NORTHUMBERLAND - Netherton, Star
An historic pub interior of national importance
, Netherton, NE65 7HD
Tel: 01669 630238
Draught Beer & Cider:
Listed Status: Not listed
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A pub is known to have existed here since 1788. The present building consists of two part, the older (C19), lower, left-hand wing and the much bigger right-hand block with finely dressed masonry on the main facade. The latter was added in 1902 and was bought in 1917 by the grandfather of present owner Miss Vera W Wilson-Morton. The plate on the inner doors with the name of the proprietor and the name of the premises harks back to the hotel days. The interior is unchanged in 80 years. From the entrance one walks into a hallway with a tiny servery where the landlady serves beer from the cellar - note the signs requesting to you always walk to the counter to collect your drinks and change - no table service here!. There is a table with chairs in the servery area but it is rarely used.
The range of drinks on offer is restricted to just one beer currently Cameron's Strongarm (for years it has been Castle Eden Ale until it ceased production in Feb 2009), cans of lager, various spirits - the optics are hidden away on the wall to the left of the servery /counter - and soft drinks. There is no food whatsoever on sale - not even crisps or nuts as Vera does not approve of grease marks being left on the glasses! On the wall at right angles to the servery counter is a small Ushers Pale Ale mirror.
The public room - and there is only one - is a classic of its kind. It is situated in the 1902 part, immediately on the right as one enters and has a door with three metal 'protectors' on each side. There is nothing fancy about it - it is just a large, plain square with bare slatted fixed seating running round all the sides (plus some movable tables and chairs, of course - but note the handwritten sign "please do not shift the armchairs and tables"!). Above a good 1950s tiled fireplace is a particularly fine, huge mirror advertising Usher's Pale Ale from Edinburgh.
If you ask Vera if there is another room she may deny there is. However, there is a room directly behind the servery which it is believed to have been used as a second public room in the past and is only accessed by walking through the servery. It is now part of the living accommodation but can be brought into use on rare occasions when the pub is busy. This may occur if, say, 30 people turn up for quiz nights, which are held on the first Wednesday of the month from February to October.
Outside gents' and ladies' toilets across the car park - one must pick up the key (blue tag for the gents'!) from the counter to open and close them! Note if a round consists of two or more pints of beer you will get dimple glasses with different coloured small round stickers on them so that when you ask for a second pint you will guarantee to get the same glass back - no modern ideas such as 'a fresh glass every time' here! Please note the opening hours are very restricted e.g. closed all lunchtimes and also Mon and Thurs evenings; opens at 7.30pm and may close as early as 10pm so best to ring when planning a visit.