Fair puts Sunderland’s history in the spotlight

David Murry-Fenwick of the Sir Thomas Glemham's, a Royalist regiment of The Sealed Knot Society.
David Murry-Fenwick of the Sir Thomas Glemham's, a Royalist regiment of The Sealed Knot Society.
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Sunderland’s Quayside Exchange proved the perfect venue for a celebration of North East history and heritage.

The sixth biennial Sunderland History Fair was staged at the building in High Street East for the first time and attracted hundreds of visitors.

Malcolm Young with one of his vintage bikes at the history event.

Malcolm Young with one of his vintage bikes at the history event.

Attractions included stalls from dozens of North East local history groups; re-enactments by groups, including the Time Bandits, Roma Antiqua, and Beamish; free rides on a vintage double-decker bus (courtesy of Aycliffe and District Bus Preservation Society); illustrated talks on a variety of historical subjects and even a visit by Bede himself.

Jarrow-born student Bede Porter visited the fair fresh from the launch of the new Children’s Codex at St Peter’s Church and the book went on display as part of the event before continuing on its pilgrimage to the Vatican.

Denise Lovell organised the event on behalf of the Sunderland Heritage Forum and said the Exchange Building had provided the perfect backdrop for the occasion and the forum was hoping to stage more events there in the future.

“We are absolutely over the moon with the turn-out,” she said.

We have had a very positive response from both stall-holders and visitors.

Denise Lovell

“We have had hundreds of people here.

“It is fantastic. It has just been buzzing since first thing this morning.

“We have had an awful lot of positive feed-back from people.

“People who have maybe never actually been in this building before have learned some of the history of it - it is a very old building in its own right.

Dave Carrick of the 'Coble and Keel Boat Society' at the Sunderland venue.

Dave Carrick of the 'Coble and Keel Boat Society' at the Sunderland venue.

“It is the first time we have staged it in the Exchange Building - it has been in the Seaburn Centre before - but it is very different here.

“We have had a very positive response from both stall-holders and visitors.”

David Murry-Fenwick of the Sir Thomas Glemham's, a Royalist regiment of The Sealed Knot Society.

David Murry-Fenwick of the Sir Thomas Glemham's, a Royalist regiment of The Sealed Knot Society.

Tea up. Martin Dent of the Sunderland Maritime Heritage group.

Tea up. Martin Dent of the Sunderland Maritime Heritage group.

David Price with some of his collection of military badges.

David Price with some of his collection of military badges.