See inside the Sunderland Echo Pub of the Year 2019 winner
The Sunderland Echo Pub of the Year for 2019 is The Dolphin.
Regulars raised their glasses to the pub, on Ashdown Road in Farringdon, which has taken the honour for the fifth successive year after a public vote.
Dozens of pubs across the city were put forward for the award, with customers collecting vouchers from the Echo to vote for their favourite.
In second place was the Blue Bell in Usworth, Washington. The Victory on North Bridge Street was third. But as in every year since 2015, The Dolphin came out on top yet again.
The pub was sold by Kelvin Lamb to Camerons Brewery in August this year. But Kelvin still manages the place along with his wife Mary and their daughter Lisa Smith. Kelvin has been a licensee for 33 years and he and Mary have run the pub since 1994.
As in previous years, regular customer Peter Foster was instrumental in canvassing votes – and his hard work has paid off once more.
A jubilant Kelvin said: “Mary and I would like to thank all customers, old and new, for their support. It’s their pub; we just manage it for them. The five awards are for them.
“Another big thank you goes to all the staff for their hard work, Peter Foster who ran the campaign and Peter Compton who runs our Facebook page.
“The customers here range in age from 18 to 80: grandparents, parents and their children. We’ve seen them all come through the doors. Mary and I have lots of fond memories from the last 25 years in the Dolly. Not least from friends who have passed on.
“With support from Camerons we can go from strength to strength, selling their beer at knock-down prices.”
The brewery makes Dolphin Lager and Dolphin Smooth for the pub.
The Dolphin is at the heart of the community. It is also popular with sports fans and has football memorabilia hanging on its walls.
In one corner is a shrine to tragic youngster and pub regular Connor Brown, who died aged just 18 after an incident in the city centre in February this year.