Chooks in the pub cellar

Electric light poles were burnt down at the top of Bulli Pass last night, and residents were left without electric light and power. Yesterday afternoon, the Panorama Hotel and the Kiosk were seriously threatened. Tables and forms in the grounds were destroyed. The kiosk was saved by two passing lorry drivers, who fought the fire…

Three mugs at the pub

Three Sydney motorists, tired, hot, and more than just thirsty, flung wide the doors of a Wollongong hotel, and marched up to the bar. ‘Three mugs!’ one of them said to the fair one behind the counter. ‘Yes?’ she replied, ‘and what can I do for you?’ – Illawarra Mercury (Wollongong, NSW) Friday 23 February 1940.

Civic father’s sabbath lager

I HEARD rather a good yarn the other day, Mr Editor, about a leading local resident, and as the thing might spoil if bottled up, I tell it to you as it was told to me, and you may rest assured that it is bona-fide. The yarn, without being too personal, runs thusly :- A…

The Bulli Copper Derby

By Syd Fairs* DURING the mid 1960s when middies of beer were nine cents and schooners a few cents more, customers generally left their copper change on the bars of local pubs where licensees usually donated this money to charity. Bulli Family Hotel [Heritage Hotel] licensee Jim McGee, long before the introduction of dollars and…

Diggers’ Car Run to Cataract Dam

  IF you take a trip to Cataract Dam, there are three essentials to the complete enjoyment of the trip; one is a permit from the Water Board, the other an inch rule and a ready reckoner. Through the goodly management of Mr. W. Cochrane, O.B.E., and the fine response to his appeal, something like…

Is this the way forward for the Denmark?

A WAY forward may have been found to preserve two of Bulli’s most treasured heritage buildings. Wollongong City Council is working on a concept plan to save the ailing Denmark Hotel, and the next door Miners Cottage, which it owns. The owner of the former Denmark Hotel has been prevented from moving forward with plans…

The Swaggies

A swagman (also called a swaggie, sundowner or tussocker) is an old Australia and New Zealand term describing an underclass of transient temporary workers, who travelled by foot from farm to farm carrying the traditional swag or bedroll. Particularly during the Depression of the 1890s and the Great Depression of the 1930s, unemployed men travelled the rural areas of…

Cross dressing gentlemen

PRACTICAL jokers are to be found everywhere, and even in our little town (of Wollongong, NSW) there is no exception to the rule. A day or two ago one of these practical jokers was at work in one of our local hotels, and caused quite a fureur amongst some of the boarders. It appears, that…

Arrest of a Supposed Madman

A BULLI SENSATION BULLI. Tuesday – A man named John Reynolds, who was discharged last week from the lunatic asylum, became dangerously mad this morning. Reynolds, with his brother, was sent several months ago to the asylum, suffering from religious mania. At that time both showed great violence and armed themselves with iron bars. John…

Panorama’s first publican murdered his wife

By MICK ROBERTS © THE life of one of Sydney’s most successful publicans, the man who was the first host of the Panorama Hotel at Bulli Tops, ended tragically in 1935 after he murdered his wife while she slept, and he then turned the revolver on himself. The son of a celebrated New Zealand whip…

The Premier’s Lookout

By MICK ROBERTS © THE entrepreneurial Cyril Astley Maer was a determined character. If he had achieved his dream, reached his goal, more than 20 imposing Federation style Bungalow homes would have peered over the escarpment edge at Bulli Tops, beside the Panorama Hotel. His residential subdivision plan though was never realised. Captain Maer, as…