How to remember Sunderland's Vaux brewery - and help the city's football Fan's Museum

Vaux brewery boss Frank Nicholson has the bottle to help Sunderland’s football Fans Museum – in fact, he has 182 of them.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 19 June, 2019, 17:08

Musuem founder Michael Ganley is selling off part of his collection of Vaux memorabilia to mark the 20th anniversary of the brewery’s closure next month – and raise money for the museum.

Former MD Frank has signed 162 of the brewery’s classic and vintage beer bottles with a silver pen – one for each year Vaux was open, and a futher 20 – one for each year since it closed – with a gold pen.

Michael Ganley (left) and Frank Nicholson with the first two signed original Vaux bottles

Silver-signed bottles can be bought for £25 and those signed with the gold pen for £45.

Michael can ship bottles all over the world – but he hopes as many people as possible will make the trip to the museum in North Bridge Street for themselves.

“We want to keep the Vaux name alive and and we want to take it around the world,” he said.

“We can post them out nationally and internationally, but we want people to come here so we can take a photograph and create new memories.”

Frank Nicholson holding one of the signed bottles

The museum is devoted to women’s football to mark the Women’s World Cup, but will be holding a display dedicated to Vaux in the run-up to the anniversary on July 2.

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Frank Nicholson is still hurting over the closure of the brewery, 20 years after losing the fight to save it by leading a management buy-out.

“Some people refer to a celebration of 20 years, but for me, it is very much a memorial,” he said.

“The tragedy of what happens lives with me every day, but you have get to overcome that and it is wonderful to think people still want to see this stuff and have happy memories.

Frank Nicholson signing one of the original Vaux bottles. Picture by FRANK REID

“It is really pleasing that Michael has taken the time and trouble to do this and the memories the bottles bring back are delightful.

“What has been fantastic has been to meet the team down here, many of whom have their own connections to the brewery.

“We were a great team at Vaux so I am always really happy when I meet another great team and this really is a great team.”

Michael Ganley (sitting left) and Frank Nicholson with Sunderland Fans museum volunteers with a selection of original Vaux bottles