The Victoria Hotel started life in Good Queen Vic’s day and was named after her, like dozens of other early hotels around Australia.
The original Victoria Hotel was modest single-storey wooden building with a shingle roof. Hitching posts and horse troughs flanked the intersecting dirt tracks that are today’s Marshall and Herbert Streets. In the 1920’s William Pendock and his wife Margaret bought the little pub and made sweeping changes. As their daughter-in-law Mrs Nellie Pendock tells today, “Every now and again they added a few rooms – until they had fifty!” Master builder Bill Bell virtually rebuilt the Victoria Hotel. He created a Sturdy building of brick and timber, with a criss-cross of dark panelling and white lattice on its facades, stained glass windows and doorways, and an ornamental (and slight off-kilter) tower to top it off. An eye-catching building indeed: a picturesque mix of Victoriana and Jazz Age, with a dash of Early Colonial. It looks much the same today.
The Pendock family was associated with “The Vic” for three generations before selling it in the 1960’s to Mr George Pippos. George Pippos was a member of the syndicate who raced Gunsynd and he named his new Gunsynd Lounge after the champion. He has made many other improvements in the past decade, smoothly blending the old with the new. Large clear windows have replaced the stained glass, but the main entrance still has its art deco front door; and the graceful panels of Art Nouveau glass still adorn shop fronts in the hotel building. The wide verandahs today are still unchanged – a superb vantage point for street processions!
There are stories of horsemen riding into the bar and lassoing bottles from the shelves in the old days. It is certainly true that a customer took his boat into the bar during the 1956 floods. The crowd loved it. But would Good Queen Vic have been amused? John and Michelle Klein and partner Tim Herden are the current owners. Today, along with Michael Bell current “Builder” (Great Grandson of Original Builder) is making a painstaking effort to restore “The Good Old Vic” to rekindle the past history of Goondiwindi.