A spotlight on the pubs of Ryhope

Ron Lawson with his latest book of Sunderland's Pubs.
Ron Lawson with his latest book of Sunderland's Pubs.

We’re saying cheers to a historian who has just published his tenth book on the pubs of Sunderland.

Ron Lawson loves to take a detailed look at the hostelries which have served Wearside neighbourhoods over the decades.

Prince of Wales.

Prince of Wales.

He has focused on areas such as Roker, Seaburn, Fulwell, Bishopwearmouth, Old Sunderland and East End in the past.

Now comes his latest contribution which looks at the Pubs of Ryhope and Silksworth.

As always, it is a detailed spotlight on everything from who owned each hostelry, every licensee, and when the pub closed if relevant.

The latest is a 20-page publication which is available at £7 to buy and includes 25 ‘locals’.

Overall, this is my tenth book and I have been working on them for 25 years. For 17 years, I was on the Sunderland bench as a magistrate, ten of them on the licensing committee

Ron Lawson

It is your chance to look at the history of the likes of the Foresters, Grey Horse, Guide Post and the Colliery (Pot House).

Take a closer look at the Toll Bar, Wheatsheaf, Albion, Bluebell and the Prince of Wales. There’s the Ship Inn, Salutation, Ryhope Hotel and the Railway Inn.

There are quirky tales to add to the interest of the book including the one about the man who refused to leave one pub and stood on the tables in defiance - with catastrophic consequences.

Ron, a veritable goldmine of information and vice president of the Sunderland Antiquarian Society, has taken his research from the “earliest I can find” to 2015-2016.

Details per pub can include anything from the licensee to changes of the name of the venue. And Ron is the perfect man to explain it all.

He explained: “Overall, this is my tenth book and I have been working on them for 25 years. For 17 years, I was on the Sunderland bench as a magistrate, ten of them on the licensing committee.”

He was a magistrate who covered adult crime, family court and licensing. It all contributed to a plethora of knowledge and fascinating research.

For years, Ron was one of the people “saying yes or no to the granting of a licence” to pubs in the Sunderland area.

Ron added: “I learned a lot about the pubs themselves.”

Licensing for pubs transferred from the magistrates court to the local authority in 2005, said Ron which meant more work to access background information.

But each pub in the Ryhope and Silksworth areas over the decades is still finely detailed in Ron’s latest publication which is available either from him directly or from Sunderland Antiquarian Society.

Who can tell us more about the pubs of the area in years gone by. Were you a regular and which pubs are a big miss to the area?

Get in touch and tell us more.

In the meantime, Ron’s latest publication is available to buy.

To find out how to get a copy, give him a call on (0191) 520 0570.

To find out more about the Sunderland Antiquarian Society, people can visit its base which is in Douro Terrace, and is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays between 9.30am and noon. People can also visit the society’s website at www.sunderland-antiquarians.org

As well as Ron’s book, there are plenty of other ways in which the society highlights the history of the Sunderland area and one is its regular talks.

The latest from the society is on Tuesday, June 19, when Norman Kirtlan will give a talk titled Sunderland in Rare Photographs and Film.

The monthly illustrated talks take place in the main hall at Thornhill School and start at 7.30pm. Doors open at 7pm and all are welcome. They are £1 to members with a £2 cover charge for visitors.

The season starts again in September and will be held on the third Tuesday of each month.

In the meantime, Wearside Echoes would also love to hear from anyone wanting to share their own items of nostalgia.

It could be anything from a reminder of your schooldays to memories of a favourite former workplace and the colleagues you shared those days with.

Get in touch and tell us more.

Email chris.cordner@jpress.co.uk