Mystery pictures from Sunderland’s past

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Do you hold the key to unlocking memories of the past? Nostalgia writer Sarah Stoner shares a fresh batch of mystery photos.

Picture perfect mysteries are the focus of an appeal by Wearside historians.

MYSTERY SHIPYARD: The caption for this photo reads: "A group of shipyard workers with their forman. Late 1800's, Mr W Scott fourth from left on front row." But which shipyard was this?

MYSTERY SHIPYARD: The caption for this photo reads: "A group of shipyard workers with their forman. Late 1800's, Mr W Scott fourth from left on front row." But which shipyard was this?

A treasure trove of shipyard scenes, sports teams, street views and people pictures have been donated to Sunderland Antiquarian Society in recent months.

But many of the photographs are lacking names, dates or addresses – prompting member Bill Hawkins to appeal to Wearside Echoes readers for a little help.

“Unfortunately, we’ve had to store them in our mystery photo box, because we don’t know where or when most were taken, or who the people are,” he said.

“A picture without a description is like trying to look through a window covered by a black-out blind. It just leaves you completely in the dark.”

Among the haul of mystery photos are scenes of by-gone Sunderland taken in unknown streets, as well as sports teams and school portraits without names.

Other snaps have just a name or place on the back, like “Fred Green, Empire” and “Old Tiller Girl Lily Gelter” – but no dates, descriptions or explanations.

“We are just hoping that Echo readers, who have been so brilliant in the past, will be able to help us out here. Some of these are real mysteries,” said Bill.

“We would also encourage people to keep bringing their artefacts to us. We really do appreciate every donation, from single photos to whole boxes of documents.”

•Sunderland Antiquarian Society is based at 6 Douro Terrace. The archive is open to the public each Wednesday and Saturday mornings for research.