Plot your memories of Sunderland with a Mackem map

Artist Ian Potts with his giant Mackem Map.
Artist Ian Potts with his giant Mackem Map.
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An artist has plotted people’s memories of Sunderland for a Mackem map.

Ian Potts asked residents across the city to talk about their stories of Sunderland for the artwork, which will be on display at various venues.

“I always enjoy working with people and hearing their stories about what makes Sunderland a special place to them,” said the artist.

In particular, the map focuses on Sunderland’s bid to be City of Culture 2021, and has been supported by the Cultural Spring arts project.

The map features records of a paper round in Southwick from 1940, along with accounts of a 90-year-old former Scout leader who, one stormy day, was forced to help scouts to safety via the emergency tunnel in the Roker Pier. Features also include an electrician’s plan of Wearmouth Colliery, as well as a painting of Bede walking the path between St Peter’s church in Monkwearmouth to St Paul’s in Jarrow.

The map currently measures 15 by 9 feet, but Ian hopes to add to this as he collects more memories.

As well as being invited to display the map at a recent City of Culture 2021 meeting, Cultural Spring invited Ian to run map workshops with groups including the Forward Assist charities for war veterans at the Stadium of Light, in conjunction with the Foundation of Light.

Ian is also looking forward to working at the newly-opened Grace House respite centre in Southwick.

He said: “I feel privileged to be invited to work there. The centre’s playroom, gardens and sensory room are fantastic. I hope to involve everyone, children, parents and staff, to record its stimulating environment.”

l The map is on display at St Cuthbert’s Church, Red House, on Monday. All are welcome to the free drop in workshop from 10am to noon. For details visit www.eon-arts.co.uk