See inside the Gazette's Pub of the Year
The Shields Gazette Pub of the Year for 2019 is … The Colliery Tavern in Boldon.
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.
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.”
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.”
In second and third places were two South Shields pubs, Hogarth’s and The Trimmers Arms.