Memories of Sunderland: The Double Maxim Pub, Farringdon

North Moor Road, sitting in front of Farringdon, is most known for its McDonalds. It’s hard to believe (since this author remembers when it was first opened) that the venue has been there for 20 years now, having opened around 2002. But older people will remember that before that time, something else stood there, a pub known as The Double Maxim.

It is a harsh reality today that the “local pub” is in decline. At the turn of the millennium, Farringdon had three pubs, The Double Maxim, the Farringdon Club and The Dolphin. Only the latter remains, which much to the credit of its owners, has become an outstanding success story which has won many awards. Despite this, it remains true that a rise in running costs, combined with changing social habits and the availability of cheaper supermarket beer have shuttered many pubs across Britain.

The Double Maxim pub had a real traditional style about it, complete with its Tudor inspired white and black exterior and wooden sign, having a real “inn” type of feeling. The existence of the pub pre-dates the Farringdon estate and was built in 1936, making it a country venue of sorts in its earliest days. Originally named “The North Moor“, the bar is visible on aerial photos of the area dated from the late 1940s and early 50s, showing the construction of Springwell and Thorney Close.

At some point, the pub gained its current name and become a Vaux Pub, taking upon it the name of the iconic drink. The pub’s decline began towards the end of the 20th century as the old “North Moor Court” flat estate which accompanied it was pulled down in the 1990s, isolating it. Then in 2001, its final owners, Hartlepool based PubMaster, realized they would make more money by selling the land than keeping the venue open (you must question how many pubs met this fate). They sealed a £1 million deal with McDonalds, which was opposed by local residents and even MP Chris Mullin.

However, the deal went ahead and the rest was history, and thus the Double Maxim came to an end, another venue which lives on only in people’s memories.