World War Two returns to Sunderland

World War 2 Day at the Donnison School in Sunderland's East End... Cameron Peters, 10, from Silksworth with Keith Whitelock, Garry Allen and Elliot Kennedy.
World War 2 Day at the Donnison School in Sunderland's East End... Cameron Peters, 10, from Silksworth with Keith Whitelock, Garry Allen and Elliot Kennedy.
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WORLD War Two returned to Wearside – for one day only.

Young and old enjoyed the history of war time Sunderland during a nostalgic family fun day at The Donnison School, Hendon.

The event was the culmination of a year-long programme – The Home that Won the War – funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, to educate school children about the period.

World War Two vehicles were donated, and the Yorkshire Aircraft Museum loaned a spitfire simulator for people to experience flying in one of the famous planes.

Organised by Living History North East, based at The Donnison School, it is hoped the success of the day will be the foundation for many more similar events.

“We would love to make hold similar things in the future,” said Susan Spagnoli, chairman of the charitable organisation,

“It’s gone well and we hope me might be able to plan more.

“What we do is based on a passion for history, and for many of the volunteers, a passion for the East End.”

Volunteers from The Donnison School, which last week was awarded £18,000 by the Big Lottery Fund to continue its work, and Living History North East built an Anderson air raid shelter for people to take a look at for the day, and a selection of Second World War pies were sold.

Janette Hilton, project director of Living history North East, said she hopes the event can eventually be held in the city centre.

“I would like to see this become a major event in the city,” she said. “A similar event in Pickering gets 10,000 visitors.

“I think it would be fantastic for Sunderland if we could make ours bigger, and hold it in Sunniside.

“It’s gone really well today and it’s great to see young and old people getting involved.”

A Second World War music hall event was held to finish off the festivities on Saturday, with singing and poetry recitals.