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When the inn crowd hit the Vaults

MOMENT IN TIME... The Chichester Arms Hotel and Wine and Spirits Vaults in all its glory.
MOMENT IN TIME... The Chichester Arms Hotel and Wine and Spirits Vaults in all its glory.

PUBS have been occupying our attention in recent weeks.

They are certainly an absorbing topic, especially in the implications of some of their names.

I’ve always been intrigued by the use of “Vaults” for some pubs. Two that come to mind in Shields are the old Eagle Vaults on King Street and, up Commercial Road once upon a time, the West End Vaults.

And here’s a third, the Chichester Arms Hotel and Wine and Spirit Vaults, as it was known in its day.

Vaults tend to suggest store rooms, though I’ve sometimes wondered if they didn’t also refer to off-sales.

Also, though, it seems that the vaults could be a part of a pub that catered for a specific clientele, usually working-class men (which I’m sure I recollect reading about the Eagle, which had separate areas for workers and professionals).

Otherwise this is just a lovely picture of a well-known area of the town, another from Kevin Blair.

The tangle of overhead wires reminds us of what a major transport junction Chi was in its day.

And I love it that almost everyone has stopped for the picture – even the polis.