See inside the 120-year-old dockers’ pub that’s been frozen in time for 20 years

The owners of a 120-year-old pub that has been frozen in time for 20 years hope it will be reopened as some kind of entertainment venue.

The Wolsington House in North Shields used to serve an army of workers on Smith’s Dock.

When the docks, its workers and surrounding streets went, the pub shuttered up.

The drinking hole has been hardly touched since, meaning its classical features remain as they were when it closed.

Ryan Smith, speaking on behalf of the current owners of the Wolsington House, said: “The pub retains many of the original features such as real fires, a beautiful wood panelled ceiling, solid timber flooring and one of the last remaining original old long bars.

“Incidentally, it actually appeared as a location scene in the TV series, Vera, a couple of years ago.

“Its location at the top of the bank at Smith’s Dock gives a lovely panoramic view of South Shields and the River Tyne.”

A major development in the area means the pub could be opened again.

The striking red-brick building on North Shields’ Burdon Main Row is up for sale for £400,000.

Ryan added: “It was purchased in 1999 – and it has a long history.

“It served Smith’s Dock shipyard workers and local folk through two world wars.

“When the docks were open, there would be pints lined up on the bar ready for the dockers.

“They would run in at lunch time and down two or three pints in a 30-minute break.

“The yard was decommissioned in 2000.

“The plan was to turn the pub into a music venue for local bands, but that didn’t come to fruition. It finally closed its doors in 2001.”

As for the building’s future, it could be turned into homes.

Ryan said: “It is currently up for sale as a development site with planning permission approved for conversion into four townhouses.

“Having said that, the owners would love to see the bar return to its former glory and reopen as a bar/bistro/music venue.

“This remains an option if the development site doesn’t sell.”

Local historian and author Steve Ellwood pointed out that the building was erected in 1902 to a design by North Shields architect, John Spencer.

However, there has been a pub on the site since 1834, the first being John Veitch’s Alehouse.

A spokesperson for estate agent Sanderson Young said: “The Wolsington House pub provides a great opportunity to be part of a fantastic regeneration area within North Shields.

“The former Smith’s Dock, below the pub itself, is in the process of being transformed into a stunning redevelopment of luxury contemporary housing apartments, and quayside living, which over the next 10 years will create an opportunity to enjoy such a magnificent setting.”