The Bambro Castle Hotel, Preston Village, North Shields
Built around 1847, when it first appears in a local directory, the first landlord of the Bambro Castle was Joseph Reed. He was succeeded by Ralph Nesbitt in 1854 then Luke Reed in 1886. It is not clear if Luke was in any way related to Joseph.
The inn offered food and lodgings for many years and John H. Cable, landlord between 1895 and 1910, cashed in on a pre-motor car pastime by advertising above his door "ACCOMMODATION FOR CYCLISTS PROVIDED".
In 1900 and again in 1910 several parts of Front Street, Preston Village suffered from flooding due to heavy rain and the Bambro Castle Hotel, which lay in a slight hollow, did not escape. Old photographs show the water level about a foot above the front doorstep and there is little doubt that Mr. Cable and his staff spent some days baling out and mopping up. On February 14th 1926 Mr. Cable died at 17, Walton Avenue.
In around 1913 the Bambro Castle license was taken over by James Downey who ran the inn until James E. Forster took over in 1928. Following Forster's death in 1931, his widow continued to run the house until a fateful meeting of the Tynemouth Compensation Authority took place on June 9th 1937. At this meeting Mrs. Hannah Forster was refused the renewal of the license she had held for six years. Chief Constable, Mr. Tom Blackburn said "I consider 2 public houses ample for the village". The two he referred to were the Sportsman and the Spread Eagle. He added that the sanitary arrangements were by no means satisfactory.
And so the Bambro Castle ceased to trade.
William Thompson opened a fish and chip shop in the building in about 1940 and traded there during the early part of World War 2 before it was allowed to become derelict. The building was demolished in the 1960s and the site became a car park for patrons of the nearby Spread Eagle pub.