Upon arriving back in his Northern hometown, Jack Carter exits Newcastle Railway Station and heads across the road to have a drink (“in a thin glass”) and await a meeting with Margeret.
This has long been a bone of contention when it comes to details as to which bar Carter actually enters and appears in this scene. Thankfully, due to some fantastic detective work by Angus Stephenson, we pretty much have the detailed answer. When Carter arrives in Newcastle he comes out of the station portico and heads a little to the right and walks past a shop with two windows and a big sign over it saying “Barbecue Express”. This shop was at the corner of Grainger Street and Neville Street. Take a look at this photo from 1969, where you can read the Douglas Hotel sign above the shop, as well as the Barbecue Express sign, and see the tower of St John’s church behind.
Note the two windows on the right hand side and compare them to the screengrabs above. This was The Spital Hotel pub and he goes into the open door on the right with the lights on as the other two are closed. This was the Northeastern bar, always called the Long Bar. As Carter enters we can see the infamous long bar and it is here where Carter orders his pint of bitter. The colour picture above was from the 1960s and details the building in colour (courtesy of Newcastle Liberaries / Craig Rothers).
Here is another picture of it from 1971, with the signs clearly displayed:
As you can possibly see in the picture above, the block’s days were numbered and it was up for redevelopment, as per the sign on the right, which is why the Spital Hotel was closed by then. The whole block was torn down in late 1971 and a small piece of film history was wiped out for good. In it’s place today is Baron House. A fairly anonymous concrete office building that contains various retail, pub and hotel occupancies.
It’s worth noting that for some reason, the Vic and Comet pub, which sits a couple of hundred yards to the west of this location, still maintains that they are the pub that is featured in this scene, even going so far as to mention this on the in house memorial to the pub. It isn’t, and anybody who has seen the film can tell this straight away, as the modern Vic and Comet has a completely different internal layout – totally different in fact. The modern Vic and Comet is the site of the post funeral drink and the band playing scene, as detailed here.
See Street View above.