Di Houghton at the Westwood Hotel.
Di Houghton at the Westwood Hotel.

Country pub keeps town services in good shape

In the Westwood Hotel's heyday, there would be 60 or 70 people crammed in against the bar on Friday nights, selling and buying tickets for meat trays.

The Westwood Rural Fire Service volunteers just next door thanked the publicans for their fundraising efforts at the opening of their new kitchen.

Di Houghton bought the pub 24 years ago after barmaiding since she was 17, and then interstate truck driving.

"In a small place like this, the hall, the school and the fire brigade are the only three things here," she said.

"You've got to help them out, otherwise who's going to help you?"

The closest Di came to trouble in Westwood was the 2011 floods that cut the town off for three days.

"I had a full house and lots of food, so we had a heap of people camping here.

"Some of them, like me, were trying to fly out for the Keith Urban concert."

She has seen rollovers in the carpark, broken bones and helicopters landing in her backyard. But Di said the rural pub scene isn't the same as it used to be.

"The farmers are doing it tough so everyone's short of money," she said.

Di never did get to see Keith play but she's keen to see the Rod Stewart concert next year.

"With three wives and all those kids … we know what he's got up his kilt, don't we?"