7 thoughts on “The Spread Eagle, Dovecot Street

  1. In the 70s and early 80s we used to use lounge down the alley to the right. This was a much smarter room than the bar at the front and it was also where the jukebox was so all the young uns would meet there. A popular meeting place for the skinheads in those days which I was also part of.
    There were a lot of pubs like that in those days where you could find separate back rooms where the younger crowd could meet. Not like today where the pubs seem to be all knocked through into one big room with piped music.

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    • John, We drinkers in what were basically men only pubs called your back room the ladies room, they were never allowed in the men’s bar. How times change and for the better.
      Some of Stockton’s many pubs had a mixed lounge where you could take your wife or girlfriend but many stayed men only well into the sixties. The Sun Inn had a ladies room up the yard at the back for many years, a man would pop his head in and ask for orders then take a tray up the yard, the good old days they were called.
      Men swore or some did more so if you hit the Double with your last dart and there was a pint on the outcome or even half a crown a lot of money then. but they had never taken that tray up to the ladies room with the wrong order, some of those ladies knew words I never even heard in the army.
      In the Sun we all knew each other as darts players so when the greenhorns came in it was “who takes them”? we would wait and after they had ordered the special out of Tommy’s barrel would ask to mark the board. Two things they did not know, Tommy’s barrel was a mixed of all the slop trays, they all went in the barrel as Tommy did not believe in wasting good ale, second two of the best dart players would say after us and go on the board for a game soon over then say come on then, they did not even blink as they took those lads, the usual comment was they have to learn. Bars were hard places for very hard working men in tough jobs to those lads it was fun. I learnt the hard way in Sloans Billard Hall when I was told what ever table we played on it was Half a Crown for the roll up. Late in the evening they would line up a coloured ball by each pocket, you got one go at sinking the white into each pocket in turn without touching the sentry, impossible you say? no some one always did it including me much to the disbelief of the older players. It was all billiards then, snooker was a kids game to those lads.
      I would not know what those Pubs have become, well those that are left so many now gone, The Bone, Greyhound, Spread Eagle and White Heart to name but a few, then we had places like the White Horse if the Landlord did not like your face there was no way you would get a drink, they were a law unto themselves to be invited to a lock in meant you were in. Happy Days.
      Frank.

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  2. One of the last landlord/managers here was the late Mick Kemp, formerly the renowned drummer of The Bluecaps, he ran the place with his good lady, whose name escapes me.
    A true character with personality was Mick, who could relate a few good tales about his days in the band and more!

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