Believe it or not, this dump was once D.G.R. Sayburn, an agent of Beale & Co, ‘the largest piano manufacturers in the British Empire’. I guess that’s why the door is extra wide. If I had to speculate (and when don’t I), judging by the Victoria Bitter logo beneath the busted sign it looks to me like this was the bottle shop for the neighbouring Ritz Hotel (which itself has a rich history) sometime in the late 80s-early 90s.
After that, this was the Bead Company of Australia. That’s right – if you were in Broome or Launceston and you needed beads, you had to go through these mugs. These days it’s returned to its bottle shop state (Hurstville City Cellar – mustn’t they be proud), making you wonder if being a nation’s bead supplier was the apex of the building’s life, and will it now continue to regress until it’s once again a piano shop.
On the outside, it looks like an ordinary 80s-style sports club. The door is perfectly positioned in front of a busy main road for when drunks stumble out at the end of a night, clueless as to where they are or how much cars hurt.
Unfortunately for fans of empty buildings, the outside is as close a look as we’re gonna get. The Hurstville United Sports Club has moved, leaving the shell of its former home behind as it establishes a new pokie storage room at South Hurstville under the shorter, trendier and more abstract name ‘Club Hurstville Sports’. One can only imagine the third iteration will be titled ‘Hurstclub Sportsville’.
The most notable feature of this old building is the addition of what appears to be the world’s biggest wasp nest in this window. Or second biggest, in case the wasps moved to South Hurstville too.