Crystal St club house circa 1970
The Broken Hill Musicians Club originated from a group of four musicians getting together and having a “jam session” in a shed in the main street of the city. This group of musicians grew until finally the Broken Hill Musicians Club sought and was granted its license in 1919.
Operations commenced in four rooms of the Pirie Chambers in Argent Street in the same year.. The club continued its operations from those same premises until 1945 when it moved to the Tattersalls Building, next door, also in Argent Street.
In 1964 the club moved to its current building in Crystal Street. The building was architecturally a significant building. Featuring curved walls and large auditorium, it set a standard for club accommodations in the city. In 1991 and 1992 the Club undertook a major refurbishment of these premises.
During 1995 the Club sought and was awarded a Club TAB franchise. A tastefully appointed facility was incorporated into the Club. A feature of the Club TAB is a number of pencil drawings by local artist Wayne Williams depicting the legends of the Australian horse racing industry.
When another club was unable to secure a special license for Two-up, the Musicians Club applied for and along with the support of the Broken Hill City Council, was successful in gaining the right to conduct a two-up game on club premises.
Historically, traditional Two-up (an illegal game) was conducted in a tin shed in a premises in a lane in the centre of the town. Following approval by the Department of Gaming and Racing a license had been granted to the City Council who were seeking an alternative venue from the location in which they had operated the game as a tourist attraction. Two-up was discontinued in August 2011 due to declining patronage for this once iconic game.
In 1996, a complete refurbishment including extensions to the exisiting premises were commenced. The project costing in excess of $8m was completed in 1998 and officially opened by Mr Richard Face MP, NSW Minister Gaming and Racing and Mr Jack Ball AM President, NSW Registered Clubs Association. The new Two-up Gaming Room was opened by Mr Ken Brown, Director General NSW Department Gaming and Racing.
The Club management is headed by the General Manager (until 1998 a Secretary Manager) and overseen by the Board of Directors who provide both volunteer labour and policy input. The Club presently employs over 30 staff. Staff turnover is very low.
The Club and its facilities are enjoyed by 4,000 members comprising both local and non-local patrons. The Club offers a Bistro which is open every day for lunch and dinner.
Coulda Beens 1987
Old club house circa 1961