Couple aim to breathe new life into South Shields pub

Carl Ferguson re-opens The Grey Hen
Carl Ferguson re-opens The Grey Hen

A well-known South Shields pub is being given a new lease of life as it opens its doors to the public once again.

The Grey Hen in Temple Park Road has been closed to punters for a number of months.

Carl Ferguson re-opens The Grey Hen

Carl Ferguson re-opens The Grey Hen

But now, couple Jocelyn and Carl Ferguson are hoping to bring the bar back to life and put it back into the heart of the community.

Mr Ferguson currently runs Carl’s Carvery based within the grounds of South Shields Football Club, supported by Jocelyn.

After seeing the business take off, the couple decided to expand by looking for a pub they could run together.

Jocelyn, who is a former barmaid and school’s behaviour manager, said: “We had been looking around when The Grey Hen came onto the market and Carl said it was a pub he had wanted for years.

As soon as we walked in we could see the potential of the place.

Jocelyn Ferguson

“As soon as we walked in we could see the potential of the place. There was lots of things wrong with it, it had a garden that needed some TLC - but we also saw what it could be.

“Since news of us taking over and opening it up again has got out, we have had a lot of support. We even had one customer come in to ask if we would put the poems he had written about the pub back up, as he took them down when the pub closed.”

The bar, which will serve home-cooked foods, as well as Carl’s Carvery on Sundays, will be run by Jocelyn and Carl with support from their family who will join their team.

Staff employed will also have the opportunity to work at the bar based within the football ground.

Jocelyn added: “The staff we have taken on have spent time at Carl’s Carvery at the football ground as we wanted to keep the continuity between the two places.

“We have lots of plans for the future including looking at the possibility of putting on transport for people to go to the Shields matches after they’ve enjoyed their meal here. We have also been told the pub used to host a lot of charity events so we’d be looking at bringing those back.

“There’s also a possibility we could look to opening earlier to serve breakfasts. However, we wouldn’t be selling alcohol at that time, as I don’t think that would be right.

“It is such a fantastic pub and we really want it to become part of the community.”

The pub will be open from 11am until 11am Monday to Sunday, however, could open earlier in the future to serve breakfasts.