Newtown – In Search of Pubs, and that Book

Today I took a trip just the other side of the city centre. To the ‘hipster’ area of Newtown. I was looking for a copy of that book… but I also wanted to see the pubs in that area.


The area is described as hip inner-city neighbourhood. An offbeat, trendy and quirky area. With a collection of alternative lifestyles, artists, gay scene and students. In other words, you could describe it is a slightly run-down area close to the city centre ripe for redevelopment by a greedy property developer would love to get his (or her) hands on it and replace the original low level brick buildings with towering glass structures. Pretty much like many inner-city neighbourhoods and barrios. Both descriptions work for me in these kind of places!

In its defence, Newtown does have a decent amount of great looking pubs. Shame they are still not open. The bars are accompanied by craft beer and wine outlets and plenty of places to eat.

Newtown Hotel complete with gay pride flag.

Another great thing about this area is the number of speciality shops, particularly along King Street. These include a few record shops selling vinyl, retro clothing shops and just plenty of general retro and antique stuff. Also there are genuine one-off shops such as one selling all kinds of buttons. There are also a few second hand book shops and that was the main purpose of my visit.

The Book I was Looking For…’Return From the River Kwai’

I had found a shop on King Street that had a copy of ‘Return From the River Kwai’ which I wrote about in a previous post – here.  I had reserved the copy so only needed to go and pick it up (and pay for it).

Hardback Edition of ‘Return From the River Kwai’ – 1979 copy

It is the story of British and Australian prisoners of war being taken from working on the infamous Burmese railway to be used as slave labour in Japan. My dad’s uncle Ernie Hughes is indeed mentioned a several times as one of the few survivors. I will do a book review later – when I get the time to read it.

It’s great to see real shops like those in Newtown. I will be back in that area as soon as the pubs reopen. Shopping can be thirsty work you know…

A few of the pubs…

Carlisle Castle Hotel
Court House Pub, Newtown
Marlborough Hotel, Newtown

Of course, the rough goes with the smooth. So there are also places like this…

Run-down Newtown
Artistically done, but still Graffiti ! There is a lot of it in Newtown

After picking up the book I continued on down King Street towards Sydney Park . More on that one in the next post…

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