Pub boss unearths an ancient anchor

ANCHORS AWAY .... Marsden Grotto manager Paul Simpson with the ship's anchor.
ANCHORS AWAY .... Marsden Grotto manager Paul Simpson with the ship's anchor.

A FAMOUS South Tyneside pub now has a solid grip on the past after its landlord unearthed an ancient anchor.

Paul Simpson, who runs the Marsden Grotto in South Shields, found part of the six foot object poking through the sand on Marsden Beach on Friday.

The 40-year-old then spent three hours, with the help of colleagues and coastal erosion students – who were studying on the beach – digging it out.

He said: “The beach has been battered the last few days with the high winds, so I guess this has shifted the sand enough for the anchor to poke through.

“The students study on the beach this time every year, so I said they could use the pub’s toilets if they helped me to dig it out, and they did.


“We’ve left quite a big hole behind.”

The team then dragged the huge anchor on to the patio outside the Grotto, where Mr Simpson is planning to leave it as a decoration.

He said: “If you scrape off the rusty bits it’s in perfect condition underneath, so I am going to spend a bit of time cleaning it up.

“A customer reckons it’s at least 100 years old, because they stopped making this style of anchor years ago.”

He added: “I am going to keep it outside for now. I think it will be quite safe. I can’t imagine anyone would want to try and carry it up the cliff’s steps.”

Mr Simpson hopes once his buried treasure is spruced up, he might be able to identify which ship it belonged to.

He added: “In the past there were many shipwrecks along this section of the coastline.

“I am hoping I will be able to do some research and find out exactly how old it is and which ship it came from.”

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