I've just posted these in the Gallery but thought it might be a good idea to share them here. Back in the 1970s I shot a series of photos at the local pub. I've recently rediscovered the negs and realised it's a bit of history that's disappeared - pubs are still thriving, but the culture and customs are now quite different.
My local pub was in a working class area. Most of the patrons were blue collar workers, tradesmen, non-professional white collar workers, and young people. Pubs and licensed clubs were (and mostly still are) the social hub of a community, along with community sporting clubs like surf life saving clubs.
Public bar at the Dee Why Hotel in Sydney, taken in the mid-1970s. Tri-X, V700 scan and processed in LR4.2.
The public bar was always the mens' domain. It was traditionally a bit of a rough place where the men would congregate at lunch and after work to down a few 'rounds' of 15oz schooners of beer and talk important mens' talk like cricket and football. The television on the wall was only turned on when a football or cricket match was broadcast. At those times the bar was packed. Each person in a group took turns to buy a round of drinks for all, so big groups tended to consume large quantities of beer before getting in the car to drive home - 6 to 8 schooners was commonplace. It was impolite to leave before waiting one's turn to 'shout' (pay for) a round. This was before random breath testing.
Most pubs had a separate 'Ladies' Lounge' where the women would gather. It was usually carpeted. There was also a 'Beer Garden' where both sexes could sit outside, and where children were allowed. The public bar was generally a no-go area for women, as they would be exposed to expletive-laden language and would be assumed to be a bit rough.
Pubs served more than a social function. They were a place where many working class and tradesmen found a job for themselves or their sons.
While the public bar was always the mens' domain, the beer garden was where the mixed-gender action was. Guys drank schooners, while the girls either drank Riesling, Moselle or beer with the boys. The 'Ladies' Lounge' was where the married women or girls groups would congregate and have privacy away from the men. But to meet the opposite sex the beer garden was the place to be.