The Sportsman, Preston Village, North Shields

Front Street

The pub name The Sportsman, or Sportsman's Arms, has been associated with Preston Village for more than 200 years. Early in the nineteenth century, a few yards from where the present pub stands, stood the original Sportsman in North Road. Records show that this building, along with several messuages, farm lands, tenements and other hereditaments were owned by John Fenwick whose trustee of the property in March 1818 was James Lyon.

The ownership of the pub passed through various members of the Fenwick family who let the property to several tenants - notably Ephraim Nicholson who held the tenancy for more than 20 years from the early 1840s.

Nicholson was succeeded by Robert Lowry in 1873 and George Robinson in 1886.

In about 1895 the Sportsman passed by marriage into the ownership of William Cawthorne, after whom the row of terraced flats to the east of the present building was named. In 1896 he carried out extensive rebuilding which involved the demolition of a good part of the original pub and a facelift which gave the building its Tudor style frontage.

After Cawthorne died in 1902, his wife Susannah continued to run the Sportsman until May 1906 when it was acquired by W. B. Reid & Co. who later became part of Newcastle Breweries Ltd.

Subsequent licensees were Francis J. Pearson (1909), Frederick Connacher (1913), Thomas Dixon (1920), Dorothy Dixon (1928), Alfred Hoy (1924), Andrew S. Montgomery (1938), Richard Montgomery (1949), Alfred Allen (1956), Thomas Grundy (1965), William McAll (1978) and Peter Boddy (1985).

Shortly after Mr. Boddy took over, extensive renovation was carried out, prior to which the Sportsman had changed little since Cawthorne's days. Mr. Boddy's wife, who became renowned for her culinary skills, then introduced a new menu of home cooked bar food that included a Kofta curry second to none.

The Sportsman today continues to offer the welcome of a typical village inn.

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