Murder mystery at festive market day

LOOKING FOR CLUES: Artists Deborah Cauchi and Jo Howell, join Coun John Kelly and Anne Tye to promote Christmas activities around Sunniside including a murder mystery trail.
LOOKING FOR CLUES: Artists Deborah Cauchi and Jo Howell, join Coun John Kelly and Anne Tye to promote Christmas activities around Sunniside including a murder mystery trail.
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SUNNISIDE’S historic streets will be a festive spectacular this weekend.

The cultural quarter will host a Christmas market, family fun day and a murder mystery trail on Saturday.

Sunderland City Council has organised the trail which asks families to visit local businesses and buildings in and around Sunniside to find the clues to help them solve the mystery of “who killed Bubble Maxim?”

The mystery trail is one of the many activities and entertainments on offer at the event, with performances from the Salvation Army and Castletown School Choir and festive music from young local bands.

Businesses from across the region have joined forces with Sunderland firms to create a bumper Christmas event in Sunniside, including Bubble’s namesake, the local brewery Double Maxim who have opened up a micro brewery in the city.

The award-winning local brew will be on sale at one of the 32 stalls at the market alongside local producers of fine foods, seasonal floral displays, toys, gifts and jewellery.

Local artist Deborah Cauchi has taken part in all the Sunniside Markets and supports the drive to draw attention to the area which has benefited from a £100million regeneration programme.

Deborah said: “The opportunity to raise the profile of my business has been really helpful and as the markets have grown, so has my business.

“I’m based in a workshop unit so this gives me a shop window to show paintings and prints and, while it’s nice to sell on the day, I find I’m also getting increased sales through my website. “

Sunderland Arts Organisations will also be out in force, providing free “have a go” activities to families which will include Christmas kites and face painting along with the chance to blow a bauble, make a tree hanger, Christmas cards and Christmas Stars, with a story teller also indoors at nearby Creative Cohesion.

Jo Howell, of Sunniside-based photography and mixed media agency Maverick, added: “There is a buzz around Sunniside at the moment with many of the businesses in the area pulling together to create some wonderful events and opportunities for everyone in the community to enjoy. It’s great that at the heart of all of this, are art businesses like Creative Cohesion, Studio Q and Infinite Arts, who are leading the way in tough times and encouraging Sunniside businesses to create their own opportunities.”

l The Christmas Market and Family Fun Day takes place in Sunniside Gardens and Coronation Street on Saturday from 9.30am until 4pm.

Twitter: @SunechoKaty