The Alexandra, Preston, North Shields
Queen Alexandra Road
The Alexandra, a busy pub with a friendly atmosphere, was built around 1965 by Vaux Breweries on land that had been vacant for over 60 years. Its first landlord was 6'3", ex RSM Sid Glover and his wife Mary.
His successor was another former military man, Bill York who ran the pub with his wife Claire. Bill was a well-liked character who would often wear his white Royal Marines helmet whilst working behind the bar. He was reputed to be very fit and strong and there are tales of him vaulting the bar in a single bound while resting on one hand. It is said that he kept a rowing boat in the cellar into which he would put drunken customers and hose them down.
Eileen Stephenson held the license after the Yorks and, in 1989, she handed over to Brian Naylor. Mr. Naylor was in charge for a number of years and was unfortunate enough, in April 1994, to be confronted by a gang of robbers, armed with a machete, in an attempted closing time raid. He was, however, able to fight them off but suffered injuries which, fortunately, were not found to be serious.
A year or so after this event, David and Janice Elliott took over and an advertisement in the News Guardian described the function room as being able to hold up to 100 people. The Elliotts retained the license until 1999 when it was taken over by Claire Nichol.
When the Swallow Hotels group decided in the late 1990s to close Vaux Breweries the Alexandra was taken over for a short time by Whitbread. It then became a member of the Enterprise Inns group.