Heritage Open Days in Sunderland

Monkwearmouth Station.
Monkwearmouth Station.
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WEARSIDERS are being urged to take a closer look at the history on their own doorstep. Scores of old buildings, firms and churches will throw open their doors between Thursday and Sunday as part of the annual Heritage Open Days (HODs) spectacular.

Highlights of the four-day event will include World War One talks and displays, a Codex Amiatinus handling session and a guided tour of an old colliery site.

A heritage walk around Elba Park, craft sessions at the old Donnison School in the East End and blacksmith demonstrations at Hetton Smithy are also planned.

Councillor John Kelly, the Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture in Sunderland, said: “HODs has become an increasingly important part of our cultural calendar. I’m delighted that it becomes ever more popular with residents and visitors alike.”

“Working with regional partners, we try to provide as wide a range of attractions as we can. This year’s programme has something to interest everyone.

“More and more people are taking the opportunity to look behind the scenes at some of our most historic and culturally important buildings and institutions.”

Founded as a national celebration of local history in 1994, HODs is England’s largest grassroots heritage event – attracting over one million visitors annually.

“2014 is a landmark for HODs,” said patron Loyd Grossman. “Over the last two decades we’ve enabled millions to visit places normally closed to the public.

“This summer we’re looking forward to our most spectacular festival ever – a unique national celebration that brings our hidden history to life.”

Tyne and Wear has been part of the HODS success story since the beginning, with thousands of people visiting hundreds of properties and events each year.

But organisers are promising this year’s HODs will be “better than ever” to mark the 20th anniversary, with more than 200 activities planned regionally.

Indeed, over 60 displays, tours, visits and events have been scheduled for Sunderland alone, with visitor numbers expected to run into tens of thousands.

Ryhope Engines Museum, Sunderland Volunteer Life Brigade, Hylton Castle, the Donnison School and Langham Tower are among old favourites taking part.

But there are several new attractions too, including talks on Great War soldiers, art workshops and the opening of Sunderland Antiquarian Society’s archives.

“Our city and this region has many cultural and architectural treasures for us to explore,” said Councillor Kelly.

“The annual Heritage Open Days provide an opportunity to visit some of those places which would not otherwise be open to the public.

“The success of this annual event is down to the efforts of the volunteers and organisers and the invaluable contribution of their time, effort and enthusiasm.”

•To find out more about the events, visit www.twhods.org.uk

Thursday, September 11

DISPLAY: Great War Centenary Heritage Exhibition, Houghton Methodist Church, Mautland Street – by Houghton Heritage Group. 9.30am-3.30pm.

VISIT: St Michael and All Angels Parish Church, The Broadway, Houghton. 11am-3pm.

VISIT: Langham Tower (above) – at Sunderland High School, Mowbray Road. Tours 10-11am and 2-3pm. Book by e-mail: elaine.martin@church-schools.com

VIEW: Codex Amiatinus Handling Session, City Library and Arts Centre, Fawcett Street. View and handle a facsimile of Codex Amiatinus. 2-3.30pm.

WALK: Back of the Pit – guided walk. Meet outside G.M. & G Marley, Wheatsheaf Joinery Works, Southwick Road. 1.30pm.

VISIT: St Peter’s Church, St Peter’s Way. 10am-3pm.

WALK: Elba Park Heritage Walk. Meet at Elba Park Banner, Chester Road roundabout. 11am-1pm.

VISIT: Sunderland Minster, 313 High Street West. Tours 9am-3pm Book by e-mail: admin@sunderlandminster.org

TOUR: Guided tours of Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens. 2-4pm.

TOUR: The 18th century Donnison School, Church Walk. 10am-4pm.

Friday, September 12

TALK: Sunderland Soldiers in the First World War – a talk by Margaret Thynne. City Library, Fawcett Street. 1.30pm.

VISIT: Hetton Smithy Open Day, Bog Row, North Road. 10am-3pm.

VISIT: St Mark’s Church, St Mark’s Terrace, Millfield. 10-4pm.

VISIT: Sunderland Quakers Meeting House, 30 Roker Park Road. 10am-3pm.

DISPLAY: Heritage and Art Exhibition, Easington Lane Community Access Point, Brick Garth, Easington Lane. 9am-3pm.

VISIT: A heritage exhibition will be held at Southwick Methodist Chapel, Thompson Road, 2-4pm.

VISIT: Open Day at Hylton Castle, Craigavon Road. 10am-2pm.

VISIT: St Nicholas Church, Silksworth Lane, Barnes. 12noon-4pm.

VISIT: A World War One exhibition at Fulwell Library. 12.30–5pm.

EXHIBITION: Tommy’s Story – a display showing the story of a Great War soldier – at Space 4, Houghton Library, Newbottle Street. 12.30-1.30pm.

VISIT: St Michael and All Angels Parish Church, The Broadway, Houghton. 11am-3pm.

DISPLAY: Great War Centenary Heritage Exhibition, Houghton Methodist Church, Mautland Street – by Houghton Heritage Group. 9.30am-3.30pm.

VISIT: St Peter’s Church, St Peter’s Way. 10am-3pm.

VISIT: Sunderland Volunteer Life Brigade Watch House, Pier View. 11am-4pm.

WALK: Elba Park Heritage Walk. Meet at Elba Park Banner, Chester Road roundabout. 11am-1pm.

VISIT: Langham Tower – at Sunderland High School, Mowbray Road. Tours 10-11am and 2-3pm. Book by e-mail: elaine.martin@church-schools.com

TOUR: The 18th century Donnison School (above), Church Walk. 10am-4pm.

VISIT: Sunderland Minster, 313 High Street West. Tours 9am-3pm Book by e-mail: admin@sunderlandminster.org

Saturday, September 13

TALK: The Real War Horses – Wearside Draymen at War, by John Sadler. At City Library, Fawcett Street. 2-3pm.

TOUR: Sunderland Vintage Bus Tour. Stars at Monkwearmouth Station Museum. 10am-4.30pm. Book via email: museumlearning@sunderland.gov.uk

TALK: Fulwell During the Great War. Meet at Fulwell War Memorial 12.30pm.

WALK: Houghton Heritage Walk, meet at Houghton Methodist Church, Mautland Street, at 2.30pm.

VISIT: Heritage Day at the National Glass Centre, Liberty Way. 10am-5pm.

VISIT: Sunderland Antiquarian Society will open its archives to visitors. 10am-2pm.

ART: Work with artist Theresa Easton to create Sunderland Mail Art at the City Library in Fawcett Street. 1-4pm.

VISIT: St Mary Magdelene’s Church, Wilson Street. 10am-4pm.

TOUR: St Andrew’s Church, Roker. Meet at Lych Gate, Park Avenue. 1.30-4pm.

VISIT: Open Day at Hylton Castle, Craigavon Road. 10am-2pm.

VISIT: St Nicholas Church, Silksworth Lane, Barnes. 10am-3pm.

DISPLAY: Sunderland Maritime Heritage, Church Street East. 10am-4pm.

EXHIBITION: Tommy’s Story – a display showing the story of a Great War soldier – at Space 4, Houghton Library, Newbottle Street. 12.30-1.30pm.

VISIT: A World War One exhibition at Fulwell Library. 12.30–5pm.

EXHIBITION: Tommy’s Story – a display showing the story of a Great War soldier – at Space 4, Houghton Library, Newbottle Street. 10.30-11.30am.

VISIT: Hetton Smithy Open Day, Bog Row, North Road. 10am-3pm.

VISIT: Holy Trinity Church, Church Street East. 11am-4pm.

DISPLAY: Heritage and Art exhibition, plus Brass Band music, Easington Lane Community Access Point, Brick Garth, Easington Lane. 9am-5pm.

VISIT: Ryhope Engines Museum, Waterworks Road. 11am-4pm.

DISPLAY: Great War Centenary Heritage Exhibition, Houghton Methodist Church, Mautland Street – by Houghton Heritage Group. 9.30am-12.30pm.

VISIT: St Michael and All Angels Parish Church, The Broadway, Houghton. 10am-4pm.

VISIT: St Peter’s Church (above), St Peter’s Way. 10am-4pm.

VISIT: Sunderland Quakers Meeting House, 30 Roker Park Road. 1-4pm.

VISIT: Sunderland Volunteer Life Brigade Watch House, Pier View. 11am-4pm.

VISIT: Queen Street Masonic Temple, Queen Street East. 10.20am-3.30pm.

VISIT: Sunderland Minster, 313 High Street West. Tours 9am-3pm Book by e-mail: admin@sunderlandminster.org

TOUR: The 18th century Donnison School, Church Walk. 10am-3pm.

VISIT: North East Land, Sea and Air Museum, Old Washington Road (opp Nissan Car Plant). 10am-5pm.

VISIT: Washington F Pit Museum, Albany Way. 11am-1pm and 1.30-4pm.

VISIT: Washington Old Hall, The Avenue, Washington. 10am-2pm.

Sunday, September 14

VISIT: Sunderland Theatre Organ Preservation Society, Ryhope Community Association, Black Road. Listen to, or play, the Compton Organ. 11am-4pm.

TALK: Fulwell Millennium Tapestries, at Fulwell Community Centre. 2pm.

TALK: Sport at War: Sunderland Cricket and Football Club, Ashbrooke and the First World War. Ashbrooke Sports Club, West Lawn. By Keith Gregson. 7pm.

DISPLAY: Sunderland Maritime Heritage, Church Street East. 10am-4pm.

VISIT: Hetton Smithy Open Day, Bog Row, North Road. 10am-3pm.

VISIT: Ryhope Engines Museum, Waterworks Road. 11am-4pm.

DISPLAY: Heritage and Art exhibition, Easington Lane Community Access Point, Brick Garth, Easington Lane. 10am-4pm.

VISIT: Washington F Pit Museum (above), Albany Way. 12-4pm.

VISIT: St Peter’s Church, St Peter’s Way. 12-3pm.

TOUR: St Andrew’s Church, Roker. Meet at Lych Gate, Park Avenue. 1.30-4pm.

VISIT: Sunderland Quakers Meeting House, 30 Roker Park Road. 1-4pm.

VISIT: Sunderland Volunteer Life Brigade Watch House, Pier View. 11am-4pm.

VISIT: Holy Trinity Church, Church Street East. 11am-2.30pm.

VISIT: Quayside Exchange (Exchange Buildings), 197 High Street. 12-3pm.

VISIT: Queen Street Masonic Temple, Queen Street East. 10.20am-3.30pm.

VISIT: Sunderland Minster, 313 High Street West. Tours 10am-2pm Book by e-mail: admin@sunderlandminster.org

TOUR: The 18th century Donnison School, Church Walk. 10am-3pm.

VISIT: North East Land, Sea and Air Museum, Old Washington Road (opp Nissan Car Plant). 10am-5pm.