the nineteenth century, Durham and Northumberland were at the top of
drunkenness leagues, well, quelle surprise! Temperance halls were set
up but in 1846 there were reported to be 73 adult teetotallers in
Gateshead along with 49 juveniles, and only 4 ministers!
Of course, the
rest of the population was not alcoholic, but they were not members of
the temperance movement. Drunkenness increased, but so did the
population. In 1851 one in every 168 people of Gateshead was convicted
of drunkenness.. tho, it is said, Gateshead folk were canny as drunks
Immigrants, especially the Irish and Scots, may have contributed to the drunkeness. According to George Lucas, a temperance supporter, there were 170 public houses in the 1860s. The population of Gateshead was only 35,000 at this time. 170 pubs for 35,000 people (205 people per pub) and now in the extended borough of Gateshead, comprising some 200,000 people there are less than 200 pubs (1000 people per pub)
The Goat Inn was on Bottle Bank and still should be, if you ask me. In 1616, it was called "The Bell of the Hoop"; in 1627, "The Spread Eagle" and by 1672, the "Goat Inn".
The Brandling Arms, formerly a rectory, stood on the spot that the western edge of the Sage now stands
The Barge Inn in Hillgate. so called because nobody ever just sedately opened the door and strolled in. No but seriously, notice the maritime theme for the pubs near the river
The Anchor in 1900. This was
built to cater to the keelmen and others working around the Dunston
Staithes. It is now called the Tudor Rose... a perfectly good old pub
ruined with false tudor timber. Left click on the image to see it
And where is the historic significance? Somebody should be imprisoned for vandalism.
The Wherry Inn 1900 in Swalwell. A wherry is a large light barge
And talking of vessels...is this a vessel passing thro' the Swing Bridge, causing a traffic snarl-up on Bottle Bank?
The Queen's Head Inn deserves special mention as it was obviously the posh hotel of Gateshead and being near the bottom of Bottle Bank it was very close to Newcastle and was often used as the place of celebratory banquets. I went through the news events for the period 1830s-1870s and The Queen's Head cropped up frequently. Here's an example
1849 August 6. Sir Robert Peel, bart., accompanied by his family,
arrived in Newcastle, on his way to the Highlands, and stayed
for the night at the Queen's Head Inn. In the course of the
evening the right honourable baronet took a walk through the
town, taking particular notice of Mr. Grainger's erections, the
High Level Bridge, &c. He was loudly cheered by a large crowd
at the railway station on his departure.
Gateshead High Street Pubs
The most oft repeated, but not entirely correct, comment about central Gateshead is that it wasn't possible to complete a pub crawl of all the pubs on the High Street, even just having a gill (half pint) at each pub. At its peak there were 25 pubs on the High Street, 30 if you include Bottle Bank and 32 if you include Brunswick Street which, for all the World, was merely a continuation of the High Street.
Well excuse me but that's only 16 pints and I've come across many blokes who can easily down 16 pints in a session
If you include all the pubs within staggering distance of the High Street, now you're slurring, for the number doubles, and 32 pints is beyond even the legendary swallying power of Bucket Heed (a Mackem I once knew with a prodigious thirst)
Here are those 32 pubs starting at the southern end on the right hand side (rhs) looking north
Left click the link to see a photo, where available
Lord Raglan (rhs)
Pubs in Central Gateshead just off the High Street and beyond
Albert, Albert Street
Prince Alfred, Prince Consort Road
Alma Inn, Hopper Street
Barley Mow, Crawshay Inn, both on East Street
Beaconsfield Hotel, Askew Road
Black Swan Inn, Park Lane
Castle, Bensham Road
Crystal Palace, Oakwellgate
Elephant Inn, Swalwell/Whickham
Flying Horse, Oakwellgate
Gardeners Arms, Bensham Road
Northumberland Arms, Coatsworth Road
Princess of Wales, Ellison Street West
Richard Cobden Inn, Chandless Street
Shipcote Hotel, Sunderland Road
Wylam Hotel, Hector Street
How Is It Now?
Conscious as I am that this is t'internet, and some of you could be looking in from as far away as Darlington, I though it apropos to tell, nay show you, nay both, how it is now
Well, there's not 32 pubs on the High Street but 10 and 3 of those are closed as I write this
Bluebell, The Grove, O'Keefe's and Moon and Sixpence
William IV (5)
The William IV Inn dates back to at least the early 19th century, possibly even the late 18th century. In 1865 it was owned by Jane Grahamsley who was probably related to her namesake after whom the street was named. Prior to this it is likely that it was owned by John Eden who is listed as a publican in an appropriate location on the1841 census. By 1900 it had become one of the many inns run by local importers Swinburne & Co.
Ye Olde Fleece (6)
Grey Nags Head (9)
The only other drinking establishment is the bar called Window on the Tyne in The Hilton Hotel where you get a magnificent view but you need a mortgage to buy a pint
Here's the very window I looked out while suppin my four quid pint and d'yer know I thought this magnicent late November view was worth it.... what say the exiles among you?
So I dug deep and had another pint looking out of this window
Many Gateshead pubs had nicknames. Click the link to see them or if you know more tell me about in the Guestbook