Euros at Dougie's Tavern: Flags and fireworks to see tournament begin with a bang at Hebburn pub
Dougie’s Tavern on Blackett Street, Hebburn has erected a marquee and festooned it with hundreds of flags, with all 24 nations competing in the European Championships each represented many times over.
There are 200 flags on the roof alone, with more still adorning the walls inside. But it’s the flag of St George which naturally dominates.
Owner Norman Scott bought the marquee in March, to provide outside service when Covid restrictions were partially lifted on April 12.
Now, with help from Marine Scaffolding, it is decorated inside and out to celebrate the football tournament which begins when Italy play Turkey at 8pm on Friday, June 11. The marquee is surrounded by 24 flagpoles, each bearing an England flag plus a flag for each rival nation.
Inside the marquee around 180 people can be seated at 30 tables. All the tables are the required 1.5 metres apart and have England tablecloths. There is table service and allocation is on a first come, first served basis with no bookings.
Staff are expecting a busy time when England play their opening game against Croatia at 2pm on Sunday. The pub opens daily at 11am.
Norman said: “People are asking what time they can turn up. They want to get here early.
“If you can’t get in the marquee we’ve got other tables and chairs. If you can’t get in there either, we’re putting a big plasma telly outside so you can sit and watch it outside too.
“We’ll be having an opening ceremony on Friday at around 6.30pm, before the opening game. We’ll be setting fireworks off.
“They build you up to let you down, but I always look forward to watching England. I have a feeling about England this time. Then again, I always have a feeling about England.”
Norman took over Dougie’s in March 2019, but his involvement in the place goes back to 1992. He is very excited about the Euros and is to have the England flag dyed into his hair. He also fancies his country’s chances.
He added: “I’m 59 years old and I’m having my hair dyed. What’s going on? My prediction is for an England-Spain final.”