Shed load of Vaux Breweries memorabilia stars in new Sunderland exhibition

A collector's shed load of brewery memorabilia is to go on display in a poignant new exhibition.

Scores of Vaux Breweries items will be transported from a converted out building in Richie Morgan's back garden to Sunderland Museum for a two-month display.

Richie Morgan in his bar in the back garden of his Sunderland home.

Richie Morgan in his bar in the back garden of his Sunderland home.

The exhibition takes place from May 1-June 30 in the build up to the 20th anniversary of the landmark city centre brewery's closure in July 1999.

Richie, 64, of Seaburn, has spent nearly as long collecting objects such as pub signs, lanterns, cans, flags, ashtrays, towels, beer mats, trays, mugs, hats, staff uniforms and inflatable bottles.

They are all housed in his very own bar, the Vaux Stables, where family and friends enjoy summer parties and barbecues.

Richie, a school crossing supervisor for Sunderland City Council, cannot estimate how much he has spent on his hobby.

Ritchie Morgan and his shed load of memorabilia.

Ritchie Morgan and his shed load of memorabilia.

But as a guide to how much some items are worth, he said: "My wife once bid £90 for one of the first beer mats Vaux produced back in the 1930s.

"It was meant to be a Christmas present but I nearly went mad when I heard.

"Anyhow, she still got outbid so I don't know how much it went for in the end."

Also read: Sunderland brewery to release 20 beers to mark Vaux closure anniversary

Step inside the Vaux Stables.

Step inside the Vaux Stables.

Richie's search, now largely conducted online through ebay - "the biggest car boot sale in the world" - has involved purchases from as far away as America and Australia.

He said: "Vaux used to sell beer in America and then you have people from here emigrating abroad who then decide to sell things they have taken with them."

As for the feelings of wife Isabel, a health service administrator, Richie said: "She doesn't mind. I've always collected things such as Beatles memorabilia so she was already used to it."

Richie and fellow Vaux collector Peter Heslop, of Ryhope, who together run the Vaux Brewery Collectables Facebook page, have also raised around £450 by selling items for Action On Dementia Sunderland.

Also read: Step inside Richie's Aladdin's cave of Vaux memorabilia

Richie added: "Vaux always used to give something back to the community and we wanted to remember that with the 20th anniversary coming up."

Further funds will be raised by a pier to pier walk from South Shields to Sunderland on Sunday, June 2, at 10am and at a free Vaux reunion evening to mark the 20th anniversary.

This takes place on Friday, July 5, from 7pm at the Chesters pub, in Chester Road, Sunderland, and is open to former employees and "anyone with a love of Vaux".

Richie said: "Everyone either drank the beer, can remember the dray and horses going through the the town or knows someone who worked at the brewery.

"It has a massive place still in people's hearts and minds."