How to get tickets for screening of film about Sunderland's historic Vaux Brewery

Be transported to the glory days of one of Sunderland’s most beloved brands with screenings of a film which raises a glass to Vaux.

Wednesday, 26th June 2019, 4:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 26th June 2019, 5:40 pm

There will be two screenings of A Passion for Vaux - Sunderland's Lost Brewery – at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens on July 2, which marks 20 years to the day since the famous city centre brewery closed its gates for the final time.

Produced by local company, Lonely Tower Film & Media, the film honours the traditions of Vaux which operated on Wearside for 162 years, becoming an iconic brand known for its beers and dray horses which would deliver around the area.

As a business where family values and loyalty between management and workforce were paramount, Vaux was an anomaly in the late 20th Century world of the Big City shareholders.

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Vaux horses and dray, photographed in March 1949
Vaux horses and dray, photographed in March 1949

The film features moving interviews with Vaux chairman Sir Paul Nicholson and his brother, Vaux Breweries managing director Frank Nicholson, along with workers, publicans and many others who were involved in the Vaux story.

Mark Thorburn, from Lonely Tower Film & Media, says Vaux’s history is one that runs deep in the city.

Mark explained: “From a producer’s point of view it has drama because of what happened to Vaux, but it’s also a story with real heart.

“Metaphorically, if you opened a vein in Sunderland it would bleed Double Maxim. It was something that connected people.

Two Vaux horses being weighed on the public weigh bridge in Low Row, Sunderland city centre, in 1958

“It’s not a film that’s stuck in the past, or one that romanticises what Sunderland lost: it celebrates Sunderland’s spirit.

“The Vaux family, the way it operated, its ethics, that camaraderie still exists in Sunderland today.”

*There will be two screenings of A Passion for Vaux - Sunderland's Lost Brewery at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens on July 2 at 5.30pm and 7.30pm. Tickets for the 5.30pm screening are available here. Tickets for the 7.30pm screening are available here.

Tickets are also available in person from the Sunderland Libraries desk inside Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens. On the night there will be classic Vaux beers (Double Maxim etc) from Maxim Brewery.

Rehearsal for the Coronation Parade in Sunderland on April 15, 1953. Frank Nicholson, chairman of Vaux, is driving the coach and Percheron horses past St Gabriel's Church, Chester Road