50 golden years at heart of Sunderland for Deptford and Millfield Community Centre

Youngsters prepare to celebrate Deptford and Millfield Community Centre's 50th anniversary

Youngsters prepare to celebrate Deptford and Millfield Community Centre's 50th anniversary

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A centre that’s been at the heart of the community for more than 50 years is celebrating a milestone.

Deptford and Millfield Community Centre, believed to be Sunderland’s oldest, is marking 50 years at its site on Hylton Road.

Over the years, it’s welcomed countless music, activity and social groups through its doors. And some of those who use it today, including the Sunderland Music Workshop, will be taking part in an open day.

Muriel Harrison School of Dance is another group housed by the centre.

Muriel has a long association with the community centre, which she says plays an important role in Sunderland life.

She joined as a junior member when she was 13 and is now treasurer.

It’s one of the most active and full centres in the city.

Muriel Harrison

“Back then the club was based in Deptford Terrace School,” recalls Muriel. “When that school closed it moved to Hylton Road, which is why it’s Deptford and Millfield Community Centre, people often wonder why it has that name.

“We think it started originally, as Deptford Community Group, about 70 years ago.

“The building we’re in now has history too, it was an old orphanage and one time boys’ home.”

Some of the activities which take place regularly at the centre are war games, dancing, karate, card craft and exercise for the elderly.

Millfield and Deptford Darby and Joan Party 12 December 1973 old ref number 395'Some of the members of Deptford and Millfield Darby and Joan Club at their annual dinner at the Bay Hotel, Whitburn, last night.'Friday December 14 1973

Millfield and Deptford Darby and Joan Party 12 December 1973 old ref number 395'Some of the members of Deptford and Millfield Darby and Joan Club at their annual dinner at the Bay Hotel, Whitburn, last night.'Friday December 14 1973

“It’s one of the most active and full centres in the city,” said Muriel, whose well-known dance school has been based there for 40 years.

The open day takes place on Saturday, June 13. Sunderland Music Workshop will perform at 11am, bingo takes place at 12.30pm, stalls and demonstrations from 1pm and a cabaret from 7pm.

The day time events are free, but there is a charge of £3 for the cabaret.