Last drinks for Peter, Patsy at Silverton pub as legend kicks on

Patsy and Peter Price are calling it last drinks for their ownership of the famous Silverton Hotel, outside of Broken Hill, where Mad Max movies were shot.
Patsy and Peter Price are calling it last drinks for their ownership of the famous Silverton Hotel, outside of Broken Hill, where Mad Max movies were shot.

Plumber Peter Price had a lifetime of fixing taps, and never thought one day opening them up constantly would be the way he earned a living.

Then about 10 years ago he had a dream. He woke up next to his Broken Hill raised wife Patsy and said: "I just dreamt we're going to own the Silverton Hotel".

He put the wheels in motion and the former Victorian was suddenly pouring beers out in the dry area beyond Broken Hill, where such famous movies as Mad Max have been shot.

The couple have now decided its time to be grey(ish) nomads. And 73-year-old Peter has put the famous pub up for sale.

It gets about 120,000 visitors a year and on one good trading day during school holidays served up 300 meals.

A drag queen entertains the crowd at Silverton Hotel during day two of the recent Broken Heel festival.

A drag queen entertains the crowd at Silverton Hotel during day two of the recent Broken Heel festival.

Just last Sunday it hosted part of the Broken Heel festival, and about 1000 people, many dressed as drag queens, turned up for the day.

"They were a great crowd," says Peter. "They were the greatest bunch of people you'd ever meet."

After, he didn't find any missing heels, just a few dropped bows out the back. "We were all absolutely stuffed after the big night."

Peter has met all types of celebrities since taking over the pub. Ray Martin and Ernie Dingo have been visitors but one of his favourites was the SBS-ABC film buff David Stratton.

"David and I sat down and I think we talked about films for two hours," he said.

The hotel won the Australian Hotels Association best bush pub in NSW award in 2017.

The original hotel was opened in 1884 by John de Baun, but the two-storey hotel was destroyed by fire in June 1918. A new site was found and the hotel standing now was built.

In 1972, the film Wake in Fright starring Chips Rafferty was shot partly in Silverton. Chips Rafferty had lived in Broken Hill in his early days at Billy Goat Hill.

The exposure from Wake in Fright led to many filmmakers seeking the Broken Hill district as a film location including the famous Mad Max movies and later Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

Mad Max fans often come to the hotel for a reunion.

This story The Silverton Hotel needs a publican first appeared on The Land.