Historic Sunderland venues set to open as part of Heritage Open Days programme

The Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Alan Emerson joins local TV presenter and architectural historian John Grundy at Sunderland Minster to launch the regional HOD 2016 programme of events and activities.

The Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Alan Emerson joins local TV presenter and architectural historian John Grundy at Sunderland Minster to launch the regional HOD 2016 programme of events and activities.

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More than 40 historic venues across Sunderland are taking part in this year’s Heritage Open Days.

The annual programme gives people the chance to see behind the scenes of historic buildings, businesses and organisations and is the country’s largest free celebration of architecture, history and culture.

The Tyne and Wear programme co-ordinated by local authorities and organisations from across the region and in partnership with history volunteers began 15 years ago, and is now one of the largest in the UK.

To help promote this year’s Tyne and Wear Heritage Open Days (HOD) programme, the Mayor of Sunderland Councillor Alan Emerson hosted a regional launch event at Sunderland Minster in High Street West.

He spoke to more than 60 invited guests including TV presenter and architectural historian John Grundy, and volunteers, organisers and sponsors involved in the HOD 2016 programme of events. Venues, events and activities on Wearside include the First World War Acoustic Mirror at Fulwell, Mackem Maps, Darwin Brewery Open Day, Hetton Smithy and Bowes Railway.

Sunderland City Council’s portfolio holder for culture, Councillor John Kelly said: “This hugely popular annual event provides public access to historic archives, buildings and local landmarks usually kept behind closed doors.

“It’s an unmissable opportunity for residents and visitors to get a glimpse behind the scenes, and perhaps get a better understanding and appreciation of our community’s rich cultural heritage.

“Heritage Open Days help to generate a lot of interest.

“This year we have everything from making a map of the area based on your personal recollections and experiences growing up here and heritage walks through some of our oldest parks and neighbourhoods, to lending an ear for Zeppelins at the fully restored First World War Acoustic Mirror at Fulwell and visiting a traditional local brewery.”

More information on the programme, which runs from September 8 to 11, is at www.hodstw.org.uk.