It seems fitting that our April heritage blog, based on extensive research by photo archive volunteer Allen, should coincide with the re-opening of the Ouseburn’s pubs on the 12th April. It hasn’t been a great year for anyone, but our local hostelries now, as in the past, play a greater role in the valley than simply tending a pint and we have missed them. We dedicate this to all the brewers and land persons of the Ouseburn.

This is a history, comprehensive but not necessarily yet complete, of the many ‘lost’ pubs, inns and beer houses that existed in the last 200+ years in the central Ouseburn area. It gives an insight into the heritage of the buildings and the life, sometimes deaths, of people frequenting them with images and extracts from contemporary newspaper reports.
It celebrates a number of sporting heroes and activities, includes details of some of the other events held in the pubs such as inquests, meetings of groups and societies and gives an understanding of conditions endured, particularly by those working in the lead works, crimes committed and punishments received.

Map of Ouseburn pubs

This map, based around a contemporary street layout of the central Ouseburn district, shows clearly where the pubs were concentrated. With so many in such a small area, research to date has maintained a narrow geographic spread limited to just 29 establishments. Due to the large volume of research, the data for each pub has been presented in a table format which can be viewed here with the green highlighted sections representing the years the pub was trading.

Below are a few excerpts to wet the appetite (pun fully intended).

Mason's Arms

Mason Arms information table screenshot

This image from the Newcastle Libraries Collection dating from the 1900’s shows Jocker (John) Wood (landlord) and six patrons posing with their sports trophies at the Mason's Arms, Quality Row. A sign in front of the trophies lists the awards won by 'Jocker Wood at Quoits Pigeon-Flying Bagatelle Cycling and Golf' (Newcastle Libraries Collection). Jocker Wood is commemorated in the Ouseburn by the heritage plaque at the Cumberland Arms.

Jocker Wood image from Newcastle Libraries

Lorraine Arms

Lorraine Arms information table screenshot

This image of the Lorraine Arms (centre left) at the end of Crawford's Row near Crawford's Bridge dates from the mid- 1930’s when the Ouseburn Valley was photographed in preparation for slum clearances (Newcastle Libraries Collection).

Lorraine Arms

The Brown Jug / Stepney Vaults

13.	The Brown Jug (also known as Stepney Vaults), Stepney Street (now Stepney Bank)

The Brown Jug (also known as Stepney Vaults), Stepney Street (now Stepney Bank) was also photographed in the 1930’s (Newcastle Libraries Collection). It is common on most of the photos taken as part of the slum clearance project to see residents standing outside their homes.

The Brown Jug Newcastle Libraries image

New Hawk Inn

New Hawk Inn

This group of people are posing outside the New Hawk Inn, on the corner of Byker Bank and Cosyn Street in the early 1930’s (Newcastle City Libraries Collection).

People posing outside New Hawk Inn

Read the full 'lost pubs of Ouseburn' report