The ‘Drummoyne Boys’ gang – secret clubhouse in abandoned bowlo

Kids who grew up around the inner west suburb of Drummoyne during the 90s probably heard of, or in some way encountered the Drummoyne Boys gang – AKA ‘DB’. Back in the day when teenagers still got rolled for Sony Discmans, these little lads were like hyenas. On their own, they weren’t so bad and could sometimes even be kinda cute, in a weird way…but in a small pack, they were known to be an unsavoury species to avoid.

While DB’s dangerous reputation was no doubt bolstered by the bragging of teenage boys, I still got a huge kick out of accidentally discovering their top secret headquarters recently. Being completely oblivious that Drummoyne Boys gang still existed today, stumbling upon their hideout and learning their legacy still lives on today gave me a great nostalgia rush and a big belly laugh. Being one of the few (if not the first) female to tread on their territory was definitely fun experience 😉

According to Urban Dictionary, DB is in fact a real gang and their reputation around town is:

“A street gang based in the Inner Western suburb of Drummoyne, Sydney. Better known as a bunch of stupid lads with nothing better to do than buy champion pants and make up funny handsigns that sort of say ‘DB’, the Drummoyne boys are best know for such shocking, gangstarific crimes as: 

  • Graffitiing Walls 
  • Starting fights with little kids
  • Drinking alchohol (but making sure it’s a barcardi breezer or something)
  • Shoplifting

…don’t have official colours, although anything from InSport should do you just fine. Oh and don’t forget your nautica hat either.” 

DB’s lair is located inside an abandoned sports facility. baggsing it as their own by scrawling ‘DB lives here’ and intimidating threats all over the walls in texta. DB’s foreboding warnings look juvenile, so I guess these lads are pretty young and the new generation of the crew.

However, any site that could potentially show evidence of the old Balmain Tigers rugby league club signage is of significant historical importance to Australian sports and Sydney’s community. So sorry DB, sometimes exploring means treading on some toes to capture an important Kodak moment.

Hopefully the boys didn’t mind me busting in on their hideout for the sake of our mighty Balmain Tigers. DB’s design choices and decorating ideas complement the roaring tiger at the front entrance pretty well, I reckon 🙂

You don’t have to lurk inside for long to see these boys are living it up in their multimillion dollar bachelor pad. Upturned mattresses and tables scatter the main entertainment areas, two poker table sit proudly in two separate playing rooms and the kitchen is looking grimy because no girls are allowed in there to give the tabletops a thorough wipedown. It makes me wonder what their bedrooms look like…

While the grotty gang are certainly lax about their living standards, it’s more mess than downright gross. I’ve seen abandoned places in much worse states than this, so it’d only take a few days cleaning to tidy up the interior.

Structurally, the building itself is still in fairly good condition – with some TLC and a spring clean from DB, its retro vibe could be quite charming. The site is currently zoned for recreational use only, so you’d think the inner west community would support this place reopening one day.

Unfortunately the reason why yet another Sydney entertainment venue is unlikely open up again one day is due to a development proposal underway to build – you guessed it – a high rise residential estate. so it looks likely that Drummoyne residents will soon lose this once enjoyable local playhouse and watering hole for good.

Am amazed that DB still exist and wonder if the today’s teenager around the inner west side still like to loiter at Drummoyne Maccas, Sutton Place newsagent and the cricket oval. It’s a pleasant surprise to see that at least some of Sydney’s youth are still exploring outside and mucking around old school style, rather than holed up indoors all day on their iPhones 😉 They’re just having a lark, as kids are known to do and not hurting anyone by hanging out here for the time being, at least.

My unauthorised clubhouse tour brings back fuzzy memories of a few faces from that 90s era DB crew – I wonder if they grew up to be gangsters, or embraced the inner west hipster life. Am unsure whether they’ll be happy about this post or hate me now. But I hope they’re honored their time as temporary caretakers of this venue is valued as a little slice of Sydney history – at least to me.

XO Gia