The opening of the New Keel Tavern in the square this week has been a massive hit. As crowds gathered for the switching on of Sunderland’s Christmas lights, the new bar was bustling.
Although recent economic conditions have taken a toll on Sunderland City Centre, the momentum of the Keel Square area shows that things remain optimistic on the whole.
If you haven’t been inside the new Keel Tavern yet, there is a beautiful little tribute to the legacy of Vaux hidden upstairs. It comes in the form of some barrels, as well as the depiction of an old bowler hat and gloves, a tribute to the former brewery, as shown here by the Vaux Brewery collectibles.
This tribute is a public artwork created by Ray Lonsdale. Ray, who is one of the most celebrated sculptors in the local area, is known for his sentimental, realist and nostalgic style which masterfully crafts “memories” and “living history” into his works.
In doing so, he has created some iconic pieces including Seaham’s Tommy, the Vaux Wagons near Gillbridge House and recently a new statue of a grieving mother of a fallen soldier at the Murton Cenotaph.