Judy Taylor was born in 1949 and came to Millers Point with her children where her parents had the lease on a popular local hotel. She subsequently married a local man. In her interview she talks about the hotel business, crooks, a murder, local characters, bookies, police raids, shoplifting, her religion, work as barmaid, and local culture. Her parents twice had the lease for the Captain Cook Hotel and in the excerpt below she recalls changes her father made when he first took over the pub.
This interview is part of Housing NSW’s 2005 Millers Point Oral History Project. The City of Sydney acknowledges the State Library of New South Wales as the archival custodian of the project and digital preserver of the masters.
It [the Captain Cook Hotel] had actually recently been renovated when mum and dad bought it the first time and it had become a yuppies’ pub at that stage, which didn’t suit my dad because they didn’t drink enough. Yuppies took up space but didn’t drink enough beer. So he very quickly changed the approach to the hotel; he took out the roast beef lunches and put on some real counter lunches for the wharfies and the tally clerks and it soon became a real wharfies’ pub that were good drinkers; and they made plenty of money.
It was a great pub because everybody knew everybody, whether they were local wharfies or people that came from Balmain or Glebe, it was a great pub. It was great camaraderie for people that drank there. The Captain Cook became the real knock-about blokes’ pub and we had all walks of life that drank there.
When dad first bought it was a ten-to-ten [10 am to 10 pm] hotel and you had a lot of Friday and Saturday nights where you had a lot of drunks there and you had a lot of fun there also, then Sunday trading. But then he was given the opportunity to make it an early opener [from 6 am]. We still got the majority of drinkers during the day and then when the hotel closed at six o’clock or seven o’clock [in the evening] they then made their way to either The Lord Nelson or the Palisade.