Memories of South Shields pub with its own monkey

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I THINK a dog is probably as much of an animal as you’ll find in a pub these days.

Time was, though, when more exotic species could be found.

I’ve been hearing from Sid Gulbrandsen.

He has a school friend, Peter Fee, who lives now in Denver, Colorado, in the US, but who lived at the Lord Nelson pub, behind Ocean Road in Shields, where his father, Jack, was manager in the late 1940s-early 1950s. He’d been interested in a query some time ago about the pub having a parrot, of which he doesn’t actually have any memory.

Had someone come up with its name, he wondered?

Well it was Bobby the parrot, and apparently it was partial to an apple gowk pushed through the bars of its cage.

But it also got Sid’s own memory going off on a slightly similar tangent.

Says Sid: “I was a paper boy for Bennett’s paper shop, which was also in Woodbine Street, and delivered to the ‘Monkey Bar.’

“This was the Catherine House, across the road to the Lord Nelson.

“It had a monkey on a leash in the bar called Jacko.

“It had a collection box into which customers put silver threepenny bits.”