‘Business as usual’ at South Shields pub as closure rumours are dismissed

Shirley Ashburner took over the running of the Lookout Inn, in Fort Street, South Shields, last October.
Shirley Ashburner took over the running of the Lookout Inn, in Fort Street, South Shields, last October.

A South Tyneside pub owner says it’s ‘business as usual’ as she spoke out to combat rumours that her watering hole has closed.

The Lookout Inn, in Fort Street, South Shields, was taken over by Shirley Ashburner, who is experienced in the pub business, in October last year.

I’ve had a pretty rough time here since taking over, because lots of people seem to think the pub is closed and that rumour has been spread

Shirley Ashburner

However, she soon realised that many residents in the Lawe Top area were unaware it was still open.

She said: “I’ve had a pretty rough time here since taking over. Lots of people seem to think the pub is closed.

“When I’m speaking with someone and they say they thought the pub had closed.  

“It makes me a bit angry because someone has been spreading that rumour.

“When the former tenant left, the pub was in a bad state, with no pictures on the walls and no optics, but I’ve put a lot of effort in to get it the way it is now.”

She added: “It has also been difficult to get new staff and I’ve had to do all of the hours myself. I just want people to know that the pub is still open and it’s business as usual.”

Singer Robbie Raines will perform in the pub from 8pm tonight, while a darts team has just been reformed and Mrs Ashburner, 65, is looked for seven to eight players to set up a pool team.

She added: “I pulled my first pint here in 1969, when I was 19, and I’ve been managing pubs for the last 35 years.

“This was my first pub, and it looks like it’s going to be my last pub as well, so I’ve come full circle. It would be a real shame for it not to exist, but hopefully things will pick up if people know we’re still open.”

Those interested in joining the pool team will need to call 07490 714066 within the next week.