Ramblings of a much published New Zealand author

24 December 2011

New Zealand Odyssey: The Old Billiards Saloon, St.Bathans, Central Otago

'New Zealand Odyssey', published in 1989 by Heinemann, was authored by me, Don Donovan (who did the text and illustrations) and Euan Sarginson, who did the photography and design. In this series of blog posts, I will publish some of my drawings.

Whether or not they were still playing on the green baize in 1988 I don't know, but this little building next door to the Vulcan Hotel looked pretty fresh and there might still have been a full-sized table behind that door. The lettering was superbly wrought.

I'm always slightly suspicious of buildings like this. One never knows when they might have been dollied up for a TV commercial but I think it was genuine; indeed it's listed by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. I see pink flannel vested gold miners potting blacks in my mind's eye...

I was in St.Bathans in 2011 and the billiards hall seems to have become an extension of the hotel with 'Billiards' painted out and benches and flower pots blocking the door.


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By Don Donovan