Author Topic: South Tyneside - February 2019 Branch Report  (Read 901 times)

Offline Annf

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South Tyneside - February 2019 Branch Report
« on: February 27, 2019, 10:30:34 AM »
The members of the Branch who attended the meeting on the 20th February 2019 had a thoroughly entertaining afternoon, not only listening to Andrew Clarke's talk on 'Pubs, Brewers and Beer', but also being able to 'chip in' with their own memories.

Andrew opened the talk by referring to the book published by Allan's in 1891 re "Tyneside Songs" and the first line of the song "then they for good drinking" and it's connection to the 19th century 'Newcastle Eccentrics', a group of like-minded people who were known to meet in the Flying Horse, which was located in the Groat Market.

Illustrated with photographs both old and new, the talk continued with mention of the local breweries and how the heavy industries of the area lead in turn to workers being encouraged to drink.  Tyne Brewery established in the late 1880s which, with the merger of the Scottish Brewery in the 1960s, became known as Scottish & Newcastle Brewery.  Their infamous Newcastle Brown Ale was first launched in 1927.  Vaux Breweries started in Sunderland in the 1830s and their Double Maxim was first brewed in 1901.  Both James and Robert Deuchar came to the North East from Scotland in the 1800s and started brewing;  both of their companies were eventually taken over by Scottish & Newcastle.  Sadly none of the aforementioned brewers remain in the North East today.

Some of the pubs run by these Breweries were covered in the presentation such as the Marsden Inn (Blue Star), the Black Prince in the Nook, South Shields, the Forge & Hammer and the Hydraulic Crane in Scotswood, the Argyll in Hebburn and the Three Mile, Gosforth.  We were reminded of other South Shields pubs e.g. the Horsley Hill Hotel (now a care home) and the Eureka in Frederick Street, South Shields.  In Newcastle, the Grapes situated on Grey Street, next to what was then Mawson, Swan & Morgan, remained a mens' only bar until the early 1970s.  Of course, it would not be Newcastle without mentioning the Bigg Market.  The Old George Inn dates back to the 1500s, and we heard how a former manager of the Duke of Wellington in High Bridge was so large that when he died in the pub at the early age of 22, there was no alternative to getting the body out than by taking out a window!!

Finally Andrew took us back to our youth when he asked if anyone could remember the cost of their first pint!  He reminded us that in 1972 the average price in North East pubs was Harp 16p pint, Exhibition 14p pint and Scotch 12p pint (mind you as I personally learnt, ask for a Scotch in London, you would be given a whiskey) but with 1970s inflation, some 5 years later prices had doubled.  Still cheap by today's standards!!!