Thursday, March 26, 2009

#362-365 Windows

This may seem strange to most people for this theme. Any Australian over the age of 50 however will recognize this as the outside of a "PUB", which were ubiquitous, they have changed now, as has our "KULTURE", now I know that drink driving is a curse and a real menace, but my earliest memories of PUBS like this was at a cusp in our history - The Car had Taken over! - But just. The Ice Man (Mr Hill) still delivered Ice twice a week to those that needed it for refrigeration (Ice Chests), the Green Grocer still did his rounds every two days and even the Butcher, Baker and Mr Creasy the Coal Merchant delivered in horse drawn carts some big and impressive looking, others that were more like trotting gigs like that used by the Rabbito who used to sell rabbits to Mum on a Thursday evening so he would have drinking money for the weekend. Trust me all of those horses were quite capable of getting their drunken bosses home after the Pub shut following the "Six O'Clock swill" when the patrons used to scramble for last drinks .

To my mind, in those days some of the early cars seemed to have inherited the abilities of their Equine forebears, because I clearly remember, some members of my household (not me I was only about 3 or 4) having to drive home because they were in no fit state to walk, and there were rarely accidents - prangs. This was most likely due to the small number of cars actually on the road in those times, cause when I joined the Army 13/14 years after this, in a barrack area housing over 600 soldiers, there were only five cars in the carpark, about 15 in the sergeants mess carpark (for about 50 sergeants) and about the same number of cars in the officers mess carpark for the twenty or so officers residing there. Only rich people owned cars. I never had one until I turned 24/25, a different world.

Back to the windows, what makes these special for me is the memory of the times depicted above, when Women were not allowed into the Public Bar, and generally wouldn't want to go in there with that drunken rabble, so we would sit with Mum out in the "Beer Garden" and Dad would pass drinks through windows "EXACTLY LIKE THE ONES PICTURED". Mum would have a "Shandy" a mixture of Beer and Lemonade and us kids would get big glasses of "Blue Ribbon" lemonade, bottled in Katoomba in the Blue Mountains, which you have to take my word was the BEST TASTING LEMONADE ever made. You have to take my word for it cause it appears to have gone out of production, I can't find it anywhere and believe me I have looked. Some times when Dad had a few Quid in his Cunning Kick, and enough under his belt to mellow him, he would shout a Counter Lunch, for the family so that The Missus wouldn't have to cook.

It is a time I look back on with really fond memories, and Pubs really were a big part of Life in Australia and they all had colourful names like the two locals were the "Sawdust" which was near a timber yard and the "Bayview" although the only water you could see was actually in their taps (Faucets). Dad worked as a Metropolitan truck driver, and he found his way everywhere by the Pubs. "You turn left at the Victoria, keep going until you reach the Royal Exchange, take the second right, head west turning left just before the Union, continue on past the White Horse, left at the Erskinville then right at the Courthouse, it's about a hundred yards further on - You can't miss it!". When I fiirst joined the Army Dad got me from Dundas to Kingsford Smith Airport in under 35 minutes and Taxi drivers always took at least an hour and a half, he was a whizz in Sydney Traffic. These days these type Pubs are only found in rural towns (we found this one in Armidale New South Wales) but they are dying out there too.
Thought you might enjoy a look at Australia's past.

If you enlarge this it gives a glimpse of the interior and shows how a glass of beer would sit comfortably on the outer ledge for surreptitious sippers.

17 comments:

EstherF said...

I have heard about pubs, but never so well described as this. I think I would have liked to sit in the beer garden with the ladies, even though I don't like beer! Bring on a white wine, please.

365photosin2009 said...

What can I say? One of your best - photo and story alike. Can we see the inside too?

Rachel said...

Great memories! I love the tile walls, too.

Iona said...

Have you ever thought of putting all these tales down and having them published? You'd make a mint!

Great story. Lovely photo. Besides the fact that the building is "subway tile", I especially like the reflection of the lattice work in the 1st window and the very low profile sign hung out front.

Now, you mentioned looking inside. The only thing visible (even with enlarging) is a picture hung on one wall - 2nd window. Hmmmm, there must be something there I am missing because Ron said so! So, I saved it to file (Horror of Horrors!), and lightened it. I could see a man's head in the lower right of the 2nd window. But could not fathom anything more except the first window was what looked like a behind the bar setting.

And I did the right thing by deleting your photo from my files. :D

Chesney said...

Aren't you glad they now let woman in the "pubs"! :) I think I enjoyed your memories as much as your image! My Grandpa who passed a way a few years ago, used to give us directions by the "beer joints" as he called them. "Go left at the No Man's saloon, then a right at Howard's Tavern, then....."! He couldn't understand why I didn't know where all these "beer joints" were (I was 16 at the time) LOL. You brought back a happy memroy!!

~Val said...

I really like the symmetry in this photo - all those repeating rectangles and squares. Thanks for another entertaining story! Bring some of that yummy lemondade (or a Shandy) over to the Village tennis match!

mljrbg said...

Interesting story. Fun-looking pub.

jo said...

Like Iona, it just occurred to me that by December 31, 2009 you'll have written a book that someone might want to publish.

Nice photo.

Clara said...

That is a great story, Ron. I really enjoyed reading it. I grew up in the Bible-belt South of the United States, so pubs or beer-joints were something that I never saw. There are still not many in the rural areas here. Great image to go with the story, too.

gregworld said...

Hey Ron...you've been busy while I was away! I grew up in rural West Virginia where all the bars were called "Beer Gardens" and only served beer (no hard liquor was allowed by law). I lived in a very small coal camp (fewer than 40 families) but we still had room for two beer gardens!

Great story and photo! Thanks!

BTW...I looked up the Bison/Buffalo question and put the answer under my post.

Linda said...

The tile walls are fabulous, and one of the first things I noticed is that you can see the interior in the middle photo. Great capture.

Sherrie said...

Hi!
Great shot for the theme!! And the story to go with it. Thanks for the journey into your pubs. Thanks for stopping by my place. Have a great evening!

Sherrie

shadowsandhighlights said...

I like that Ron...surreptitious sippers! lol I like your photo also. The lines and the windows lead your eye down to the Cooper's Brewery sign. Very creative!

MevetS said...

We moved out of the big city when I was 2 years old. And for a couple of years we lived in a bungalow, one of three my uncle owned "down the shore". And in the middle of the block of houses was Ossip's Tavern. Truly a neighborhood bar. And while there were plenty of cars, there were no accidents. Everybody walked. (Or stumbled!)

I remember sitting on the bar stools and spinning around; drinking whatever but with a cherry in it; and "playing" pool, which meant zooming balls back and forth with the other kids.

Ossip's Tavern is long gone. So is my uncle. But two of the bungalows were turned into real houses. A cousin and her husband still live in one. And fond memories live on.

Great pic and story.

alibony365 said...

Love the story, Ron! I'd love to be sitting in the Beer Garden with a shandy, too. When I visited my cousin in England when I was 20, she took me to a pub and bought me a shandy. I still remember it as the most refreshing drink ever!

klsbear said...

I really am enjoying these stories - it's fun to get the personal glimpse into your world. The angle of this shot is super - I like the repetition of the windows and it really makes them the focal point of the photo - perfect for the theme.

DART said...

What an interesting read! I love the way the pubs were named!