Gateshead Pubs


Hi, I'm Jon Bratton. This website is a sister site to Gateshead History 1 Gateshead Pictorial History and Gateshead Grammar

I've taken over the running of this website from my brother Rob Bratton who, having retired, in 2003/2004, decided to have a pint in every pub in the Borough of Gateshead . Oh yes, it took him a while but he felt somebody should do it....have a pint, record the date, make a comment, give it a score and take a photograph. The basis of this website is the record of his dedicated quest. In each pub entry, the first photograph is his and the first entry is the date of his visit and his comment/score.The header to this website is not what Rob saw while carrying out this task but is from Andy Williamson's magnificent collection of pictures of gateshead . 

Rob had a guestbook on his website, which, remarkably, did not get infested by Russian advertisers. Guestbooks are a rarity now and I suppose a Facebook page is the modern equivalent. If there is a demand for  posting comments about pubs I will create a Facebook page. In the meantime, I'm happy to receive comments about this, and on anything else, by way of my email address which is:-

There are currently 143 operational pubs in Gateshead and about half of them ie 74 have a 'The' in their name. What determines whether or not there is a 'The'? No particular reason. Some pubs have a 'The' and at the next sign renewal the 'The' is dropped, it seems, on the whim of the current landlord

23 pubs with a 'The' have now gone forever..starting with The Beacon and ending with The Wrekendyke. Indeed here's the full list
Beacon, Crown, British Lion, British Queen, Beeswing, Bugle, Deckham, Five Wand Mill Inn, Half Moon, Half Moon, Honeysuckle, Magpie, Mulberry, New Collingwood, Nine Pins, Perseverance, Ship, Swan, Trafalgar, Vigo, William IV Hotel, Willows, Wrekendyke

It may be presumed that a similar number of the non 'The' pubs have also gone forever
eg Bourgognes and Gamekeeper at Swalwell

Main Reasons for the Decline of the Pub

UK homes became more comfortable in the 1970s when central heating started to become more commonplace

In the 1990's supermarkets started pushing alcohol sales and the drinking of wine and beer at home became widespread

The 2003 Licensing Act's implementation was in November 2005

Since July 2007 smoking has been prohibited by law in virtually all enclosed and substantially enclosed work and public places throughout the United Kingdom 

Black Horse, Low Fell

The following images are related to the Black Horse on Kells Lane, Low Fell which has a special connection to our family, as according to our father, the BH, his local was 39 steps from our house. We've all (Four sons and several grandsons) treated the BH as our local from time to time but none more so than Rob who used to hold court there any day you cared to call. The following BH related images are all from Rob's original website

How come the Black Horse had this shirt draped over its roof?

Why the Black Horse? Because that's where this wheeze was plotted...allegedly


Here, the keeper of the sign, as was the expression back then, was James Wardle and I recall seeing another Wardle, his son or father on another old pic. In my Dad's day it was Bill Coxon and the current one is Tim Robinson

Back in Thomas Wilson's day when he wrote his poem The Pitman's Pay he makes a reference to Geordy and the notes explain that the keeper of the sign of the Black Horse, one of the first houses on the Low Fell was Geordy Grundy for organised "cock fightin', cuddy racin' and all other pitman's amusements on pay night

Remember, the garage/car saleroom next door, before it morphed into a restaurant

These are paintings by Jim Harker hung in the lounge of the Black Horse, Low Fell