When a whole Houghton Greyhound Stadium was auctioned off bit by bit

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Now that's some auction

It was one of the most unusual auctions that Wearside and County Durham has seen.

Buyers from across the North came to an auction where they could by the whole of the racing equipment and contents of the social club at Houghton Greyhound Stadium.

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'It's not often a complete greyhound stadium goes up for auction'

It happened 52 years ago and the auctioneer said it was an unusual sale because it was not often that a complete greyhound stadium and everything in it was put up for auction.

A totalizator machine, said to have been installed in 1951 for £25,000 and overhauled in 1970 for £500, was sold to the Stanley Greyhound Stadium for £675. The bidding started at £250.

Night club furniture available for bids

George Burrows, chairman of the directors of the former Houghton Greyhound Stadium said it was terrible to see it going for that price. A similar one was sold for £32,000 in Bradford.

A retro view of Houghton-le-Spring.A retro view of Houghton-le-Spring.
A retro view of Houghton-le-Spring. | nw

The track hare and machinery were sold for £235. The bar and shelving in the social club was sold for £158.A silver rose bowl was sold for £118. The buyer said he wanted it for sentimental reasons for the family of the late Mr Jack Rose who donated to the stadium after the war.

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Other items for sale included night club, office and kitchen furniture.

Sadly, we don't have photographs of the stadium or the auction but perhaps you do. Get in touch by emailing [email protected]

Time called on the Engineers Tavern

That same year, it was the end of an era at another social venue.

The Engineers Tavern, in Sheepfolds Road, Monkwearmouth, closed its doors for the last time.

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Rose Roberts calling time at the Engineers Tavern in 1971.Rose Roberts calling time at the Engineers Tavern in 1971.
Rose Roberts calling time at the Engineers Tavern in 1971. | se

Rose Roberts rang “time, gentlemen please” on the big brass bell, probably salvaged from an old Wear tug, and bade a sad farewell to all the pub’s regulars in 1971.

Pictured at the bar of the Engineers TavernPictured at the bar of the Engineers Tavern
Pictured at the bar of the Engineers Tavern | other 3rd party

'One big happy family'

She said they had become more like old friends than customers during the nine years she had been the licensee.

She said she would miss them all and miss the pub, and that there’s not a pub between Bridge Street and the Wheatsheaf as they have all closed or been demolished.Miss Roberts added: “The trade had just gone. At one time there were people living around here. Seaman and the coal trimmers all used to come here, but now they are gone as well.“The regulars will miss coming here. We were all like one happy family. There was always a good atmosphere - never any rows or fights. The men from the pigeon lofts had their weekly meetings here.”Miss Roberts proudly admitted that the pub was old fashioned, but believed that was why the regulars liked it. They preferred the jangling of the piano to the blast of a juke box while they played darts."

Do you remember the Engineers or is there another lost Sunderland pub to reminisce on.

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