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The Wild Boar, Frederick Place, Sunderland Street, Houghton-le-Spring

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Houghton’s heritage is due to meet the 21st century at the top of Sunderland Street when a new venture opens on April 19th 2011. The Wild Boar is Houghton’s newest bar and restaurant and is aptly named after the porcine on the Gilpin Coat of Arms!

The Wild Boar J.D Wetherspoon, Frederick Place, Houghton-le-Spring

Following a massive renovation of the old Buffaloes Club building by J.D Wetherspoon (from buffalo to boar!), the Wild Boar will honour Houghton’s venerable past with framed photographs of Old Houghton, a Houghton Feast photograph montage, as well as specially commissioned paintings of Houghton Colliery and Houghton Feast by artist Nikki Jones. Paul Lanagan has been involved in the promotion of Houghton’s heritage throughout the building’s decor. Copyright © Books of the North 2011

The corner of Frederick Place, Houghton-le-Spring, c1950s

The building actually dates from the 1960s when it was constructed on the corner of Frederick Place and 13 Sunderland Street, following mass demolition in the area for the A690 dual-carriageway. Copyright © Books of the North 2011

The original property was a butchers shop and store, however this was replaced with a purpose built clubhouse for the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes, known locally as the Buffs Social Club (the original Buffs Club had been located opposite at 24 Sunderland Street, but also met its fate at the hands of the developers of the A690). Houghton Buffs ceased trading on Tuesday September 14th 2010.

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The scaffolding goes up on the old Buffs Club, Frederick Place, Houghton-le-Spring ..... The Buffalo Club is transformed into the Wild Boar pub

The new signs go up on the Wild Boar, Frederick Place ..... The smart looking exterior of the Wild Boar, Frederick Place

As the previews of the artwork and photographs of the renovations show, the Wild Boar promises to be a welcome addition to the Sunderland Street cul-de-sac. While you’re in the area, why not check out the historic pubs nearby, the Golden Lion and the White Lion. Copyright © Books of the North 2011.

The Houghton Feast 'old photos' montage in the Wild Boar ..... The walls of the Wild Boar are adorned with dozens of old photographs of Houghton from the Paul Lanagan Houghton Heritage collection

Houghton Feast painting as found in the Wild Boar pub, Houghton-le-Spring, as painted by Nikki Jones ..... Houghton Colliery painting as found in the Wild Boar pub, Houghton-le-Spring, as painted by Nikki Jones


Article and research by Paul Lanagan, local historian

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The Houghton Heritage Static Exhibition of Old Photos in the Wild Boar pub, Frederick Place, Sunderland Street, Houghton-le-Spring

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Dozens of old photos adorn the wall of The Wild Boar pub (J.D Wetherspoon), Frederick Place, Houghton-le-Spring

The walls of the Wild Boar public house are adorned with dozens of old photographs of Houghton-le-Spring and Houghton Feast, making it a veritable heritage centre!

Please check the Weatherpoons website for opening times if you would like to vist. Details can be found HERE.

While you're there, have a cool drink and a bite to eat while you soak up the local heritage!

Download your free Wild Boar Heritage Trail by clicking HERE.


Paul Lanagan wishes to place on record his thanks to the following:

With thanks to Rowland Storey, Nikki Jones, Joan Lambton, Chris Thompson and Mark Tanfield.

Copyright © Books of the North 2002 - 2011.



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The Gilpin family crest

PAGE UPDATED: 05/05/2011

Agar, Geo. vict. Victoria Inn, Robinson St
Berry, Wm. vict. Red Lion, Church St.
Clark, Timothy, vict. Lamb Inn, Newbottle Lane
Dixon, James Turnbull, vict. White Lion and Commercial Hotel, Sunderland St.
Dixon, T, vict. Halfway House, Newbottle Lane (see below)
Fleming, Mrs A, vict. County Arms, Sunderland St.
Fletcher, Rbt, vict, Bonny Pit Lad, Newtown vFuller, Francis, vict. & threshing machine prop., Copt Hill Inn, Copt Hill
Gray, Robt. vict, Colliery Inn, Newbottle Lane
Hall, H, vict. Newcastle Arms, Newbottle Lane
Hall, Hugh, vict. Golden Lion, Sunderland St.
Harrison, Marmaduke Tomlins Parkin, vict. Cross House, Hutton Lane
Haswell, George, vict. and farmer, Jolly Farmers, Market Place
Moffitt, Wm, vict. Robbie Burns, Newbottle Lane
Patrick, Edwd, vict. Black Horse, Market Place
Pickering, William, vict. Sportsman Tavern, Newtown
Place, Wm, vict. Mill Inn, Rainton bridge
Rennoldson, Thomas, vict and farmer, Wheat Sheaf, Neasham Place
Richardson, Mrs M A, vict. Bay Horse, Sunderland St.
Rigby, T, vict, Lamton Arms, Newbottle Lane
Scott John, shopkeeper, Newbottle Lane, Halfway House (see above)
Shields, W, vict, Nag's Head, Newbottle Lane
Smith, W, beerhouse, Prince of Wales, Hopper St
Smith, William Bell, vict. Queen's Head, Sunderland Street
Smyth, Mrs Isa, vict. White Lion, Sunderland St
Turnbull, Mrs E, vict. Royal Oak, Newbottle Lane
Turnbull, William Benjamin, grocer, wine and spirit merchant, Newbottle Lane
Waller, T, vict. Ram's Head, Sunderland St vWelsh, Nrs E, beerhouse, Albert Inn, Newbottle Lane
Wheatley, G. jr., vict. Malster's Arms, Newton
Wilson, G, vict. Britannia Inn, Newbottle Lane
Wilson, Wm, vict. Black Lion, Sunderland St
Following the £2.1m refit of the Unicorn Hotel, which it set to create 50 jobs, an ongoing investment in the region will see it open The Wild Boar, in Frederick Street, Houghton le Spring. The company recently unveiled The Five Swans, which became its fifth outlet in Newcastle city centre. Chairman Tim Martin, who opened the chain's first pub in 1979, said: "The 800th pub opening is a wonderful milestone for the company and we are now looking forward to opening hundreds of new pubs."
The Wild BoarFrederick Place Houghton Le Spring Tyne and Wear DH4 4BN Phone01915128050 Opening Times*Mon - Sun: 8am to 12am FacilitiesHas ParkingTV ScreensWifi* Please note: actual opening hours are subject to change, please contact the pub for confirmation
Red Row blacksmith creates artwork for Whitley Bay The Journal Feb 5 2011 0ShareAdd a commentRecommend AWARD winning creative blacksmith Stephen Lunn has worked on a wide variety of commissions. But his latest work is his flashiest yet. Stephen, who is based at The Forge in Red Row, Northumberland, has fashioned a 12ft lighthouse as a gateway feature to Whitley Bay in North Tyneside. Based on the town’s St Mary’s Lighthouse, it will double as a display unit for plants and is sited on the Hillheads roundabout on Marden Road, Whitley Bay. The lighthouse, which includes a solar powered light to illuminate the feature at night, will contain white and blue hanging lobelia to represent the sea. The display will also feature two boulders which will host a welcome sign to the seaside town. The scheme is another element in the £150,000 first phase of North Tyneside Mayor Linda Arkley’s three-year coastal recovery plan. She said: “Previously the roundabout was fairly plain, but this floral display will transform the site into an attractive focal point when entering the town. “The improvement of North Tyneside’s coast is one of my top priorities. It is vital that we make the most of it.” Stephen, whose father and grandfather worked as blacksmiths at The Forge, said: “There were eight designs that we came up with originally, but I’m really happy with the final choice. “You never know what requests are going to come through the door and the lighthouse was certainly something different.” Karen Goldfinch, chairman of Whitley Bay Chamber of Trade, said: “‘This new installation creates a welcome focal point for people coming into Whitley Bay. “Businesses in the town have been asking for this area to be tidied up and it’s great to see it happening. “The lighthouse design is superb, and when it’s fully planted up, it will look fantastic.” Stephen is the latest winner of the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths’ Tonypandy Cup, which is awarded for outstanding workmanship. Stephen, accompanied by his wife and three daughters, was presented with his award at the Ironmongers’ Hall in London. The award was for 12ft gates which Stephen created for the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland at a new burial ground for themselves and their descendants. Stephen is currently working on metal sculptures for Wetherspoon pubs in the North East. They include a version of a ship’s propeller for The Copper Rose in Sunderland, a wall light creation for The Electrical Wizard in Morpeth, and a design for The Wild Boar at Houghton-le-Spring. Pictured: North Tyneside Mayor Linda Arkley, with Chair of Whitley Bay Chamber of Trade Karen Goldfinch, sow grass seeds around the new lighthouse feature on the Hillheads roundabout in Whitley Bay Read More