Journalist and licorice stick player , Kim Lockwood , now residing in Melbourne , spent many years in Darwin and has fond memories of The Vic Hotel , in the centre of the photograph, looking wall eyed , backed by a multi-storey carpark . He was saddened by the news in Little Darwin that the watering hole frequented by many journos had been forced to close last year, and sent this comment :
What a dreadful shame. Even in recent years it had an upstairs bar (where the Darwin Press Club met) and a reasonably busy arcade of dress shops and takeaway food. I have fond memories of my days working for Big Jim (Bowditch ) and knocking off work and going over to The Vic beer "garden" (concrete) for a jar or three with Rex Clarke, Doggie Booth, Bob Pritchard (you won't remember him) and assorted others. We'd be entertained in the wet season by the late Cowboy Bill (aka Bill Garrison, real name Bill Goss) reciting poetry and promising to pay back his debts and the almost nightly biffo between a couple of drunks. The cops would saunter round from Bennett St and haul them off to the cooler, from where we could hear their abuse of the cops and each other. If I had a lazy few million I'd buy it and return it to its former glory. Drunks included.
Opposite The Vic in the photograph is the Star Theatre Arcade, the famous open air picture show long gone , finally destroyed in Cyclone Tracy . Movie patrons would dash across the road to the pub for a drink at interval . One of the many characters who drank there over the years was John the Log, so named after he had been at the wheel of a getaway car in a London bank holdup and could not start the vehicle.