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The Northy rises from the Ashes

Top – North Bourke Hotel in 2009. The new hotel building will look much the same as this. Below from left: a photo from the 1940’s thanks to Rex Haw, a 1960s photo thanks to Pamela Hall, a 2010 hotel fire photo, thanks to Phillip Parnaby, and the pub destroyed in May 2010. Photos: TWH/Archive

The North Bourke Pub, formerly known as the Riverview Hotel and the Back O’Bourke Hotel, is literally rising from the ashes.

The “Northy” was burnt to the ground in May 2010, after having stood on the western side of the Darling River near the North Bourke Bridge, for more than 100 years.

Following the fire, the pub operated from a tin shed for some time before closing.

Eleven years later, the site has been cleared and concrete foundations were poured on Tuesday.

Retired agent, Lindsay Curry is the man behind the rebuilding project, and Lindsay says he expects the pub to be completed by Christmas 2021.

“We hope to have the hotel reopened by Christmas this year and what a Christmas celebration that will be,” Lindsay said.

“There has been such a big groundswell of support from local people since we decided to go ahead, and especially since we have been on site getting the foundations ready.

“Last week at least a hundred cars went past tooting their horns in approval, calling out messages of encouragement and pulling up to tell us that it is great to see the pub being rebuilt after all these years.

The pub is officially known as the Back O’Bourke Hotel and is being built in the same style as the old pub.

Lindsay said it will look much the same as the old pub from the outside except that there will be no chimneys.

“However, on the inside the pub will be quite different with all mod cons and a friendly country pub atmosphere – it will still be the same old ‘Northy’”, Lindsay said, “hopefully with all the characters of the past, plus a few new ones”.

Lindsay Curry now lives in the Blue Mountains but has been involved in the Bourke and Brewarrina areas for the past 35 years, having previously owned Toulby and Pinegrove Stations.

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