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Which way to Germany? Famous sign disappears from Sunderland coast

Kimberly McMahon from Cafe Bungalow at Roker next to the sign which was stolen and replaced without the sign pointing to Germany.

Kimberly McMahon from Cafe Bungalow at Roker next to the sign which was stolen and replaced without the sign pointing to Germany.

A PIECE of Sunderland heritage has disappeared from its coastline.

Yobs vandalised a signpost in Roker which may have been pointing the way for more than 90 years.

The battered white sign, next to the well-known Bungalow Cafe, showed the way “to village”, “to beach”, “to Bungalow” and, more unusually, “to Germany”.

Sunderland City Council erected a new black and gold sign post to replace it, but the marker pointing across the sea to Germany has been left off.

Some residents believe the cafe, which could date back to 1910, was once used as a watch house, helping guard the coastline during the First World War.

Others claim they remember a pair of binoculars next to the sign which you paid an old penny to use, with which it was claimed on a clear day you could see Germany.

People in the area said the unusual landmark was popular with tourists and people completing the Coast 2 Coast Ride from Whitehaven.

Tony Gelder’s father Alan owned the Bungalow Cafe for 48 years and ran it for nearly 40.

He recently died aged 76, but the family still own the building and 54-year-old Tony said the sign was part of his childhood.

He said: “I can remember it when I was a toddler. I don’t know why it was put up.

“It was pointing to Germany, so maybe it was something to do with the war?

“I remember it went missing when he had the cafe, but they put another one up. It is quite a landmark.”

Teresa McLoughlin and husband Michael have run the cafe for the last six years.

Staff there said: “There has been a sign outside the Bungalow Cafe for years, like 90 years or something.

“Somebody stole it and Sunderland City Council have put another one up, but a couple of bits are missing.

“They replaced the rest of the sign, but not the Germany bit.

“So many people come from all over the country, even as far as Australia, who used to live here, to get their photograph taken there.

“Lots of people have been asking about the sign and people even wanted to get a petition up.”

Sunderland City Council said it is looking into the issue. A spokeswoman said a comment will be issued soon.

Twitter: @janethejourno

 

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