Rod Stewart, Bernard Manning and the FA Cup - the history of Sunderland's Golden Lion pub remembered after devastating fire
The man who helped breathe new life into a well-known Sunderland pub has spoken of his heartbreak after it was devastated by fire.
Crews were called out in the early hours of Saturday, July 13, to The Golden Lion in South Hylton.
Four fire engines rushed to the scene and an aerial ladder platform was used to tackle to fire overnight.
Crews left the scene on Saturday afternoon.
Now the pub is cordoned off by security fencing and the wooden beams are exposed to the sky where the roof collapsed.
Ernie Roseberry has lived behind The Golden Lion for more than 40 years and helped brother Matty to open it in 1973.
“My brother owned it,” he said.
“We were the ones who did it out originally. It was just a derelict building, then we brought it back to life.
“We opened in 1973, Ian Porterfield came down with the FA Cup. Billy Hughes and Tony Towers used to drink there – Billy brought Rod Stewart down and he had a drink in there.
“Bernard Manning has been in there and a lot of other major comedians. Bob Cass used to do a lot of sports nights.
“And we had our wedding reception there. It is really sad to see what has happened. It as a lovely pub and there are so many happy memories.”
The first Ernie knew about the fire was when he saw the lights from the fire engines: “We were in bed, lying awake because we could not get to sleep because it was a warn night,” he said.
“We saw the lights flashing, opened the curtains and it was ablaze.”
Mum Claire Taylor was enjoying a day at South Hylton with daughters Andrea, 14, and seven-year-old Kyla. Claire, from Ford Estate, is horrified by what has happened to the pub.
“We are devastated, literally,” she said.
“We used to love coming down here for Sunday lunch.
“We used to come down here a lot. It closed about two years ago, but we still used to come down and sit outside here and eat our sandwiches.”