Holborn Rose and Crown landlords to keep South Shields pub's legacy alive with takeover of Harbour Lights

The landlords of the now closed Holborn Rose and Crown are set to keep South Shields’ seafaring history alive, with the takeover the Lawe Top’s Harbour Lights.

Wednesday, 4th September 2019, 4:45 pm
Husband and wife Chris and Karen McKeller at The Holborn Rose and Crown in 2018

The Victorian-era Rose and Crown called last orders for the final time last Saturday, as the much-loved pub is due to be demolished this month.

The pub, which has had only three owners over the last century, was sold to South Tyneside Council following the death of longstanding landlord Bob Overton, who ran the watering hole for 35 years, in January 2018.

However, tenants Chris and Karen McKellar, who took over the running of the pub in August last year, are hoping to continue its legacy, taking a little part of “The Rosie! with them to their new venture at the Harbour Lights on Lawe Road.

The Holborn Rose and Crown, Hill Street, South Shields

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Also dating back to the Victorian age, the pub, which is owned by Heineken's Star Pubs and Bars outfit, has stood empty since January 2019.

“For us, The Rosie has always been Bob’s pub, we’ve just steadied the ship and kept it going, whereas up there we can put our own stamp on it,” said Chris.

“A lot of the customers are going to follow us, and the majority of the staff are coming.”

Karen continued: “We’ve involved the customers as much as we can in the decision making, so they feel like it’s a part of them.

The Harbour Lights, Lawe Road

“Everyone is absolutely over the moon. It’ll never be the same, but we can try to recreate it a little bit.”

She added: "There’s a big community up there, and they’ve lost their pub too, so we want to give them somewhere to go."

The highly sought-after memorabilia, including dockyard plaques and pictures of Navy ships on the Tyne, which have been a key feature of the Rose and Crown, will also be heading to the new venue.

“It gives everybody in South Shields the opportunity to enjoy it,” said Chris.

“That’s our little nod to The Rosie.”

Karen added: “We just want to thank everybody who has been involved with the pub over the years, we couldn’t have done it without them.”

The Harbour Lights is due to reopen in the coming weeks.