortunate study of rural decline. Closed as a hotel in 1973, our senior historian suspected that this watering hole was an early victim of highway motel construction - popular for travelling families to use as their accommodation preference. Also, the sizeable loss of railway jobs caused by the replacement of steam by the early 1970s, diminshed the requirement for such grand accommodation to be provided in the country.
Driving all night, for the hope of an early opener or to buy a Conargo Hotel sticker, the pub wasn't open for trading! With the tyres inflated again - full of fuel but low on cash - the Bow River Publishing team headed north. By evening, our convoy would hit the edge of the City. But, our hearts and interest were left on the back roads in south west NSW somewhere.

Bow River Publishing's Customer Conference Coffs Harbour 8 June 2014

Bow River Publishing's promise to visit our NSW north coast customers occurred at the Coffs Hotel. An impressive inter-war period built hotel, we managed to have entertainment provided by Oz Pub Rock royalty The Angels.

Coffs Harbour Customer Conference
Coffs Harbour Customer Conference
Thanks to our like-minded disc jockey for the night, the master of Oz Pub Rock tune requests, Mr DJ Bisho.
Bow River Publishing's readers Peter (aka) String from Grafton and Neil from Coffs Harbour.
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Coffs Harbour Customer Conference
Coffs Harbour Customer Conference
Thanks to Adrian for attending, travelling from the Atherton Tablelands via Port Headland.
Keeping a tradition from the stone age alive in 2014, Bow River Publishing's customers lining up for a Kebab, post beer fest, sometime after midnight.

Nothing Stopped Us On The Field In Our Day

The Bow River Publishing team are on the verge of releasing Volume 1 of the Walsh Island Dockyard book. Glad that we have nearly reached the finish line, we thought that it was time to 'go bush' again. A time to recharge the batteries and remind ourselves which country pubs and towns that we were no longer self-excluded from. Donning our Devo Energy Dome hats - we headed west. Heading over the Nepean River, up over the Blue Mountains and we would settle down at Oberon NSW. Our mission was to retrace the classic video clip of Cold Chisel's 'Flame Trees'. With the clip a product of 1984, we were uncertain as to what monuments would be left? Would the servo still sell leaded petrol or were we able to drink Fosters off the tap?  So many hard questions with no easy answers. After a week of toil and trouble, we present seven photos as a memento of what 2014 still has to offer to Cold Chisel junkies. We only spent thirty days emersed in the town and viewing the video clip - so this is far from a total thesis on the subject.

The Tourist Hotel Oberon
Interior of the Tourist Hotel
The Tourist Hotel Oberon. This hotel featues most of the interior pub footage of the video clip. 'Number two is the happy hour at one of the two hotels'.
Interior of the Tourist Hotel. Where are the blue collar workers at the bar from 'timber town' these days?
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Interior of the Tourist Hotel
The Royal Hotel Oberon
Our senior photographer at Bow River Publishing has an eye for photos. 'There's no change, there's no pace'.
The Royal Hotel Oberon. One of the two hotels - as mentioned in the lyrics of the song. Of note with this watering hole - is the illuminated sign roof top advertising log fires.
The National Australia Bank Oberon
Garage used in the 'Flame Trees' clip
The National Australia Bank Oberon. This scene is in the opening parts of the 'Flame Trees' clip. 'Kids are driving Saturday afternoon..just passing by'.
Our research team believe that this garage is in fact the one used in the 'Flame Trees' clip. This is likely where the prodigal son returns to shake the hands of the mechanics, prior to him returning to the pub to find his lost love.
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Is this the famous wall? Belonging to the 1937 built Malachi Gilmore hall, we suspect that the Cold Chisel 'Last Stand' poster at the end of the clip was mounted on this spot? We have taken lead based paint scrapings to help identify this theory.

Bow River Publishing Predict the Future

Bow River Publishing's seminal publication 'Fall of the Bar' is now recognised as predicting the future. Unfortunately, the future isn't inspiring and it looks bleak.

Our team of scribes, wannabes, drifters and plodders keep advising us, that out there, in the cities or in the bush, the bar is indeed falling. Whether it is the local bowlo, rissole (RSL), or pub - the industry is indeed struggling. We are losing our traditions. Why are we not upholding the honour of our predecessors by frequenting our 'local'?

Who will remember the workers, who having knocked-off from work, used to prop themselves up at the bar? Who will remember the wives and kids left at home, whilst their father figure, is doing his manly duty by spending time with his mates guzzling down schooner-after-schooner? So, it was not unlike a head high tackle from a player wearing a Western Suburbs Victa jersey, that we were knocked down by the news that Tamworth's Central Hotel is to become a motel and function centre in 2014.

The five photos here, attempt to record the way we like to remember this watering hole. Black beer, The Angels or the Oils - what an experience to be enjoyed. We couldn't show the photos of the desperados trying to 'grab a granny' sometime after midnight on a Saturday night. Not only are we losing our bars - but who is going to spare a thought for all the disco dance floors that are going to God?


Bow River Publishing Predict the Future
Bow River Publishing Predict the Future
Bow River Publishing Predict the Future
Bow River Publishing Predict the Future
Bow River Publishing Predict the Future


Mates forever
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We were pleased when this photo and an associated blunt Sawtell RSL Club keno pencil came across our desk. Not sure why the photo smelt of beer, but strangely scrawled on the back was the message 'mates forever'. This photo sure was a change from the usual extra credit denial corro, pizza vouchers and overdue account letters that we receive at the office.

Single Deck Slide Night Aftermath
Walsh Island researchClick on the image for a larger version
Volume 1 of the much anticipated Walsh Island Dockyard power car book, is due for release in early 2014. Bow River Publishing held a recent research night at the Enmore Theatre in Sydney. The boys certainly got thirsty, after reviewing 20 000 colour slides on the big screen.

Octoberfest 2013

Octoberfest 2013
Octoberfest 2013
Bow River Publishing decided to change our traditional Octoberfest plans this year. Usually, we ride the flying kangaroo and head for Germany for the one week bender. In 2013, we celebrated Octoberfest in Collarenebri NSW.
Our festivities centred around the Tattersalls Hotel, which was a one stop shop for tucker, accommodation and beer. The boys were a little nervous about the XXXX Gold painted hoarding - but Tooheys products were confirmed as being chilled and on tap.
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Octoberfest 2013
Octoberfest 2013
Sometimes, the best laid plans fail. With our thirsty vehicles begging for fuel for the return trip home, we just had to wait till the service station got new petrol supplies in. Fortunately, road transport brought in the beer and steaks into town regularly. Some of the guys took to fishing for Cod in the Barwon River to pass the time till the fuel came in. Other staff members munched on pretzels and black forest cake - that had to be imported into town for Bow River Publishing's Octoberfest.
South of Collie, the rail line at Pokataroo was still under repair. It would appear that little track work has been conducted since 1974, when the line closed at Merrywinebone. 716 km from Sydney and with no rail transport available, we hitched back north to the Tattersalls Hotel to drink more German stein glasses of Tooheys Old.

Central Australian

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'If you know Bourke, you know Australia' Henry Lawson

In 2008, Bow River Publishing went for a drive down the block and we ended up at Bourke NSW. Not unlike moths to a flame, we found the closed Central Australian Hotel. The Central Australian Hotel once stood so invincible and so sure. The closure of the railway line from Nyngan to Bourke in 1990, was a heavy blow for the watering hole - as it overlooked the now desolate railway line. The pub had actually succumbed to fire in 1936 and was rebuilt with the dramatic art deco overlay in 1939. Today, the boarded up windows and doors hide not only its interior but also importantly local memories and social history.

Back in 2008, Bow River Publishing's journos sat under the verandah of the Central Australian. When all was still and in a reflective mood, we thumbed through our weathered book of Henry Lawson poems. With great gusto a verse from Lawson's poem 'The Roaring Days' was recited.

The night trip too quickly passes and we are growing old
So let us fill our glasses and toast the days of gold...
The rough bush roads re-echoed the bar-room's noisy din
when troops of stalwart horseman dismounted at the inn.
And oft the hearty greetings and hearty clasp of hands
Would tell of sudden meetings of friends from other lands


The future looks bright

Bow River Publishing often receives questions from the general public, council librarians, long haul truck drivers and prison inmates as to what is new. This photo was recently submitted by one of our Sydney based photographers. We plan to enter it in the 2013 National Geographic photography competition.

The photo is titled 'The future looks bright'.


Mundi Mundi Plains NSW Mad Max 4 stunt driving May 2013
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Mundi Mundi
Mundi Mundi

Mundi Mundi
Mundi Mundi

Mundi Mundi

Bow River Publishing's August 2013 Conference
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Bow River Publishing held their yearly conference at Wilcannia NSW in August 2013. We drove out the V8 panel van, that still had some rego and a sloppy front end.

Unfortunately, the Queens Head Hotel was closed for business. We missed our chance of tossing back a tinny only just - as the pub is believed to have closed circa 1990, when the license was transferred to the Kogarah Tavern NSW.

We moved location to the Wilcannia Club Hotel, near the Darling River. Staff feedback was positive, and the conference was indeed productive. Much conversation was spent discussing inland paddle steamers, and how good it was to knock the top off chilled West End twist tops. A lowlight was when the tape deck in the panel van, chewed the The Party Boys cassette - just in the middle of 'He's Gunna Step On You Again'.

Bow River Publishing's August 2013 Conference
Bow River Publishing's August 2013 Conference

Bow River Publishing's August 2013 Conference
Bow River Publishing's August 2013 Conference

Bow River Publishing's August 2013 Conference
Bow River Publishing's August 2013 Conference

Civic Hotel Hunter Street Newcastle
Bow River Publishing attempted to have a team meeting on 25 January 2013 in Newcastle.
Sadly, as these photographs show, one of our old meal rooms is soon to be cast aside to the history books.
Even the ‘paper boy’ with his once common wheel barrow, contemplates the sadness that developer progress brings to our streetscapes.

Civic Hotel Hunter Street Newcastle

Civic Hotel Hunter Street Newcastle

Civic Hotel Hunter Street Newcastle

Civic Hotel Hunter Street Newcastle


Genesis of The Leeds Forge Book
Under The Wires article by Roy Howarth – December 2010
Genesis of The Leeds Forge Book
Genesis of The Leeds Forge Book
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The Leeds Forge Launch
Saturday 24 July 2010

Leeds Forge Launch
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Mad Max 4
XA Ford Falcon lookalike Mad Max Interceptor
Anthony 'Gecko' Wilkes
XA Ford Falcon lookalike Mad Max Interceptor at Silverton NSW. 
Photo: Anthony Wilkes.
Bow River Publishing was invited to take part in Mad Max 4 'Fury Road' film test shots in August 2011. 
Photo:  Bow River Publishing Media Unit
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Menindee NSW
Mad Max 4 'Fury Road'
Correspondent Anthony 'Gecko' Wilkes at the Mundi Mundi Plains NSW. Mad Max 4 publicity test shot. Photo: Bow River Publishing Media Unit.
Bow River Publishing Mad Max 4 / Blue Sky Mining inspired test shot. Menindee NSW.
Photo: Bow River Publishing Media Unit.

Sad News - The Wentworth Hotel
Cessnock Ravaged by Fire
Built in 1924, the Wentworth Hotel is an icon to the New South Wales coal mining and vineyard town - the town that gave birth to Reg Regan. This watering-hole was regularly used by Bow River Publishing's journalist team as their driver reviver stop. Amongst the many roads containing uninspiring fast food chain take-away stores, the Wentworth's restaurant, that was up the back of the pub, was a cherished destination.  After rolling out of the cab's in our four cylinder 2WD utes, this pub brought us tucker with liquid relief and refreshment.  It is unclear as to what the future holds for the grand building, but here at Bow River Publishing's newsroom, we sincerely hope that the wreckers ball is not required.  Photo date 22 July 2011.  
We salute you old mate, with a toast of the quiet ale.

The Wentworth Hotel Cessnock


Leeds Forge Book Review
Australian Model Railway Magazine October 2010

Leeds Forge Book Review
More info


Farewell to the Abercrombie Hotel
We had almost given up and thought that our correspondent and photographer Dominik Giemza may
have passed-on — such is the heavy blow that the demise of a blue-collar pub can cause to humanity. But,
Dominik came through and we can now present the following photos as a tribute to the Abercrombie.
All photos taken 16 January 2010.

Abercrombie Hotel

Last drinks at the Abercrombie Hotel


A report from Bow River Publishing’s
Sydney based journalist Dominik Giemza
click here

Another Pub Cast to the Honour Roll click here


June 2007
Media Release - Fall of the Bar
August 2007
Media Release - End of an Era
September 2008
The Fall of the Bar—The White Bay Hotel Destroyed!
more info...

Reviews

Fall of the Bar
Glenn takes you on an entertaining and informative journey through the tales and times of some of our great Aussie Pubs. The falls and fortunes of the Pub and its Town have always been interwoven. In his easy reading style Glenn visits the events that changed both. He also introduces us to some true characters from behind the Bar.

How did the six o'clock swill affect how people socialised?. An industry closing or arriving? Changes in gambling laws? The motor car? A change in Publican? Why were Pubs built or moved to where they now are? The ladies arriving at the bar? Find out here.

Glenn's exploration across Oz reads like great fun. His research and conversations with Publicans along the way, put to paper in Fall of the Bar, makes a fascinating road diary full of snapshots through time of the aussie relationship with their Local.

A good read. Recommended.

John Hatwell
Gdaypubs.com.au


Excerpt from Newcastle Herald October 13, 2007 – Page 35 (Weekender Magazine).


FALL OF THE BAR: Last drinks for the working man’s pub
Glenn Ryan, Bow River Publishing, N.T.
200pp, $29.95.

This is a marvellous book, not just for those with a nostalgia for working men’s pubs but for those with a love of regional and local history.

We are treated to far more than a popular history of a dozen or so working men’s pubs around NSW. We encounter in the pages of this book an absolutely fascinating insight into the life and times of the various places where these pubs are located.

The chapter on Newcastle’s working men’s pubs in the west end of the city opens wide a window on our city’s past. The Bellevue Hotel, the historic Star Hotel and the Empire are discussed, with copious illustrations. This chapter is fascinating, even for a non-drinking historian like this reviewer. This book is a credit to its author and deserves to be widely distributed and read.

Paul Kraus


The Northern Daily Leader
Saturday
24 November, 2007
Friday
11 January, 2008
Fall of the Bar
Fall of the Bar

Saturday
12 January, 2008
Monday
14 January, 2008
Fall of the Bar
Fall of the Bar
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Email from a reader

I would just like to say I thoroughly enjoyed your book Fall Of The Bar. It's a shame these old pubs are getting knocked down, as a lot of these pubs have so much history about them. As a former Sydney-sider, at the time I didn't appreciate those old pubs, (mainly because I wasn't old enough to drink), but as I am now old enough to drink, and every time I head to Sydney, I try to visit a lot of old pubs as I can. My favorite chapter in the book is your first chapter about white bay hotel, and your 'mini' pub crawl through Balmain.

I was wondering, do you plan to write another book, or similar, about more old pubs in the Sydney region?

Grant Robinson
Burleigh Waters Queensland

Note from the author: Thanks Grant for your remarks. At this stage, there are no concrete plans on another book, but I am still collecting information, taking pub photos and hanging around dingy bars that are often devoid of modernization, natural light and patrons – so never say never. GPR February 2009.



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