Beatlemania returns as the swinging 60s are revived in Sunderland

Drama students created a potrayal of life in the Swinging Sixtiers Exhibition as part of a Living History project at The Old Donnison School and Parish Church, in Sunderland East End on Saturday. Pictured are Becky Tench (left) and Amy Brown.
Drama students created a potrayal of life in the Swinging Sixtiers Exhibition as part of a Living History project at The Old Donnison School and Parish Church, in Sunderland East End on Saturday. Pictured are Becky Tench (left) and Amy Brown.
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A SWINGING sixties revival is under way on Wearside.

Living History North East celebrated the decade – famous for the emergence of The Beatles and the Moon landings – with a series of events at the restored Donnison School and Holy Trinity Church.

Drama students created a potrayal of life in the 1960's as part of a Living History project at The Old Donnison School and Parish Church, in Sunderland East End. Pictured are l-r Becky Tench, Adam Rapley and Amy Brown.

Drama students created a potrayal of life in the 1960's as part of a Living History project at The Old Donnison School and Parish Church, in Sunderland East End. Pictured are l-r Becky Tench, Adam Rapley and Amy Brown.

Both venues were temporarily transformed into living 1960s museums, showcasing fashions and furnishings of the era.

There were also talks by Wearsiders on what they remember most about the time.

As part of the scheme, a conference was held at Sunderland University to look at how the experiences of communities can be considered in regeneration and revdevelopment projects.

Former Sunderland MP Chris Mullin, from Ashbrooke, spoke about his memories at an evening reception.

River Wear historian Jack Curtis read poetry and East End historian Michael Bute gave a lecture on Sunderland Oak revisited.

The Oral History Society and UK Regenerations groups were also involved in putting on the nostalgic exhibitions.

Janette Hilton, project director at Living History North East, said: “Oral history gives people the opportunity to see that their feelings, thoughts and experiences are being recorded.

“People can sometimes feel threatened that their identity is at risk if their voices are not heard.

“We’ve had about 300 visitors at the church and the Donnison School which is fantastic.

“With the fashion shows and performances it’s been a very colourful and very lively event over the two sites, which encouraged people into the two places.”

Volunteers from Living History worked with students from Whitley Bay High School and teenagers from Educational Services for People with Autism in organising the celebrations.

Students from Espa (Education and Services for People with Autism) College also helped out.

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