SUNDERLAND’S Mayor has unveiled a blue plaque marking a historic Wearside building.
The Quayside Exchange – the city’s first purpose-built town hall – welcomed dignitaries, including Mayor Bob Heron, from across the city to mark its 200th anniversary.
Members of 68th DLI, dressed in period uniform, provided a guard of honour during the event and historian Terry Deary was guest speaker. “The Exchange is one of Sunderland’s most iconic buildings, with immense historical and architectural importance,” said general manager Andrew Gevorkian.
“It is therefore important to celebrate the anniversary in style.”
A revamp of civic affairs in the early 19th century helped pave the way for Wearside’s first town hall to open in 1814 – replacing a temporary base at Holy Trinity Church.
A newspaper reading room, kitchens, a post office, market place piazza, a magistrates court and offices for local Government officials were all included in the new building and as the exchange took a key role of Sunderland’s civic and commercial life, so it played host to banquets and social events of national importance.