Originally written by ANGELA VALENTE
COME on Condah…save your pub.
The Western District building is up for sale but the owners are sad to say it.
Heather Builth bought the pub in 2002 and part-owner Leroy Wheeler joined one year later.
They did it for the community.
“It was to keep a community pub going because it’s always been the hub of the local area,” Dr Builth said.
“And the thought of losing it again upset me…that’s why I took it on.”
Dr Builth said country pubs across the south-west had seen better days.
“So many pubs aren’t working at the moment. They can’t make the money to pay the bills and a lot of them are becoming houses,” she said.
“The Digby pub and the Macarthur pub have recently been sold. I am selling it now because I have to leave the region for work.”
Dr Builth is an archaeologist and was heavily involved with the Lake Condah Sustainability Project and its national heritage listing.
She said the pub had a big part in sustaining the region for future development.
“I can’t work on my own anymore, so I have to leave the area. It’s a bit sad,” she said.
“The pub was a part of that; to get things happening in the area. It’s really sad because I sit and look around at all the history, but the blue gums have taken away all the shearers and the licensing laws are getting too tough.”
Dr Builth hoped new pub owners would keep the pub open.
“I would absolutely love it if a retired couple could move into the pub, someone looking for a tree change who didn’t have a mortgage and then they could have been able to afford to keep it open without pressure,” she said.
“That’s where our trouble has been. I definitely want to see it stay as a pub. It was always a joy to see the football players come in and celebrate after a good game. Maybe some of the locals should take it on.”
The building was of blue stone and solid as a rock, Dr Builth said.
“It was built in 1856 and it’s in fantastic condition. It’s on three acres and has six bedrooms. There’s always plenty of people popping in for the night,” she said.
“The area will boom again. Surely it will come back again and I can’t wait.”
Selling agent Rescom said owners would be selling as freehold. Sales consultant Mick Swan said it would be ideal for someone to continue the venue as a pub, or ideal for a bed and breakfast.
“It has a lot of character about it. It’s a huge residence on three acres,” he said.
“We’ve been instructed to sell.” The asking price is $290,000.