The Tote tunnels myth turns out to be common Aussie pub lore

I journeyed out of the ‘wood today to North Carlton, and bought from Alice’s Bookshop two books which will stand this blog in good stead. My uncle had an Alice’s Bookshop addiction for a long time. Its owner is an old Cambridge man, a fact noted on his website, a bookseller for 20 years. The first was Bill Brodie and Brian McKinlay’s Collingwood and Fitzroy Sketchbook, published in 1978 when the Convent was still inhabited by nuns and the Eastern Freeway was just opened. It is a lovely hardback and has taught me some fascinating tidbits which I will feed you with over time. It is one of a series of 175 published in Adelaide as the Rigby Sketchbooks which also include Old Melbourne Hotels Sketchbook, River Yarra Sketchbook, and Richmond and East Melbourne Sketchbook.

The other was J.M. Freeland’s The Australian Pub; An Illustrated History of the Development of the Australian Pub from the 1790s to the Present one of the more interesting books to come off Melbourne University Press’s Presses. I declared to those I met for coffee at the Paragon Cafe that I was hitherto an amateur pubologist. The book was last owned by Thomas Hazell from 11 April 2005. Google suggests he is a Melbourne University fine arts academic and one-time president of the Dante-Aligheri Society.

And so I learned from Mr Freeland that the myth which I have come to know relatively recently about secret tunnels under The Tote is one of frequent occurrence: Continue reading “The Tote tunnels myth turns out to be common Aussie pub lore”

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A trip to The Royston with Mr Nguyen

My mate from Hanoi, the future Chief Justice of Vietnam, and I trundled down to the Royston this evening. I once lived in the inner eastern suburbs and rode my bike to university over in Parkville. I thought I had been along every road in the big rectangle in between, but it seems not. The other day, I pedalled over from the ‘ford to Ma and Pa’s and took a radical route. You know, most of the many combinations are left right left right but this was on the extreme sides of the rectangle. It was straight, straight straight, right, straight, straight, straight, etc. And suddenly, I saw a sign “The Royston“, just after I saw the mountain goat symbol writ large on a roller door and realised that the Mountain Goat Brewery had finally yielded up its secret location to me. Continue reading “A trip to The Royston with Mr Nguyen”

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