A POPULAR and historic pub may be about to disappear forever – but part of it will live on and continue to serve a new generation of drinkers.
The Old Red Bull in Morpeth – which dates back to 1780 – called last orders for the final time in November after loyal regulars said a fond farewell by drinking the place dry.
It now faces demolition to make way for a new £24m Morrison’s superstore in the town’s Low Stanners area.
But the pub’s impressive wooden bar is being given a new lease of life, after being rescued from the bulldozers and moved to a new just across the road.
It has been installed in the Masonic Centre in Winton House, which hosts dozens of functions every year including parties and weddings, but which has never had a proper bar until now.
The salvage operation was carried out after the Masonic Centre’s Neil Fraser heard about the Old Red Bull’s looming demise, and contacted supermarket developer Dransfield Properties to ask if the bar could be transferred.
Workers employed by Tolent, the main contractor on the Morrison’s scheme, helped move the bar, which now has pride of place in its new location.
Mr Fraser said: “We’re delighted with the new bar, which is fantastic. Our old bar was homemade so to have this lovely new one is just wonderful.
“Our members are thrilled as we simply couldn’t afford to replace our old, falling down bar prior to this kind offer.
“We hold a lot of functions at Winton House, including charity events and weddings. It really does make a big difference to us having a proper bar, and we are really grateful to both Dransfield Properties and Tolent for helping us out.”
Amanda Holmes, from Dransfield Properties, said: “It’s great news that the Old Red Bull bar is being kept in the town and put to good use. We’re delighted to be able to help out.”
The pub, which is currently being used as a site office for the superstore building scheme, will be demolished later this year.
It was closed by landlord Dean Henderson almost three months ago after he and his wife Lindsey had run it for 20 years.
A farewell Saturday night saw scores of regulars drown their sorrows by drinking the pub dry.
Departing customers scribbled their own personal messages of thanks and appreciation on the pub’s door as it closed for the final time.
It had survived and reopened after being closed down for five months after the devastating flood which hit Morpeth in September 2008