Saturday morning saw two of our three family members unwilling to stir from their Novotel slumber, so I left them the emergency supplies (mainly cinnamon bagels) I’d packed for the hazardous northward journey, and set off on the metro to finish Tyne & Wear GBG.


5 ticks, all in places on this stylish extract.

Readable metro map

It may have been a reduced timetable but the trains ran on time, so well done Tyne & Wear Metro.

As I passed Gateshead International Stadium I searched my App for the nearest GBG pub (in case I needed an urgent loo stop).  Slim pickings, it’s fair to say.

More breweries than GBG pubs

The definitive work on Sunderland pubs is, of course, BRAPA.  He was here this year as Hull Tigers lost to the Black Cats. Looking back on my last post a year ago I have to pinch myself as I realise I really did describe Aleks Kolarov as the new Beckenbauer back then.

These days the Black Cats fans rely more and more on ancient memories;

45 years ago in Mat, a classic shirt

The trudge past that charity raffle to Chaplins provided the proof that snow happens. And I thought it was fake news.

Pure as New York snow

Chaplins provides further proof than Sunderland has unlimited reserves of Proper Pubs, ready to be drip-fed into the GBG on a rotational basis.


As you’ll tell by the name. the multiple TV screens, and a 10am opening time that tickers treasure, it’s a pub geared up for FUNSir Quinno, who knows a pub or two, has the only review on Pubs Galore, which tells you a lot.

It’s a bit of a barn, but a pleasant barn, full of colour and history.  Mainly high tables, but enough proper seating to satisfy the Old Boys.

High tables, big screens, bit of character

Perhaps I’m just a sucker for Vaux.

Proper BBB

Chaplins is clearly pushing its real ale credentials, even if they are almost entirely Marston’s credentials. That suits me, but it still feels a hefty range for a lager city.

Craft keg range
Huge range

Perhaps 11am on a non-football day is a good day to visit.  The service was cheery, the (already-pulled) Cumberland was OK (NBSS 3 at a push), and there was a gentle pubby buzz.  No-one showed any interest in the Premier League round-up, oddly.


A rush back to the Metro through quirky Derwent St past the boutiques and bistros was equally rewarding. 

Sounds like a Parliament LP from 1975
Named after a character from 1996 BBC Drama “Our Friends In the North”

This time I made it with 11 seconds to spare.




24 thoughts on “MACKEMS

  1. Having been snowed in for the best part of three days and finally making it as only as far as Paisley’s Bull yesterday, your efforts this weekend are most impressive. I need Chaplin’s too. Like the line about drip-fed rotation – certainly feels like that. With Si on the injury list you are setting an example to us all.


    1. Glad you got to Paisley to support your local, at least.

      The rotation system is harder criticise when there’s pub with very similar beer quality (and presumably few NBSS scores). Would be more of a problem if really pubs were missing out because of it, not sure that’s the case here.

      I was very lucky; 3.45 from Waterbeach to Newcastle hotel both ways. Snow seems to have scared a lot of traffic off. I had dreams of Mrs RM driving me round the Northumberland coast but A1 shut beyond Alnwick !


    1. Shocked you haven’t heard of it. “The No.1 place for fancy dress in Sunderland and the North East.” Whispers of it over here. I have to ask have you ever heard the Parliament album?


    1. The problem with you, Richard, is that you sit on the fence. Then complain about the fence. Of course these pubs wouldn’t get in the Beer Guide in Leeds, but they’d walk into the Guide in Motherwell or Blackburn. And I wouldn’t get a trip to the seaside if they took the Sunderland GBG allocation away !

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll go back to my old car analogy – why ride round in a tired old banger from the seventies when there is so much new technology and ideas out there (In case you’re wondering? No, I’m not into SUV’s or diesel cars neither).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Poor analogy. Just because your local chippy has introduced wacky new pineapples fritters to the menu doesn’t mean you veer away from haddock and chips and mushy peas. You just need to track down the best chippy (what is it in Leeds, anyway ?).


      3. The nearest thing to ‘craft’ in Sunderland is Blue Panda Pop!

        Sunderland wife* to hubby* and kids* every night of the week: ‘Make your minds up what you want for supper before I gan down the chippy….’

        * roles are infinitely interchangeable.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Jennings is a mega brewer? I thought Marstons got brownie points for keeping Cockermouth open after not one, but two disastrous floodings, either of would have bankrupted the previous owners.

    Did you miss the second prize? Two Sunderland shirts…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Craft keg range”

    I see the Fosters is “super chilled”. Ugh. 😦

    “Huge range”

    I buy the occasional 500ml can of the Lancaster Bomber over here. And I’ve managed to snag a bottle or two of the Wainwright and Cumberland. 🙂

    “This time I made it with 11 seconds to spare.”

    Which averages out to a perfect record. 😉



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