Pub owners celebrate book launch

Author event: Scott Whitaker discusses his latest book at the City of Victor Harbor Library. Check out the website for other upcoming events and discussions.
Author event: Scott Whitaker discusses his latest book at the City of Victor Harbor Library. Check out the website for other upcoming events and discussions.

Goolwa locals Geoff and Margaret Baker were in for a treat when author Scott Whitaker visited the Victor Harbor Library on Friday July 5 to present his new book, which features the Baker's pub at Peterborough on the front cover.

Whitaker led an in-depth discussion to a small crowd, following the release of his fourth book, Railway Hotels of Australia (Volume 4) featuring photos, history and tales from railway hotels across SA, the NT, TAS and WA.

After retiring from his 30 year role as an air traffic controller, Whitaker reignited his passion for trains and set out to visit every railway hotel in the country, and has since had a beer at each.

There were once up to 700 railway hotels scattered around the country; today only around 150 remain.

Over a decade of research and travel, Whitaker has documented in fine detail, the history of railway hotels all over Australia.

"As I travelled around, I started to discover some really great stories," said Whitaker.

"My friends and family were amazed so I thought, okay I'll write a book."

Featured on the front page of his latest book is the Railway Hotel in Peterborough, owned for the last 30 years by Fleurieu locals Geoff and Margaret Baker.

Book launch: Margaret Baker, author Scott Whitaker and Geoff Baker celebrate Whitaker's latest book launch at the Victor Harbor Library.

Book launch: Margaret Baker, author Scott Whitaker and Geoff Baker celebrate Whitaker's latest book launch at the Victor Harbor Library.

Geoff formerly of Victor Harbor, and now Goolwa particularly enjoyed Whitaker's insights at the book launch.

"The photo out the front of the pub featured on the front cover of Scott's book is great," he said.

It features the hotel's iconic capula tower and front facade and through Whitaker's book, Geoff was able to learn some new details of former licensees he was unaware of.

Geoff and Margaret recently produced a signature bottle of port for the pub's 125th anniversary, which featured an up to date list of all the pub's licensees, which they presented to Whitaker as a token of appreciation.

"All the members of our family have worked at the pub at one stage and at one point we had three generations working there together," said Geoff.

He recommended anyone from the Fleurieu check out the Railway Hotel in Peterborough if they were passing through.