Unique history sale to be held this Saturday

December: Who remembers the numerous Santa's grottos in the town's department stores, thronged with excited children, and their wonderful window displays? This photo, taken in 1962, shows Joplings store with its brightly decorated windows tempting people to step inside.

December: Who remembers the numerous Santa's grottos in the town's department stores, thronged with excited children, and their wonderful window displays? This photo, taken in 1962, shows Joplings store with its brightly decorated windows tempting people to step inside.

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The focus will be on the past at a unique Wearside sale this weekend.

Hundreds of books documenting the history of Wearside - some quite rare - will be on offer at Sunderland Antiquarian Society on Saturday.

June: Summer days, with the smell of fish and chips and salt water in the air, and the shrieks of excited children at the fairground. Dodgems, 'shuggy boats' and the Big Dipper all vied for your tanner in 1958.

June: Summer days, with the smell of fish and chips and salt water in the air, and the shrieks of excited children at the fairground. Dodgems, 'shuggy boats' and the Big Dipper all vied for your tanner in 1958.

“We have collected thousands of volumes over the decades. This is our chance to clear a little space to keep on collecting more,” said president Douglas Smith.

“All sorts of books will be on sale; some dating back years, others more recent but documenting the past. It is a chance to buy some unique pieces of history.”

The roots of the Society date to November 15, 1899, when notice of plans to form a group were sent out from the office of George W. Bain, of 46 John Street.

It was not until February 1, 1900, however, that the first meeting was held - at the Industrial and Provident Society. The Antiquarians was launched that day.

August: In the hot summer of 1957 children cool down in the Roker paddling pool. There is hardly a space left on the beach between the bathers and the beach tents.

August: In the hot summer of 1957 children cool down in the Roker paddling pool. There is hardly a space left on the beach between the bathers and the beach tents.

Dr Thomas Randell was appointed as the group’s first president and its main objective then, as it is today, was to study, collect and research local history.

Dozens of volumes documenting Wearside’s heritage have since been published by members – providing invaluable tools for historians, students and genealogists.

But, although the priority is still to keep on collecting and studying pieces of local history, more room has to be created for storage - hence Saturday’s sale.

“We have spent over a century building up a library for the future historians of Sunderland. We are dedicated to preserving the past,” said Douglas.

April: Many Wearsiders met at Mackie's Corner when the junction of High Street West and Bridge Street bustled with life. This photo, taken in 1952, shows favourites including the Grand Hotel and Share's furniture store.

April: Many Wearsiders met at Mackie's Corner when the junction of High Street West and Bridge Street bustled with life. This photo, taken in 1952, shows favourites including the Grand Hotel and Share's furniture store.

* The book sale will be held at Sunderland Antiquarian Society, 6 Douro Terrace, from 9.30-1pm. Copies of the Society’s 2016 calendar, featuring a dozen photos of bygone Sunderland, will also be on sale at £7.50 each. Further details on the calendar are available via email at: sunderlandantiquarians@yahoo.co.uk