Hebburn pub celebrates 50 years of pulling pints

The Kelly's landlady Brenda Hallowell is hosting a 50th anniversary band festival with the help of staff Callum Carney and customer Kevin Merrifield.
The Kelly's landlady Brenda Hallowell is hosting a 50th anniversary band festival with the help of staff Callum Carney and customer Kevin Merrifield.

Pub bosses are preparing to celebrate their watering hole’s 50th birthday in style.

The Kelly first opened its doors in Hedgeley Road, Hebburn, on August 10, 1965.

I think it is a big part of the community and we’ve definitely seen that in the time we’ve been here.

Brenda Hallowell

Brenda Hallowell took over the establishment five years ago alongside her husband, Dave and son, Kevin, and says she’s proud to be at the helm during the milestone year.

They’re inviting people to celebrate with them on Saturday, August 8, with an outdoor band festival.

Brenda, from Hebburn, said: “I’m excited, because the 50th anniversary is a big thing.

“The pub did close for a couple of years until we took it over five years ago, and I think it had really been a miss in the town – especially for the regulars.

“The festival we’re having is about celebrating the pub’s anniversary but also about thanking our regulars for sticking with us over the years.”

The 50th anniversary event, which kicks off at noon, will see about eight bands perform in an outdoor marquee at the pub while hot food is served, and kids can enjoy the bouncy castle and having their face painted.

Activities run outside until 7pm, when a Motown band will take over inside to play out the rest of the evening.

Brenda has also invited along the Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Richard Porthouse, and the Mayoress, his wife Patricia, to officially kick off the event, and is hoping the Sea Cadets will come along to celebrate the pub’s nautical roots.

The pub was named after the HMS Kelly, a ship built by Hawthorn Leslie and Company in Hebburn and launched in 1938.

The K-class destroyer saw action off Norway and in the Mediterranean during the Second World War before being lost in 1941 during the Battle of Crete.

Throughout her service, she was commanded by Lord Louis Mountbatten.

The outside of the pub was featured on TV after it was transformed into Swayze’s for BBC Two sitcom Hebburn, penned by comic Jason Cook, who hails from the town.

Brenda added: “I would love to think the pub would still be here in another 50 years – though I doubt I will be.

“I think it is a big part of the community and we’ve definitely seen that in the time we’ve been here.”