In the ancient market town of Hexham, for instance, the local 'Spoon is housed in an old cinema, The Forum. Many of the old cinema's features have been retained, such as the split-level floor leading down from the former foyer, and I imagine it is quite a nostalgic trip for some of the older folks who visit the pub.
Anyway, I notice that it is often packed in the afternoon with senior citizens. No doubt they are enjoying a sort of "race memory" ritual of the matinee!
In Durham, the 'Spoon is the Water House, an historic building which was once the headquarters of the Weardale & Shildon Water Company. There is a plaque on the wall commemorating the fact and a lively pub it was indeed when I visited it recently.
In the bar, there was a big party of deaf people (sorry if this term is no longer "politically correct" - I am constantly being bollicked by my sons on this subject) and it was very interesting to watch them signing. I've never seen such a quiet argument and what amused me most was that everyone seemed to be "talking" at once. Mind you, I think that everyone was "listening" too!
I sat back and enjoyed two excellent pints, Black Moss and 5th Anniversary from the High House Brewery of Matfen, Northumberland. Both went down a treat and I would recommend these brews to anyone. In fact, I must get up into Northumberland as soon as possible to hunr down any other brews that this little "cottage brewery" produces.
A real treat to look forward to!