Thousands thronged into Sunderland for the results

The scene in 1865 outside the Exchange Building.
The scene in 1865 outside the Exchange Building.
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Sunderland will once again be hoping to be the first General Election constituency to take the declaration of its General Election vote.

If it does so, on June 8, the city will have been first past the post for a seventh time.

The 1935 election declaration outside the Victoria Hall.

The 1935 election declaration outside the Victoria Hall.

However this was not always the case in Sunderland and there was a different scenario in times gone by.

Philip Curtis, of the Sunderland Antiquarian Society, explains more.

In the past, the result was always declared the day after the Election and it usually happened in front of huge crowds of Sunderland people.

In the 1865 General Election, the result was declared outside the Exchange Building which was in High Street.

The late 1920s and 1930s brought another change of venue with the result being declared from temporary stages which were set up at the bottom of Toward Road on the corner of the Victoria Hall. The crowds then had to be controlled by police on horseback

Philip Curtis

At that time, the building was being used as the Town Hall.

A rare photograph taken at that time shows the Town’s Mayor, councillors, reporters and a packed crowd who had all gathered as they awaited the result.

By the early twentieth century, the declarations had been transferred to the Town Hall which was in Fawcett Street.

This generated even larger crowds with the main street being absolutely packed as people awaited the result.

The election declaration in 1931 outside Victoria Hall.

The election declaration in 1931 outside Victoria Hall.

Many onlookers even scaled the buildings to try and get a better vantage point.

The late 1920s and 1930s brought another change of venue with the result being declared from temporary stages which were set up at the bottom of Toward Road on the corner of the Victoria Hall.

The crowds then had to be controlled by police on horseback.

Today, it is all so different with the live media coverage bringing the results into our homes as they are declared.

Packed crowds in Fawcett Street for the 1910 Election.

Packed crowds in Fawcett Street for the 1910 Election.

Perhaps a little of the overnight anticipation and the excitement of being able to attend the event has been lost.

But try telling that to the counters next month who will all be making valiant efforts to ensure the city is again the first to declare.