The Bar


Quilted Camel

Party central since 1995


The weekend warm up smashing you in the ‘chops’ with our eclectic mix of chart, party and cheese. The perfect night for an early tipple, or get here when it kicks off for a fun-filled night of sheer cheddar and wall to wall blart, with great drinks deals!



Once again we’ll be playing the best of chart, party and cheese from all decades. Quilted Camel, statistically proven to be the best place to party on your Saturday night… get on it!

Did you know?

Quilted Camel is named after a bizarre, but true, World War 1 story of heroism and a famous quilted bi-plane!

An historian writes:

“The infamous Novocastrian pilot, Wing Commander Trubshaw (‘Cuckoo Jack’ to his chums) of RAF Dromedary found himself flying a ‘Sopwith Camel’ (fighter bi-plane) over France in the hoar frosts of the bitter 1914 winter. He almost ‘bought-it’ twice whilst engaging the Hun above Fontenoy as a result of his Camels’ wings icing up!

“His continental lover, Fifi Coquet, the notorious French dancer, secretly procured bedding from other officers’ quarters and made a quilted coverlet for the Camels’ wings. The quilt was a great success, enabling Trubshaw to fly many a triumphant sortie.

“Our brave local hero returned home to Newcastle and wed Molly Posser, the Quayside Silky, a direct descendant of Bessie Surtees. Their nuptials took place in White Cross House adjoining the famous Bessie Surtees’ House, which is now occupied by The Quilted Camel.”

Ghosts and Ghouls

Quilted Camel has been party central since opening in 1995. However, the building in which this iconic bar is situated is steeped in history. Dating back to the early 1500’s it is one of the oldest buildings in Newcastle and is a rare master class of Jacobean architecture. Not surprisingly there are more spirits than the odd treble vodka lurking in this ancient place: …read on if you dare?

The buildings which comprise Bessie Surtees House, Red House and Quilted Camel, are made up of several wealthy merchants’ houses, built in the 16th and 17th centuries. Since that time these houses have been used as a hide-out for smugglers, thieves and prostitutes, and have also been the scene of some heinous acts including displaying the butchered remains of villains who crossed the laws of the day. Stories tell of the main bar at Quilted Camel being a renowned brothel in the 18th century. Yet the buildings most famous story is of a romantic nature…

18 yr old Bessie Surtees had fallen deeply in love with a no body named John Scott, her parents were unhappy about this as they had someone older and richer for her to wed. However, she wanted none of this as she was so in love with John, and being of a young age she had no choice but to run away and leave all she knew behind. She made a plan that she and John would leave together for Scotland to be married. John stole a horse and cart and headed down to her home on the waterfront. There he waited in the darkness of night waiting for Bessie to join him. Unfortunately, their plans were scuppered when Bessie’s father returned home from a local Inn. John heard shouting and smashing from within the house and tried to break down the door, but to no avail. He was startled when he saw a window flung open and Bessie climbing on to the window ledge from where she jumped into his arms. They fled along the Quayside to Dogleap steps, from where they made their escape to Scotland and blissful marriage. Years later the Surtees family fell on hard times and begged their daughter to return. They accepted her husband as he had became very successful, eventually becoming Lord Eldon, the same Lord Eldon as the famous Square is named after. The ghost of Bessie Surtees is still said to haunt the building to this day and can be seen standing and staring from the window where she once escaped.


In more recent times ghostly apparitions have been witnessed and documented. On a quiet midweek night in 2003 at Quilted Camel, a member of bar staff, plus a lone customer, ran from ‘back bar’ into the lounge area with horror in their eyes. They reported having seen a sinister figure out of the corner of their eyes. The manager, being more concerned about the bar being abandoned during service than any resident spirits, decided to take a look at the CCTV footage. To his surprise a blurred image of what appears to be a human form could be seen emerging next to the fire escape door in the back bar, then the bartender and her customer can be clearly seen running in terror from the scene, leaving the beer pump running and glasses being knocked over in their wake! It would appear the ghosts of yesteryear may still be present to this day.

In 2005/2006 a junior manager at Quilted Camel regularly reported hearing the sound of children crying from behind a bricked up doorway. The sound occurred in the dead of night when checking the premises as part of the locking up procedure. So disconcerting was the sound that an application was made for transfer to an alternative bar. The stories were disregarded at that time as ‘fanciful’. However, during the writing of this potted history, we have discovered that the part of the building where the sound emanated was at one time used as a home for abandoned children!

the Jack Sparrow connection…

The History of pirates goes back hundreds of years, famous Pirates such as Stede Bonnet and the more well known savage ‘Blackbeard’ have all made their mark on the wretched seas.

We are now all aware of the adventures of ‘Captain Jack Sparrow’ and his crew of the Black Pearl, sailing the seas searching for treasure and fortunes! What few people know is that the man himself is no fictional character; he is actually based on a real life pirate named ‘Edward Robinson’.

Edward Robinson was born sometime in the late 1600’s in the very building which is now home to the Quilted Camel! He was not brought up well, and consorted to committing crime to get by. He killed his first victim in a pub called the ‘White Hart Inn’, which stood opposite this building where Chase bar now resides. They say he slit his throat and pushed him into the River Tyne.

As the Quayside was once a hugely populated shipping port, it wasn’t too long before Edward Robinson was sailing the seas adding to his tally of crime. He was once part of Stede Bonnets “The Gentleman’s Pirate” crew, and by most accounts had even sailed with the famous pirate ‘Blackbeard’ and was with him on his infamous siege of Charlestown in May of 1718. Edward Robinson eventually ended up being hung in Carolina USA for his crimes.

If you delve into the history books, you will see Edward Robinson is a born and bred Geordie. Although he didn’t quite make it to the Caribbean, he did have his fair share of adventures (and misfortunes) and is the man the world famous character, our own ‘Captain Jack’, is based upon.

‘why not add to its amazing history and make sure you party your heart out and put your own stamp on it’

Quilted Camel, Best Bar None Silver Award Winner
Fluid Group, awarded ‘Best Overall Operator’ in the Best Bar None Awards 2009

Best Bar none Safe Newcastle

Mon, 8 Nov 2010 10:53:23 GMT (updated: Mon, 11 Mar 2013 11:55:00 GMT)

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