Friday, January 2, 2015


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.