Control Data Australia Memories compiled by Brian Membrey

The Fountain Inn

 1 Crockford Street, Port Melbourne

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Location

Corner of Crockford Street and City Road, Port Melbourne. Alternatively, 456 Bay Street.

Memories

I originally had the Fountain Inn under "Play" as it became a more-or-less regular drinking spot for many Computer/Light Car Club members after Irene Morgan left the club circa 1988 and in partnership with Geoff Birthisel took over the Fountain Inn.

It became something of a meeting place for members of The Computer Club Syndicate, a high-powered horse racing syndicate that conquered the thoroughbred world before deciding to dissolve and give various Saudi-Arabian princes and sheiks a fighting chance!

(Uner Irene and Geoff's auspices, I organise my late father's 80th birthday there in 1990 - never have so many Membreys congregated in one pub before or since)!

Ron Bird suggests however that it was earlier used as a lunch spot, in particular a special favourite of Marcel Dayan, so we've "upgraded" accordingly.

History

The Fountain Inn traces all the way back to 1859 when the first license was granted to Nathaniel Mills, but like many of the older hotels, it was almost immediately taken over by the family of John Crockford, who also lent his name to the short stretch of road that linked Sandridge Road (now City Road) to Bay Street.

It is believed that the hotel was rebuilt at some stage between 1859 and 1909, but the structure has remained virtually unaltered since with the possible exception of a small dining room in Crockford Street to meet the requirements of the Licensing Reductions Board in the 1920s.

Today

Like a few old buildings in Port and South Melbourne, the exterior has been stripped back to reveal some of the original paintwork, emphasising the age of the original.

In the case of the Fountain Inn, this has worked quite well, but why in the Name of God is it now called the Sloaney Pony Hotel???

Oops ... whilst compiling the 2015 slide show, I note the Sloaney Pony has been humanely put own an the site now functions  as Mardo's.  

Not sure what was wrong with the Fountain Inn of over 100 years - I also have a distinct recollection that through the early part of the 21st century, it was owned by a couple of prominent Melbourne footballers and had yet another name which is firmly in forgettory.