The R. E.

But somewhere in the distance,
You and I, we fought our monsters to a draw
It was in those days of books and wine,
With Ferlin Getty grasping for a straw

– Paul Seibel, ‘Then came the children’

This excerpt from Bruce Dickson’s film depicts a typical Sunday afternoon session in the beer garden at the Royal Exchange Hotel in the 1970s. The R. E. (aka Percy’s Grey Ghost) was home for students, labourers, lecturers, radicals, zedders, journos, unemployed, bikies et al.

Some of the people I remember who are shown in the film are: Corinne Mattick and her sister Brenda (Pic), Carole Ferrier, Max Hughes, John Arrowsmith, Allan Davies, Bruce Dickson, Ted Chicoteau, Paul Marriot, Dan O’Neill, Alan Knight and many others whose names I have forgotten.

I was never much of a drinker but I used to walk there from our share house at 11 Austral Street, St Lucia where I lived from 1975 till 1977 a little after this film was shot.

Ian Curr
14 Feb 2022

Song – ‘Then came the children’ by Paul Siebel.

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