Community celebrates rescue of 'iconic' South Shields pub ahead of Christmas week
Well-wishers have been toasting the eleventh-hour rescue of a South Shields pub which faced temporary closure just days before Christmas.
The Marsden Inn announced earlier this week on Facebook that it could close over Christmas due to “staffing issues”.
But South Shields publican Michael Ward, of The Lookout on the Lawe Top, came to the rescue after volunteering to become the venue’s temporary licence holder and relief manager.
Staff and customers alike celebrated the good news, with dozens of messages coming in on the Shields Gazette Facebook page to wish the team the best of luck for the weeks ahead.
Many rallied around Michael, who previously spent 10 years working at the Little Haven Hotel, and pledged to visit the pub for a festive drink in the coming days.
Others warned that local pubs must be used by the community to ensure their survival.
Speaking to the Gazette, Michael also revealed plans to launch an exciting new food offering at the pub, as well as accommodation using the existing facilities.
Here are some of your messages from the Shields Gazette Facebook page:
Meg Brown: “Hopefully not just for Christmas. Iconic pub needs respect and refurbished. Good luck, watching with hope for future.”
Bev Rutter Bywater: “Great bloke, great manager, he works very hard. Knew Michael from Littlehaven, lovely man.”
Alyssa Glass: “This is fantastic news, well done Michael.”
Valerie Davidson: “We’ll be there Michael, you’re doing great, look forward trying out the food from the new chef.”
Jozene McKinnon: “Awesome news Michael! Check you out spreading your wings.”
Lesley-Ann Potts: “Top man Michael, we will certainly pop in for a drink!”
Patricia Ridley: “Well Done Michael, that’s great.”
Kim Thompson: “Good news! Gonna pop in are dogs allowed in.”
Joan Burbeck: “So glad to hear this.”
Mellisa Sanders: “Brill I was very sad to think beautiful pub closing.”
Linda Trotter: “Good luck.”
Judith Rossiter: “Good luck Michael! Might pop in for some food.”
Marilyn J Ones: “Great pub.”
Gary Done: “Pubs aren't charities, if you don't use them, they close. Nostalgia for times gone by is great, but that's all you'll have if you don't use them.”