WEARSIDERS are being urged to take a closer look at the history on their own doorstep.
Talks, walks, displays and demonstrations will be held across Sunderland as part of Local History Month in May, to help publicise the rich heritage of the city.
“The aim of Local History Month is to increase awareness of local history, and promote history in general,” said Carol Roberton, vice-chair of Sunderland Heritage Forum.
“But it is also an exciting opportunity to find out more about our heritage, visit some of the hidden gems we easily overlook as we dash about, and to enjoy heritage walks and talks.”
Sunderland Heritage Forum has joined forces with Sunderland City Council to promote Wearside’s heritage during the event - with a packed programme of events drawn up.
Guided walks around the East End and Barbary Coast, a mining exhibition and tours to the top of Penshaw Monument are among the highlights of the month of activities.
A display featuring models of lost Sunderland buildings, talks on local war heroes, a textile demonstration and Family Fun Day at Hylton Castle are also on the agenda.
“The programme this year is even more varied than usual.
“I’m particularly looking forward to a Sunderland Antiquarians photographic exhibition on the city’s shipyards,” said Carol.
“I’m also keen to see the historical maps at the city library - and one of the special events will even provide a chance to feel what it was like to be in Sunderland during the Great War.
“The clock will be turned back 100 years on May 23, when Barnes Park will host a heritage event giving a flavour of what life was like – the songs, sights, food, fashion and games.
A 1915-style funfair is planned too, and there will be displays of old photographs and other memorabilia. You may even bump into a DLI soldier in uniform as you wander round.”
l For further information on Local History Month contact Stuart Miller on 528 5339 or Janet Robinson on 561 8413.
May 1 and 2: Washington ‘F’ Pit Museum, Albany Way, Washington, open from 11am-3pm. View the winding engine which took pitmen to the coalface.
May 2: Guided one-mile walks around the East End. Meet at Holy Trinity Church, Church Street East. Donation £2. Session 1: 11am-12 noon. Session 2: 1pm-2pm.
May: Every Saturday and Wednesday, 10am-12noon. Photo exhibition - The Lost Shipyards of Sunderland. Venue: Sunderland Antiquarian Society, 6 Douro Terrace.
May 3: Dawn Chorus walk on Tunstall Hill, from 5.30-8am, led by Paul Anderson of Durham Bird Club. Meet at upper car park, off Leechmere Road.
May: Every weekend - tours to the top of Penshaw Monument. MUST be booked in advance. Tel: 01723 870 423 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
May 5: Illustrated talk by historian Peter Welsh on using sources to investigate a war memorial. City Library, Fawcett Street, at 1.30pm. To book: 561 1235.
May: Exhibition celebrating the region’s mining heritage, The Art of Mining, will be on show at Monkwearmouth Station Museum, North Bridge Street, all month.
May 7: Display of Hetton Village Atlas at the Hetton Centre, Welfare Road, Hetton, from 12noon to 6.30pm. Further details at: www.hettonlocalhistory.org.uk
May 7: Local historian Margaret Thynne will lead a walk around the old Barbary Coast at 1.30pm. Meet at Thomas Street, just off the Wheatseaf, Monkwearmouth.
May 7, 14, 21 and 28: Taster sessions from 10am-12noon on tracing your family tree. Houghton Library, 74 Newbottle Street. To book ring: 561 5383.
May 9: A history fair - Yesterday Belongs to You - will be held at New College, Durham, from 10am-4pm. Further details at: www.durhamweb.org.uk/historyforum
May 9: Talk on the building stones of Sunderland’s geological heritage will be held by historian Andy Lane at Sunderland Museum from 2-4pm. Admission £1.
May 11: A free illustrated talk on tracing the history of your house will be given by archivist Alan Hayward at the City Library, Fawcett Street, at 10.30am. May 11 and 12: Display featuring models of Sunderland’s lost buildings by model-maker Fred Gooch will be held at Bede Tower, Burdon Road, from 10am-4pm.
May 12: A Reminiscence Session will be held at Beckwith Mews, Seaham Street, Silksworth, from 2pm-3pm. Chat about your memories of old Sunderland.
May 12 and 26: Ancestry Taster sessions will be held at the Local Studies Centre, City Library, Fawcett Street, from 2.30pm-3.30pm.
May 12: A talk on Mining Memories by Barry Mead will be held at Fulwell Community Centre at 7.30pm. Admission £1.
May 13: A Textile Demonstration will be held in the Textile Traditions Gallery, Sunderland Museum, Burdon Road, from 1-3pm. Contact 561 2323.
May 13: Talk on Commonwealth War Graves - Their Name Liveth Forever - will be held in the Sir Tom Cowie Lecture Theatre, Sunderland University, from 2.30pm.
May 14: Investigate historical maps of Sunderland at the City Library, Fawcett Street, from 10am-2pm. Further information: 561 8439.
May 16: Southwick History and Preservation Society will host a trip to Beamish. Contact Pam Tate on 567 2438 for costs and booking.
May 16: A talk on the Art Deco buildings of Sunderland will be given by architectural historian Dr Michael Johnson at the City Library from 1.30pm.
May 16: Hylton Castle will host a Community Open Day from 11am until 3pm.
May 16: An after-hours tour of Sunderland Museum will be held from 6-8pm.
May 18: Take a walk around historic Sunderland without leaving your seat with a talk by John Tumman and Dr Michael Johnson at the City Library from 10.30am.
May 18: A talk on child murderer Mary Bell will be given by historian Norman Kirtlan at the Donnison School, Church Walk, at 1pm. Entrance £2.50.
May 23: A heritage day - featuring exhibitions on World War One - will be held at Barnes Park from 10am to 5pm.
May 23-31: History Heroes Trail - a family-friendly trail to discover Wearside’s historic heroes - will be held at Sunderland Museum.
May 23-31: Marvellous Mining Trail - a family-friendly trail focussing on mining heritage - will be hosted by Monkwearmouth Station Museum, North Bridge Street.
May 26: A guided walk focusing on Sunderland during World War One will be held at 10am. Meet at West Wear Street car park - SR1 1XD. Contact 561 4578 to book.
May 27: Former lecturer Ian McCardle will give a talk on Medical Service in the Great War at 2.30pm at City Library, Fawcett Street. Book a place on: 561 1235.
May 27: Dr Andy Lane will give a talk on Sunderland’s Geological Heritage at the Sir Tom Cowie Lecture Theatre, Sunderland University, from 2.30pm.
May 28: Brenda Graham will talk about Great War casualty Stephen Ellison McCaw at Kepier Hall, St Michaels and All Angels Church, Houghton, at 6.45pm.