A Dickens of a nostalgic way to celebrate the festive season

All the fun of the Seaburn fair is now sadly all gone - but memories live on through this photo, which is featured in the latest Antiquarian calendar.
All the fun of the Seaburn fair is now sadly all gone - but memories live on through this photo, which is featured in the latest Antiquarian calendar.
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A Wearside group dedicated to preserving the past for the future is throwing open its doors for a festive event.

Sunderland Antiquarian Society will host a nostalgia-themed Christmas Fair this Saturday, at 6 Douro Terrace, from 10am until 2pm.

Well, that's one way to keep your shoes clean. This classic shot of the East End is from the Antiquarian Society's collection.

Well, that's one way to keep your shoes clean. This classic shot of the East End is from the Antiquarian Society's collection.

“If you have never visited us before, then this is your chance to be amazed at the wealth of historical material on display,” said president Douglas Smith.

“Our vast collection of local documents, photos, maps and more is available for research. I’m sure visitors will find the archive astonishing, and fascinating.”

The roots of Sunderland Antiquarians date to 1899, when notice of plans to form a group were sent out from the office of George W. Bain, of 46 John Street.

It was not until February 1, 1900, however, that the first meeting was held at the Industrial and Provident Society. The group was officially launched that day.

A bygone shot of High Street when horses and carts, rather than cars, were the traffic hazard of the time to watch out for.

A bygone shot of High Street when horses and carts, rather than cars, were the traffic hazard of the time to watch out for.

Thomas Randell, Rector of Sunderland, was appointed as president and its main objective then, as it is today, was to study, collect and research local history.

“Since its first meeting in 1900, the society has been collecting and preserving material relevant to the history of our local community,” said Douglas.

“Among our many archive treasures are 18th century maps, Civil War petitions to Cromwell, trade directories, theatre bills and thousands of vintage photos.

“Whether you are interested in researching a particular topic, or just want to browse, one of our volunteers will be able to guide you in the right direction.”

l Saturday’s Christmas Fair will include stalls selling local history books and DVDs, as well as photographic prints, jewellery and nostalgia crafts and gifts.

The free event is open to all and will also feature a chocolate tombola and home-made cake stall.