Jarrow

The metro station in Jarrow was originally on the network’s green line before the South Shields and Sunderland lines were swapped over and first opened in 1984. Like many stations on the network it is home to some local art and a statue dedicated to the famous Jarrow March is displayed inside the station.

Town centre stations are a dream in terms of the WBMT as you don’t have to stumble far to find your first pub. If you’re coming from platform 2 you need to cross the tracks towards the taxi office. Turn left onto Sheldon Street then right onto Station Street. When you get to the end of the road turn left onto Ellison Street and you’ll see the Ben Lomond pub right in front of you.

20171228_172531

On first impression walking through the doors you would be forgiven for thinking it was a Wetherspoons and anyone who knows me will know that that’s not a criticism in the slightest. There’s a big bar in the middle and seating areas circling arouns so I get them impression whatever time of day you visit you’ll rarely struggle for somewhere to sit.

 

We got a warm welcome from the barmaid who, when we ordered two glasses of wine, informed us it would be more economical to just guy the bottle. There’s not much more impresses me than a woman who understands the importance of good wine economics. Was it the best tasting wine in the world? No. Was it only £8 a bottle? Hell yes! And that’s the important thing to remember here.

20171228_175124

We were there at around tea time mid-week between xmas and new year and it was buy enough to assume it was a Friday or Saturday late afternoon. Other than the barmaid, wor  Ang and I were probably the only lasses in there and the lads watching the sport were getting on the rowdy side but were no bother really. What I guess I’m trying to say is if you’re out for a night with the lasses and want to be sitting prosecco and cocktails, this probably isn’t the place to do it.

However if you want a pint and a cheap bottle of wine  whilst painting the town red in Jarra then there are worse places you can end up!

Find out where else we’ve been on out metro pubbing adventure here

Fellgate

One thing I never realised is how many metro station there are in Jarrow, which aren’t serviced by the Jarrow metro station, what do they think they are Jesmond or something?!  Fellgate is a relatively new station in terms of the Metro Network and was opened in 2002 along with the rest of the Sunderland extension. The metro came along at the right time really as there were already plans brewing to create a rail network connecting the good people of Fellgate to Newcastle and Sunderland (a la Chester-le-Street). And I don’t know about you but I’d always much rather hop on the metro rather than a network rail service any day of the week!20171228_153616

Fellgate is pretty residential and has a rather imposing metro station, which I’ll be amazed if it isn’t visible from space. Good news is though, with a structure this imposing can only mean one thing, a pub cannot be far away. And far away it isn’t. Coming from Newcastle exit the platform and towards Wark Crescent. Follow the crescent around until you come to Calf Close Lane. Turn left here and walk towards the large roundabout ahead. Come to the end of the road and you should see the Prince of Wales pub over the road on the right.

20171228_150020

The Prince of Wales is everything you’d expect from a chain pub (Flaming Grill being the chain du jour on this occasion) so in many ways you know you’re in safe hands. How bad could it possibly be? Hold that thought.

Inside is large, bright, warm and cosy so you know you’re probably not going to run into too much bother having the backing of a large chain behind them and it’s certainly a place than can be described as all things to all people. I can imagine whether you’re a family, a group of lads watching the sport on one of the (many) TVs or sharing a bottle of wine with friends there’s a place for you at the Price of Wales.

It was a freezing cold Thursday afternoon between Christmas and New Year when we visited and it was pleasantly busy.  Our friends were meeting us there and got there before us, sadly it took them a lifetime to get served (locals being served way before other customers) and when they were finally acknowledged the ale they wanted (and was being heavily advertised) was off. Pub rules 101, if a beer is off, turn the label round on the pump.

I don’t want to sound too harsh of course this could have been a one off, there were certainly plenty of people there to contradict my opinion that this place is mediocre at best. On the positive note they do serve real ales which isn’t something that can be said for a lot of pubs on this section of the network, there always seems to be some sort of drink, or food or drink & food offer on at any given time; their ‘Fizz Weekends’ where you get a bottle of Prosecco for £9.99 would certainly make me less salty about hubby not being able to get his ale of choice.

All in all, it was a ‘fine’ visit but not somewhere I’d be rushing back to. In terms of the WBMT though if it were party of a pub crawl, we’ve definitely seen worse. I’ll let you judge for yourself which ones those were though…

Find out where else we’ve been on out metro pubbing adventure here

Bede

We wondered if this day would ever come. We’ve been metro pubbing for the best part of a year and have been to some really lovely places, some places we never thought we’d venture and some places we’d happily never venture again but we’ve always managed to find somewhere to have a drink.

metro-map-large

Bede is one of the few stations that’s in Jarrow, but not Jarrow of course and it services a large industrial estate with multiple factories and outlets and probably where learner drivers go to practice their 3 point turns, as that’s what most North Eastern Industrial estates seem to be used for.

 

It gets it’s name from a monk named Venerable Bede who kicked around in a monastery  nearby (St Paul’s) in the 7th century. The metro wasn’t around back then, obviously but old Venerable was obviously kind of a big deal so the name stuck.

The Last Chapter

The station was opened along with the rest of the South Shields line in 1984, a couple of months after Venerable’s death and is one of the least used stations on the whole network with only around 155K passengers in the last year.

All of this filler is quite clearly leading me to the fact that I was worried we has failed you, loyal WBMT fans. As a little glimpse behind the scenes of the WBMT, i feel it appropriate to tell you I try and do my research when visiting uncharted territory, of which Bede is to me. I put a call out on Twitter and Facebook for recommendations and asked people I know who live round that way and no one came out with a decide watering hole. Bede was to be a station where we sat out a round to re hydrate (re hydration is key afterall).

20171228_171418

However, it’s since been brought to my attention via the good people of South Shields via Twitter that in fact, you can get a very good pint or Moretti (thanks Brian!) at South Shields AFC (Also known as The New Mariners Club). If you exit Bede station walk south on Monksway towards Shaftsbury Avenue then turn right and the football club will be there on the right.

The bar is open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and anytime SSFC are playing at home!

So there you go, Bede isn’t quite the pubbing dessert that I was led to believe. Lesson learnt to do my research a bit more thoroughly in future!

Find out where else we’ve been on our metro adventure here