The historically significant Corkman Pub was built in 1857 and was one of the earliest extant buildings in Carlton. It was knocked down on the 16th of October following a “suspicious fire”on the 8th. It has been alleged by a Melbourne City Councillor that the heritage listed pub was demolished without a permit. Indeed, it has been confirmed that a “Stop Work Order” was issued on Saturday morning, before the demolition was completed on Sunday. Further, given that the Pub was heritage listed, it is unclear whether demolition at any time would have been allowed. A Law Student working group has been created to look into the matter and to see whether a rebuilding of the Pub could be ordered.
If you are interested in joining the working group please email ResurrectTheCorkman@gmail.com. And please sign the petition!!
AN ODE TO THE CORKMAN
HENRY HAMILTON LINDSAY
Special release - 17 October 2016
How many pints must a law student drink at the Corkman, before you can call them a law student? Future MLS cohorts will never know, nor perhaps even understand the question. Yes, my friends, the Corkman is no more. Any faint, flickering hopes of its resurrection now lie buried under the rubble of 160 Leicester St pictured above. From the courtyard, you used to be able to see people working in the law school till late at night. Now, from the law school, you can see the tangled mess of concrete and wires that courtyard has become. A sadder sight by far.
It was something both more, and less, than a standard Irish uni pub. Yes, the beer was bad. Yes, the décor was dubious (at best). Yes, the smoking area was often filled with the stench of garbage.
Yes, the reason why we all went there was because it was ludicrously close to the building in which we spent all of our other waking hours. But that closeness meant that everybody went there. And that everybody went there meant that a community existed. We all* made great friendships while getting sloshed in the afternoon in that courtyard. We all drank there to forget the essay due at 9AM the next morning. We all felt the outrage that the EFTPOS machine was once again “not working” and that the extortionate ATM was the only option. We all finally talked to one of our law school idols there for the first time, very drunk, and realised they were just a human being as well. We all huddled around the surprisingly hearty fire, ate the actually pretty good wedges, and scanned the windows as we walked to the tramstop on a Thursday afternoon in the hope of seeing some friendly faces we could grab a beer with.
I once spent four consecutive evenings there, and regretted not a single second.
But it’s gone now. Soon to be replaced with an apartment building, I believe. Another thriving community replaced with an artificial one, another dilapidated bar replaced by a sterile monument to gentrification. Will we be the same law school without it? I don’t know.
It was a place of many great memories, and even more conspicuous absences of memories. So whether it’s at The Last Jar (where the staff and management have now relocated), The Shaw Davey Slum *involuntary shudder*, Turf *more involuntary shudders*, in your own loungeroom clutching a glass of goon, or crouched in the dead of night with some tinnies in the ruins of the wonderful place itself, let’s all pour one out for the Corkman.
*(I say “we all” here loosely, of course – not everyone frequented the Corkman, but I imagine those who didn’t will have stopped reading by now).
Henry Hamilton Lindsay is a third-year JD student
One of the Corkman’s great delights was the gathering and playing of Irish folk musicians of a weekday night. Video above courtesy of Daniel “Sully” Sullivan.
More articles like this: