Saturday, July 12, 2008

the tunnel, the herring gull and the martyr

This is going to be the site of the new Tyne Tunnel. They cleared all the trees back in February, which is when this was taken. It was my Dad's theory, and it seemed cogent, that they did it then before birds could nest in them.

But the birdlife of Jarrow was not to be so easily prevented from causing trouble. That white building in the middle distance, near the bottom left hand corner, is the pub where the herring gull is having a laugh.

It's been closed for years now. Pity it's being demolished because it's a lovely old building, and must have been there since before Jarrow Palmers was called Jarrow Palmers. The Gas Light is its most recent name. When I was crawling the pubs of Jarrow it was The Tunnel Tavern. But it's original name, I'm told, was The Commercial.

There is a story that when Jobling's body was surreptitiously cut down from where is was hanging over the Slakes, he was kept in the Cellar of the pub, until he could be decently disposed of.