Back on deck after some extensive travel and a heads down period writing a history of the Terminus Hotel, Pyrmont. With a million new experiences churning through the old brain, coming back to Sydney history was bit of a jolt, but as always, it did not fail to engage.
The Terminus is my second pub history, but I’m not going to make a habit of it. They are fascinating places on which to hang some good local social history, however, and it would be difficult to find a place more interesting than old Pyrmont.
Back in 1842 the Teetotal Society of Pyrmont was established, and according to its own propaganda, about 60 people attended its meetings at Bakers Temperance Coffee House on Harris Street. Apparently its impact on Pyrmont was nothing short of miraculous.
At the time there was only one pub in the area, Camerons Pyrmont Hotel, built on the site of the present day Terminus Hotel, and according to the Society, after a mere four months in existence, ‘nearly all who formally prostrated their souls and bodies at the shrine of intemperance are now members of our society. Drunkenness is now seldom seen.’ Accordingly, Cameron was going to abandon his trade for lack of patronage.
Patronage continued however, and the number of pubs dotted across Pyrmont multiplied until there were more than a dozen by 1880. But for the last 35 years there has been no grog served at the Terminus, which was locked up and unused. Now all that is about to change and this book celebrates not only its history, but its reincarnation as a gastro pub and a social meeting place once more.