ONE of Britain’s best-known actresses is seeking out her Sunderland ancestry.
Sherrie Hewson, best known for playing Coronation Street character Maureen Holdsworth, is hoping to find a side of her family she has never met.
“My father was born here, and I remember coming to Sunderland a couple of times when I was younger,” she said.
“I can remember being in Castletown and outside the house, where we were, was all these green fields, then a pit on the horizon.
“My dad loved it here, he was a mascot for the area, friendly, and he loved a pint.”
Sherrie said the reason she took the part of the Fairy Godmother in this year’s Sunderland Empire pantomime, Cinderella, is so she can spend some time in the city and find out more about her family.
She will visit Washington and Castletown, where her father, a singer, came from.
“I’ll be here for about five weeks,” she said. “I know it’s not long, but at least it’ll give me a bit of a start.”
Sherrie, due to start filming a new series of the ITV programme Benidorm in March, is hunting for relatives in Washington and Castletown.
Her father, Ron Hutchinson, who died aged 76 in 1996, was born in 1918, the son of Catherine Pearn and it is believed his father was John Hutchinson, who Catherine Pearn married in 1910.
However, Sherrie thinks a family secret will reveal that his father was actually a man with the surname Porter.
“I do feel part of me belongs here,” she said.
“And I don’t know why.
“I know my dad would be thrilled that I’m doing this, and when I’m on the Empire stage he’ll be looking down and grinning.”
The Houghton Heritage Society is helping Sherrie in her quest.
Anyone with information can email firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 270 0092.