Amazing colour pictures show the changing face of Sunderland

A rare colour shot here of the Grand Hotel in Bridge Street in 1973. Just a year later it was reduced to rubble.
A rare colour shot here of the Grand Hotel in Bridge Street in 1973. Just a year later it was reduced to rubble.
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Today we take a second look at the Williamson collection – a unique set of slides documenting the changing face of Wearside.

History enthusiast Alan Williamson snapped streets, shops, revamps and demolitions around Sunderland over a 30-year period.

Sunderland's electricity generating station in 1976.

Sunderland's electricity generating station in 1976.

Now almost 400 of his colour slide images have been uploaded to the Flickr website after being digitised by Sunderland Museum.

“Alan was determined to document changes to the town, and his photos are fascinating,” said Martin Routledge, Keeper of 
History.

“He was a museum volunteer for many years and, following his death, he left us his photos. We thought it was only right to share them.”

Alan, a former RAF man, started taking his snaps of Sunderland in the late 1960s and continued until around 2000.

Pallion New Road in 1987.

Pallion New Road in 1987.

Changes to High Street West, the building of Crowtree and the creation of The Bridges were just three of the many topics he covered.

“Among my favourites is one of Sheepfolds Goods Yard, as I have been associated with Monkwearmouth Station Museum for years,” said Martin.

“I also like the ones of High Street West, as I am fascinated by building and demolition sites, as well as the image of Kipling Street.

“It was taken in the 1970s and, although it does not seem that long ago to me, it is surprising that there were still cobbled streets.

Kipling Street at Southwick in 1976.

Kipling Street at Southwick in 1976.

“There are remarkably fewer cars parked in that street than you get today – and we thought the roads were busy back then!”

l The Sunderland Museum Flickr page can be accessed at: www.flickr.com/photos/137368687@N02/albums

Little has changed at the King's Arms since this photo was taken in 1974 - apart from the lamp-post and pub sign.

Little has changed at the King's Arms since this photo was taken in 1974 - apart from the lamp-post and pub sign.

The Old Twenty Nine in 1984 - home to great bands and glass carpets.

The Old Twenty Nine in 1984 - home to great bands and glass carpets.

Old and new side-by-side. Sunderland's first ever McDonalds in High Street West (1989) pictured next Notariannis...

Old and new side-by-side. Sunderland's first ever McDonalds in High Street West (1989) pictured next Notariannis...

High Street West in 1977.

High Street West in 1977.

A demolition scene at High Street West in 1977.

A demolition scene at High Street West in 1977.

The station goods yard at Sheepfolds in 1980.

The station goods yard at Sheepfolds in 1980.

The Garths.

The Garths.