Sunderland Illuminations of yesteryear

Norma Slassor has found a brochure from the Sunderland Illuminations in 1950

Norma Slassor has found a brochure from the Sunderland Illuminations in 1950

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A GRAN has unearthed memories of Sunderland’s illuminations from more than 60 years ago.

Norma Slassor, from Middle Herrington, Sunderland, discovered a brochure at her home in Sunderland, promoting ‘The Lights’ in 1950.

Roker Park illuminations been dismantled due to outbreak of war.  The illuminations were due to switched on 1 September 1939  
CAPTION
September:
Roker Park illuminations being dismantled following the outbreak of war in September 1939. Blackout rules meant the lights were switched off even before the official switch on that year.

scanned from library copy  Seaburn Roker nostalgia news
Roker Park illuminations been dismantled due to outbreak of war. The illuminations were due to switched on 1 September 1939 CAPTION September: Roker Park illuminations being dismantled following the outbreak of war in September 1939. Blackout rules meant the lights were switched off even before the official switch on that year. scanned from library copy Seaburn Roker nostalgia news

The 75-year-old remembers visiting the attraction on the city’s seafront with husband Robert, who died three years ago, aged 76.

The grandmother, from Middle Herrington, also saved two Sunderland Echo cuttings from the same year, which told of hundreds waiting to see the decked-out Roker Park.

The Echo reported last week how the lights are coming back this year.

Although not on the same scale as the old illuminations, organisers said they would be bigger and better than the Roker Lights events of the past two years.

Norma said: “I would have been about 26 and married for three years. They were very, very good.

“It’s great news that they are coming back and I hope they work out.”

The Illuminations are believed to have started in 1937 and were said to be better than Blackpool’s, but came to an end because of the Second World War.

The annual event started again after the war, but costs meant they were shelved shortly until 1986.

Highlight for many Wearsiders was Roker Park’s mysterious ‘floating’ tap, which was the centrepiece of the boating lake.

This year’s Sunderland Illuminations will light up Roker and Seaburn from Saturday, September 27, until Sunday, November 2, and are set to attract tens of thousands of visitors, giving the city economy a massive boost.

More than 40,000 people flocked to the Roker Lights last year, which lit up Roker Park for three weeks.

This year’s illuminations will run for five weeks and will see the sparkle spread to include several new locations along the newly-re furbished Roker and Seaburn seafront.

 

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