Nearly four decades have passed since this Sunderland favourite closed

The bygone hostelries of Sunderland have attracted plenty of interest from Sunderland Echo readers recently.

Wednesday, 21st March 2018, 10:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 21st March 2018, 10:05 am
The Ford Hotel in 1980.
The Ford Hotel in 1980.

Here’s another one for you to consider.

It is 38 years ago this month since we reported on the demise of the Ford Hotel.

The Ford Hotel in better times.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Brewery bosses had decided that it would be too costly to repair damage at the Ford and show a profit.

What are your memories of it and what did you love most about the place?

Our story at the time said: “A sobering thought for today is that the Ford Hotel in Hylton Road has closed its doors – for good.

“And the boarded windows mark the end of a long and losing battle against vandals.”

The Grindon Mill pub in 1977.

It was a sad end for the pub and it is one of a number of former favourites which we are reflecting on today. We originally included them all in a picture gallery on our website earlier this month.

Others on the gallery included the Dray and Horses in Southwick, the Londonderry, the Grindon Mill pictured on a snowy day in 1977, the Beehive (near the Books store in Holmeside), the Old 29 in High Street West, and the Windsor Castle in Nile Street.

Our social media gallery of popular pubs from times gone by also included the Painted Wagon Saloon, also in Holmeside, Digby’s Bar pictured in 1985, Boulevard in High Street West, Brogans in Crowtree Road, Idol’s in High Street West, The Prospect in Durham Road, The Dagmar in Witherwack, The Brewery Tap, Windmills Wine Bar in Fulwell, and the Argo Frigate.

We asked how many of them you had visited and nearly 28,000 people took a look.

The Ford Hotel in better times.

Bill Robinson loved “The Vestry, back in the 60s” while Veronica Knowles said: “I had a drink in them all except the Prospect.”

PJ Bald said: “I remember The Double Maxim Pub next to Farringdon Police station. Used to get nice chilli and chips on me lunch break back in 1994/95.”

We thank Shaun Orrell Henson who said: “5th avenue great pub ....digbys..boulivard .......idols..bentleys night club..all great.”

Chris Warne and Carol Ann Bell both loved the Old 29 while Barry Marshall said he’d visited most of the pubs pictured, adding: “14/16 for me. Never sampled Dagmar or Argo Frigate.”

The Grindon Mill pub in 1977.

Thanks to Robert Jackson who was one of those to take an interest and added: “A lot of even better ones not in this list.”

Stewart Graham said: “Quite a few better bars than today” while Moe Craik paid tribute to “The Gannet.”

Other favourites which got your vote included the Upper Deck, as highlighted by Leslie Yeo.

Thanks to everyone who responded to the post including Hayls Hunter, Phil Laydon, Rence Ignacio, Florence Skinner, Tricia Duffy, Darran Mcbay, Lynn Rodenby, Mick Leonard and Jean Nesbitt.

So did Michael McCardle, Kevin Gillen, Carol Wallace, Scott Gibson, George Conley, Barry Wilson, Sharon ‘P’ Simpson, Nathan Donoghue, Gillian May Donkin, Paul Douglas and Zoe Jones.

Our story on the Ford in 1980 told how there was a move to knock down the Ford and replace it with a supermarket but planning permission was not granted at the time.

It added: “At the moment, the brewery has no plans for the pub - but it will never open again to the drinking classes.”

Other popular venues in 1980 included Rumours,Roxie, and lots of clubs such as North Biddick, Sunderland Thistle, Ryhope Poplars, Ryhope Workmens, Grindon Braodway and Southwick, .

Maybe the nightclub scene was more your style. If so, there was lots of choice including Annabel, Foster’s, Finos and Dixons.

Further afield, how about The Bell at Horden, The Castle Inn at Durham, The Old Mill at Houghton-le-Spring or The Jingling Gate at West Pelton.

Cinemas were going great guns including The President at Houghton which was showing a Fistful of Dollars, 10 was on at the ABC, and Escape from Alcatraz was a big hit at the Horden Fairworld.

But what are your memories of the Wearside and County Durham social scene from times gone by?

Was there a pub which was your favourite and which you miss?

Is there a restaurant or nightclub which you loved to visit?

Email [email protected] with your memories.