It has often been said that the best way to learn history is to study castles and churches; however, it cannot be denied that the best way to learn about the history of North Shields is to study the pubs. This new book, written and compiled by local historian Charlie Steel, does just that!
As a relatively small town in the 1800s, North Shields has probably had the highest number of inns, taverns, alehouses and beer sellers to be found anywhere in the country.
In the picture above, which shows the junction of Saville Street and Borough Road in 1906, three well known pubs are shown, the ‘Mariners Arms’ and the ’Sir Colin Campbell’ to the left, and the ‘Ballarat’ to the right
The Low Town in particular had an extremely high concentration of pubs, with some inns actually adjoining each other, and others just being a matter of feet away from the next.
There were over 180 licensed premises in North Shields High Town, 158 in the Low Town and 83 in the West End and ‘Bullring’ areas of the town.
The nearby Chirton and Percy Main areas comprised around 17 public houses, and the adjoining Preston Township had 14 known inns and taverns.
These numbers do not include the brewers or small independent Ale, Porter, Wine & Spirit Merchants etc., which themselves numbered in excess of 225.
Published by Summerhill Books, and available in local shops from 1st June 2013, this 96-page book is an illustrated Gazetteer and Directory, which provides a fascinating insight into the many inns, taverns and alehouses that have existed in North Shields over the past 200 years.
The book will be followed up in September 2013 with Part 2, which will cover all the remaining licensed premises that have also existed in Tynemouth, Whitley, Cullercoats and surrounding areas.
by Charlie Steel © 2013
His published books include ‘Monkseaton Village’ Vols 1 & 2, and ‘North Shields Public Houses, Inns & Taverns Part 1’, all of which are available from most local booksellers.