Sunderland pensioner who shielded for 18 months made special guest at Seaburn Inn opening

A pensioner who watched the new Seaburn Inn development rise from the ground during lockdown through her kitchen window was the special guest at the venue’s opening day.

Monday, 7th June 2021, 12:33 pm

Widow Lyn Overend, 92, stayed indoors for 18 months due to the pandemic, but watching the new pub with rooms being built on the former Pullman Lodge site through the window of her flat gave her something to looking forward to in lonely times.

Lyn lost her husband of 70 years, Stan, three years ago, so the lockdown proved extremely lonely for the pensioner. Covid volunteers would deliver her meals and ring her to keep her spirits up and, noticing her interest in the site, they booked her a stay when bookings went live.

When owners The Inn Collection Group heard Lyn’s story they offered her a stay themselves in one of their balcony view rooms and asked her to be their VIP guest as they welcomed their first customers on Monday, June 7.

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Official opening of the Seaburn Inn by local resident Lyn Overend.

Lyn, who used to wave at the workmen through her window, said: “This is just what Seaburn needs. I couldn’t get out in lockdown and I don’t sleep very well so watching it kept me going. It looks fabulous.

"It was a shock when they asked me to open it, but I’ve really enjoyed it.”

The 40-bed pub with rooms is primarily a pub and restaurant which serves food from 8am to 9pm seven days a week. The £6million development has created 55 new jobs for the city and is part of the wider Seafront Regeneration Scheme which has seen a swathe of investment in Roker and Seaburn.

Dan Evans, operations manager with The Inn Collection Group, said: “We’re a good old fashioned inn, somewhere that is always open, whether you’re hungry, thirsty or somewhere to rest your head.”

Lyn Overend enjoying one of the very first pints at the Seaburn Inn

Last week, the Echo gave readers a first look around the site and Dan says they’ve been delighted with the response so far.

"The response has been excellent. I think people are happy to see a new development open on the seafront which adds to what is already there, whilst also offering something different. It’s an exciting time to be a part of what’s happening in Seaburn.”

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Lyn pulling a pint at the new pub
The first day of the Seaburn Inn.