Mapping the chapters of city's pub life

Thirsty work: AHA country delegate Bevan Douglas, historical society president Richard Hutt and co-author Warren Newman at the launch of a history of hotels in Tamworth. Photo: Robert Chappel 101106RCA01
Thirsty work: AHA country delegate Bevan Douglas, historical society president Richard Hutt and co-author Warren Newman at the launch of a history of hotels in Tamworth. Photo: Robert Chappel 101106RCA01

Tamworth has enjoyed a long association with public hotels and the refreshments they provided and now thanks to the Tamworth Historical Society it can be read about at leisure in a new publication called One for the Road.

The book was launched on Friday at Ray Walsh House by Australian Hotels Association former senior vice-president, current country delegate and prominent Tamworth hotelier Bevan Douglas.

The book was mainly the work of the society's research officer Neti (Annette) Davidson, who died suddenly last year. Warren Newman picked up the project after her death and completed the book.

The book is designed to tell the story of hotels in Tamworth, right from the start to the latest public bar, the Calala Inn.

Mr Newman said he took the notes and photographs Ms Davidson had compiled and formatted the book. He contributed some of the latest additions to the list of hotels in the city.

"It's important to note that most of the material Neti compiled for the book was from research done by Lyall Green and from the historical society's records," he said.

The book has also brought to light some interesting facts about pub life in Tamworth.

The first licensed premises in the city was the Tamworth Inn, opened in 1847.

"It's generally believed to have been around the site of the current day Joe Maguire's Hotel," Mr Newman said.

"It was most likely to have been on the corner of Bligh and Peel streets."

Tamworth's oldest licence belongs to the Fitzroy Hotel and what was, until recently, Tavern 66. The original licence was granted in 1866.

The largest increase of hotels in Tamworth occurred in 1878 when the railroad arrived in the city.

Of those nine hotels built in 1878, three remain: the Locomotive, The Family Hotel and The Albert Hotel, which originally occupied a site in West Tamworth.

The book was published and will be marketed by the Tamworth Historical Society and will be on sale at Calala Cottage in Denison St.