THE times really are a' changin (credit Bon Dylan that line) and despite the Covid turmoil world wide, or perhaps partly because of it, significant changes continue in Lithgow's business and social life.
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According to reliable sources within the ranks of our east end traders two of Lithgow's landmark hotels dating back well over 100 years have departed the pub scene and face new roles in future life in the CBD.
According to multiple sources both the Grand Central and Court House Hotels that have been on the market for some time have now changed hands and will be transformed into new unconfirmed roles unrelated to the pub industry.
Some sources indicate there are plans for supported accommodation in the mix but the new owners have not been identified.
The Grand Central underwent a major and obviously costly renovation to its bar areas not that long ago creating a very pleasant space for socialising but pub patronage everywhere these days is not what it used to be.
Neither the Central nor the Courtie have been open for bar business in some months and the popular Thai food outlet at the Central relocated to new premises further down Main Street where it opened for business at the weekend.
We'll resist the urge to use the sadly cliched line about 'the pubs with no beer' but the sad fact for patrons, pub bands and pub staff is that there are now just two full time and one part time remaining in our city (and two clubs) where it seems not that long ago there were eight.
So where to from here?
ON the subject of changing roles and supported accommodation people are wondering about the state of play with the old Mort Street TAFE college.
It changed hands - again - last year with community hopes of third time lucky but unless something is happening behind the scenes the only evident movement has been further deterioration in the mid city's biggest eyesore.
SOME months back our Mayor promised the column an investigation and reply to our query as to why, strangely, there is no water available to visitors in Queen Elizabeth Park and just why the only bubbler was disconnected anyway.
He didn't, he said, have an answer at the time.
Now Ray's had a lot on his hands with bushfires, floods and pandemic so we need to cut him some slack. But the situation created by Council is not good enough and it's both a disgrace and an embarrassment to our city that visitors (even from overseas in a normal year) have to fill water bottles from a public toilet block or go begging to nearby homes or the Bowling Club.
So what's the story Ray? Our guess is they can't afford their own water bills.
SO here we are into the final calendar month of Winter and what a pleasure it is to report that event.
In a couple of weeks the flowering street trees around the place will be in blossom heralding the change of season and lawn mowers will again be humming back to life in their weekend chorus.
There are already hopeful signs of an early Spring, not the least the delightfully unseasonal post-frost conditions at the weekend that belied the fact it really is still winter.
DO producers of TV documentaries ever view their own finished product?
Surely not if the measure is the overpowering background music they inflict on the viewing public. The ABC and SBS (even the flagship 730 Report) are the worst offenders but their all guilty of this sloppy intrusion into an otherwise relaxing night in front of The Box.
Perhaps there was a really a lot to be said for silent movies.
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