See inside the Gazette's Pub of the Year

The Shields Gazette Pub of the Year for 2019 is … The Colliery Tavern in Boldon.

Monday, 25th November 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 25th November 2019, 6:00 am

The Hedworth Lane pub has been serving drinks since the middle of the 19th century. But for the last three years it has been run licensee Tom Hughes and his business partner Jack Wade.

The bar has a mix of the modern and traditional. It caters for sports fans and music lovers, but also has a roaring coal fire, which is especially popular at this time of year. Tom and Jack think the pub opened in around 1852.

The Colliery Tavern was previously a Vaux house and the old brewery lamp still hangs above the front door.

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Colliery Tavern owners Jack Wade and Tom Hughes (right) are the winners of the Shields Gazette Pub of the Year 2019
Colliery Tavern owners Jack Wade and Tom Hughes (right) are the winners of the Shields Gazette Pub of the Year 2019

It was first built, as the name would suggest, mainly for the mining community. It was originally the Colliery Inn changing to Tavern, Tom thinks, for legal reasons as it didn’t have guest rooms.

The pub employs five staff and is popular for its live music, Wednesday quiz, live sports, darts nights and karaoke.

A delighted Tom said: “We’ve tried three times to win this award. We were lucky enough to win this year. We’re over the moon.

“We’d like to thank our staff and customers for helping us to achieve this over the last three years. They’ve helped to make the pub what it’s become. They give the pub that sense of community.”

The old Vaux lantern still hangs over the entrance of The Colliery Tavern in Boldon.

One example of that community spirit will be seen on Tuesday, December 17 when a brass band will play traditional Christmas carols and mulled wine will be on offer. This is the third year that Tom and Jack have staged the event.

Jack, who is also a drummer with the band Vandebilt, added: “Thanks too to everyone who voted for us. Everyone’s always made to feel welcome when they come in. That’s the main comment we get.

“Nowhere has the same energy as the Colliery Tavern and it’s because of the amazing community that it sits in. The people make the pub.

“A huge thank you to the people who pull the pints and the people who drink them.”

Colliery Tavern landlords Jack Wade and Tom Hughes (right), winners of the Shields Gazette Pub of the Year, have kept the old swing sign that recently had to be replaced.

In second and third places were two South Shields pubs, Hogarth’s and The Trimmers Arms.