Your memories of Sunderland pub The Old Twenty Nine

The Old Twenty Nine Pub in High Street West in 1976.
The Old Twenty Nine Pub in High Street West in 1976.
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Top bands and a very distinctive floor - that was The Old Twenty Nine, and it seems you loved the place.

You just can’t argue with the response we got to this one. More than 81,000 people were reached when we posted an old photograph of the venue on social media.

Inside The Old Twenty Nine.

Inside The Old Twenty Nine.

And there was a definite theme to the responses you gave when we asked ‘Who remembers The Old Twenty Nine?’.

Ann Spence called it “the best pub in Sunderland,” and added: “Dougie was a great manager and friend, fab place to be with friends and some of the best bands around at the time.

“King Crabs with Jimmy Nail, She, Groundhogs, Toy Dolls etc.... happy days, nothing has ever come close to it.”

Ann described Dougie as “a lovely guy with a heart as big as a bin lid, bless him.”

Mecca Rock Night every Friday night - Old 29 every Saturday lunchtime! Saw some great bands in there and then emerged blinking into the sunlight at 3 p.m. closing time! Fantastic memories of the place - a proper rock pub!! Sadly missed. There was also the Middle Earth music shop next door. Bought my first electric guitar there!

Paul Hanratty

Lynne Scott told us: “Yes, we nicknamed it Crystal Palace with all the glass on the floor, brilliant music, many a fab night.”

Sharon Reilly simply said: “Oh, the memories!” while Deborah Anne O’Flynn-Mouzakiti said: “Best place ever - loved the bands Saturday lunchtime - such fond memories.”

Thanks also to Claire Vassallo, who recalled: “Playing pool on a Saturday lunchtime, 50p in and winner bought the round! Best memory of a band was Little Ray and The Hipthrusters.”

Paul Hanratty remembered: “Mecca Rock Night every Friday night - Old 29 every Saturday lunchtime! Saw some great bands in there and then emerged blinking into the sunlight at 3pm closing time!

“Fantastic memories of the place - a proper rock pub! Sadly missed. There was also the Middle Earth music shop next door. Bought my first electric guitar there!”

Jean Briggs described it as “one of the best pubs in the town at that time”.

Kathleen Davidson remembered: “Omg, glass on the floor, big speakers, Annie Lennox blasting out. My best mate visited me this weekend and we were remembering all sorts. The Old Twenty Nine was top of list.”

Kathleen McConvill said: “Hubby’s band played there in the 1980s with the Groundhogs,” and recalled the walk home to Jarrow.

Paula Keith loved spending “many a Saturday here with Janet Phillips. Had to dodge under a guitar neck to get in if the band had already started. Saw some great bands.”

Ronnie Dunn called it a” a class pub, loved the Upstarts, pig’s heed and all, and the glass carpet.”

Dorothy Potts said the pub was “packed on a weekend, ya had to find ya own glass, but it was worth it”.

Jill Campbell remembgered: “Great pub - singing Bat Out Of Hell at full volume whilst ‘crunching’ on the carpet. Happy days.”

Anthony Battery White called it the “best pub in town” and said it was much missed, while Michael Mcdonough took us back on a Memory Lane trip to Sunderland’s best pubs of bygone days.

“So many pubs: the Gannett, Upper Deck, Painted Wagon.”

“It was a fun pub,” said Sandra Kennon, while Patricia Smith added: “One of the best pubs in town.”

Andrew Robinson remembered the Toy Dolls gigs there, and Margaret Mclaughlan commented: “One of the best pubs in town, especially the glass carpet. Loved it.”

However, Susan Short had a bit of a different slant and said: “Great place for bands, but not as good as the Boilermakers on a Friday rock night.”

Kevin Makepeace said: “Toy Dolls, 1981 legendary gig,” and Alison Richardson added: “Best pub in Sunderland ,spent many a fab night in there listening to bands.”

And still the comments just kept on coming, with Wendy Christie loving the “fab pub music blasting in your ears off the massive speakers”.

Gordon Graham said: ”It was a class pub on a Saturday while in town.”

Stephen Taylor recalled “the weird UV lighting that made your pint look green,” and Anne Cauwood reminisced as well. “Loved that pub.. had some great nights in there ... lots of good memories.”

Thanks to everyone who responded - more than 220 of you. To share more memories, email chris.cordner@jpress.co.uk