Piece of Sunderland shipbuilding history up for auction

The Wear Hopper No1 engine plaque which is to be auctioned off.

The Wear Hopper No1 engine plaque which is to be auctioned off.

A PIECE of Wearside’s shipbuilding past is to be auctioned.

The lot, made up of a bronze engine plaque from the Wear Hopper No 1 and an enamel “Code of Shaft Signals” sign, is expected to go for between £200 and £300 next month.

Anderson and Garland auctioneers’ valuer Fred Wyrley-Birch said it was an unusual item.

He added: “With a rich history of maritime shipbuilding in the area, we get quite a lot of these.

“But a plaque like this, being in such good condition, we only come across every 10 years or so. It’s quite nice to get something with so much information on it.”

For the last 10 years the plaque has been in the hands of Judith Sunter, 62, of Stanley, County Durham.

Mrs Sunter bought the items for her late husband James, who died six years ago.

She said: “My husband had an interest in all things local.

“I can’t remember how much I paid for it, but it won’t have been much – it was an impulse thing.

“For the past few years I had it in the porch and it was a bit of a talking point for people who saw it.”

Mrs Sunter is now selling the historical piece as part of a house clearout.

“It’s something I haven’t got a connection to, but it may be if interest to someone else,” she added. The 402-tonne Wear Hopper No 1 was built in 1924 by Thompson and Sons, of Sunderland.

The lot will go under the hammer at Anderson and Garland’s Fine Arts & Antiques Sale on Tuesday, in Westerhope, Newcastle.

Twitter: @SunEchoSteven




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