323 pubs - in one book

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A WRITER who pulls beer in a popular brewery has served up another treat – a book naming every pub in the town’s history.

Marie-Louise McKay, 50, put six years of research into the book.

And after hours spent in front of a computer, scouring newspaper archives and directories, her project was complete.

Marie-Louise’s work describes 323 pubs, all in Hartlepool.

“I’m delighted with the outcome,” said mum-of-two Marie, who lives in the Fens area of Hartlepool with husband Tony, 54, an engineer. She added: “It was hard work and I lost count of the hours I spent in libraries researching. But it was worth it.”

Marie-Louise works in the visitors centre at Camerons Brewery, in Stockton Street, Hartlepool.

She said she came up with the idea after punters were constantly asking questions about pubs in the town.

“I realised there was nowhere for people to look up these things and find out about pubs in the town,” added Marie-Louise, mum to Stephanie, 21, and Danielle, 19.

“It was then I decided that I was going to do it and started researching.”

She named the book The Lion Roars and the Monkey Bites, after the Camerons lion and the tale of the Hartlepool monkey. Despite being a pub enthusiast and knowing about boozers in the town, Marie-Louise said her research threw up a few surprises and she often found herself sidetracked.

She added: “I was finding out about pubs I hadn’t even heard of. It was fascinating looking at how pubs and buildings have developed over the years.

“Hartlepool pubs are something which I am interested in and I know a lot of other people are. Everybody has been saying to me that this was a long time coming, so I am hoping it is a success.

“If there is anything I have missed or something that somebody knows and I don’t, then please let me know.

“I would like to thank everyone for their support over the years with the book, particularly Atkinson Print, in the town, and Camerons Brewery. They have been such a big help.”

With the town having so many pubsover the years, Marie-Louise says it’s a shame to see some closing. But she thinks the life of the traditional British pub is far from over.

Marie-Louise said: “It has been tough over the past few years for landlords and brewers. But people would miss the social aspect of a pub.

“I think pubs will remain as long as the Government puts a price cap on alcohol. This town could have a fair few more pubs to its name yet.”

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