... an eye to the plain, pragmatic past, rather than the showy, charismatic present ...
Sunday, 22 April 2012
Pubs from the 'olden days' in Sydney were lined with tiles, both wall and floor, to enable the staff to use a hose after closing, to wash the stink of hops down the drains. This is one such pub. Built in 1901/1902, the Royal Hotel Bondi stands upon the steep rise from Bondi Beach, where Bondi Road intersects with Denham Street. The rise that the Bondi trams (the ones that used to 'shoot through') had to wind across and around because the gradient was beyond them.
The three friezes here, are on the external walls of the Royal Hotel Bondi. They are typical of the period between the wars, and indicate the pursuits and interest of the working-class males who frequented the pub.
When the Royal Hotel Bondi was first built, it was surrounded by MacKenzie's Waverley Dairy which milked 200 cows daily by hand. The stud bulls were kept in a paddock immediately across the road from the pub on what is now Hunter's Corner. The herd was released to graze in Marks Park on the south Bondi headland where 'Sculptures by the Sea' is held, and then each evening herded up the rise to be locked up prior to the morning milking. MacKenzie's Dairy was overwhelmed and gobbled up by the still-existing Dairy Farmers' and the land sold for housing in 1919-1921.