Pubs We Have Known

The 1960s and 70s was a time of demolition in Wagga.  “Get rid of the old to make way for the new” seems to have been the motto at the time and quite a few of the huge hotels lining the main streets of Wagga simply could not escape their fate.

The Grand Hotel midway through the process of demolition.
The Grand Hotel in Fitzmaurice Street (between Kincaid and Crampton Streets) closed early in 1964 and was replaced by a service station [from the Tom Lennon Collection RW1574/1560].
The Pastoral Hotel in Fitzmaurice Street, c.1960.
The Pastoral Hotel closed in November 1973 and was demolished a short time later. It was situated where the ABC Riverina radio station is now located [from the Tom Lennon Collection, RW1574/1560].
The Criterion Hotel, partway demolished.
The Criterion Hotel in Fitzmaurice Street, next to Romano’s, was demolished in 1961.

There were exceptions.  The Union Club Hotel is the obvious one, with its wide verandah still spanning two sides of the building today. Many survived the wrecking ball but had to “modernise” their look by removing their verandahs altogether. The changeover from verandah to cantilever awnings was a process the whole of the main street was going through, starting back in the 1940s, but discussions around such a change had been going on since 1929.

The Sportsmen's Club Hotel's verandahs coming down
The Sportsmen’s Club Hotel’s verandahs coming down [from the Tom Lennon Collection, RW1574/1560].

A close view of the demolition of the Home Hotel's verandahs.
The verandahs on the Home Hotel being pulled apart. The Prince of Wales Hotel’s verandahs in the background weren’t long for this life either [from the Tom Lennon Collection, RW1574/596].
 A few hotels were pulled down and then rebuilt to suit the changing times…

The Wagga Hotel, c.1960
The Wagga Hotel, on the corner of Edward Street and Station Place, c.1960 [from the Tom Lennon Collection, RW1574/1560], which became….
The new Astor Motel, c. 1960
The new Astor Motel in the 1960s [from the O’Hehir Collection, RW3048].
The Royal Hotel in the 1800s.
The Royal Hotel on the corner of Baylis and Forsyth Streets, as it was in the 1800s [from the Tom Lennon Collection, RW1574/1560].

Carmody's Royal Hotel, c. 1960s.
The new Royal Hotel, built in 1939 by Mrs Carmody. It was demolished in 1979 to make way for a new Coles, which later became the Sturt Mall [from the Tom Lennon Collection, RW1574/1560].
The main street of Wagga was once dominated by hotels.  But the needs and wants of a population are continually changing and the disappearing hotels with their bars, accommodation and meeting spaces, were a visible sign of the changing face of central Wagga.


9 thoughts on “Pubs We Have Known

  1. my father who was born in wagga told me that before he went to war that there was 36 hotels from wagga station to the end of fitzmaurice st .


    1. I don’t know that there were quite that many but I can tell you there were twenty pubs in the main street alone in 1900. And that’s not counting those dotted throughout the rest of Wagga!


  2. Thats a good trip down memory lane for me. My dad used to wait for me at Carmonys when I was working at Brijob down in Invermay lane, just opposite Carmonys


    1. Hi Karen. We’ve never seen a photo of the Royal George. All we know is that it was located on the corner of Edward St and Kooringal Rd and that the licensee in 1910 was William Clancy. I would recommend you try contacting the Wagga Wagga and District Historical Society. They have some members who are very interested in the history of the local hotels and they may be able to help you.


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