Help sought over old South Shields pub

Details of Ann Whitehead's application to sell intoxicating liquors.
Details of Ann Whitehead's application to sell intoxicating liquors.

When it comes to tracing the history of pubs and publicans here on South Tyneside, Gazette readers are always eager to help provide some answers.

So we’re hoping that you can come up trumps with a recent query relating to the licensed trade.

Bolingbroke Street Drill Hall which was abandoned under the reorganisation of the Territorial Army in 1967.

Bolingbroke Street Drill Hall which was abandoned under the reorganisation of the Territorial Army in 1967.

The call for assistance comes from Barbara Chiari who writes: “I came across one of your interesting Shields Gazette article on the internet.

“I hope you don’t mind my writing to you, but I have been trying to find out a little more about a pub that used to be on Cuthbert Street.

“Apparently my great-grandmother, Ann Whitehead, was the ‘licensed victualler’ around 1880.

“It seems that previously she had a licence to sell ‘intoxicating liquors’ at a shop on Shepherd Street, but in the 1881 census, she was the victualler at The Duke of Argyle, located at 21 Cuthbert Street.

“I would be very appreciative of any information you may possibly have.”

Well, the ball is in your court, so please get in touch if you can help Barbara with her research.

Meanwhile, another reader, Paul Warrick, is seeking help in order to complete a family history project he is working on.

Paul writes: “I am researching my wife Jane Warrick’s family tree.

“Her maiden name is Newell and on her paternal side, her father was Richard Owen Newell and his father (her grandfather) was also Richard Owen Newell.

“Both were merchant seamen who were born and lived in South Shields. They lived at an addresses in Fort Street, Wapping Street and South Frederick Street over the period from 1870 to 1920 and beyond.

“Jane’s great grandfather was Owen Newell who was born in 1870.

“We know little about him other than he married Henrietta Murray and they had Jane’s grandfather, Richard Owen Newell who was christened at St Hilda’s.

“If anyone has any information on Owen Newell or Henrietta Murray it would be really appreciated, together with any old photos of Fort Street, Wapping Street or South Frederick Street.”

You can contact Paul at paul.f.warrick@gmail.com

Another reader Sheila Hernon got in touch, not with a question, but a suggestion to Rob Venue who appeared in the page on January 15 seeking information regarding three brothers, including his great, great grandfather, Aaron Venus, who travelled to Shields in the late 19th century aboard a ship, registered to Mrs Elizabeth Gare. Rob was keen to learn more about Mrs Gare – something Sheila was able to help with.

“Google Books has freely available pdfs of Lloyd’s Shipping Registers from that period. They are searchable, so Rob can search for Elizabeth Gare.

“I checked the 1839 Register and E. Gare of South Shields is in there along with the ship’s and captain’s name. More information is also included. From there he can search the ship’s crew and get details of their rank and ticket numbers. The ticket numbers will then give him the list of ships his ancestor was on. Hope this helps him!”

Other readers responded to some of the many photos being posted on the Gazette’s Facebook pages, including one, taken in November 1966, of the Bolingbroke Street Drill Hall which was abandoned under the reorganisation of the Territorial Army a year later.

Delaine Johnson said: “My dad Frank Nye was in the TA. I remember seeing black and white photos of him on parade outside of Bolingbroke Hall when I was little. I also remember going to the kids Christmas party at Highfield Road early seventies.”

Douglas Brown recalls how he “used to use the rifle range there on a Friday” while Valerie Halliday says: “I used to be in the wives club, we had some great days out,”

Karen Ellis posted: “Seen every single Angelic Upstarts gig in there.”

John Bage kindly contacted me regarding a photo, taken in May 1967, of draughtsmen from John Readhead and Sons.

He emailed: “I recognise all the draughtsmen in the Readheads picture. All the draughtsmen were locked out by the employers in the Swan Hunter Group and elsewhere. I was an apprentice at the time and we were allowed to go into work.”