History: Looking Back

Looking Back history feature: The registered club movement in the Illawarra

Scroll down for history feature:


YOU can also make a small donation towards the running of The Bulli & Clifton Times and/or the Looking Back websites through Paypal. If you would like to support my work, you can leave a small tip here of $2, or several small tips, just increase the amount as you like. Your generous patronage of my work and research, however small it appears to you, will greatly help me with my continuing costs.


Looking Back

Helensburgh Workmens Club UOW Helensburgh Workmen’s Club, C1898. Picture: Wollongong University Archives


REGISTERED clubs, with their assortment of restaurants, cafes, gymnasiums, and ‘mini-casinos’, have come along way from the timber cottages, offering dominoes and newspaper libraries, that first appeared throughout colonial New South Wales during the 1890s.

Prior to the 1890s, membership of colonial clubs was confined to the elite.

The premises of the first clubs emulated British gentlemen’s clubs and accommodated the style of living to which their members were accustomed. Club entertainment principally consisted of drinking, dining, billiards, card games and a literary library.

Clubs catering for colonial working class men first appeared in the late 1880s and 1890s. They first appeared in the Illawarra and Hunter regions of NSW as workmen’s clubs, chiefly established to cater for coal miners. They were men only venues, far from what members expect of their registered clubs today.

Kembla Heights Workmens Club Committee 1896 UOW Kembla Heights Workmen’s…

View original post 3,201 more words

About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,130 other subscribers
%d bloggers like this: