Children are going back in time at Sunderland park

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Step through the TARDIS and back in time!

Visitors to a Sunderland park are being transported back to the First World War.

The Mayor of Sunderland Coun Barry Curran and Mayoress Carol Curran join youngsters Chloe Maw, Emily Smith and Luke Richie as they enter Dr Who's Tardis in Barnes Park to step back in time to 1915.

The Mayor of Sunderland Coun Barry Curran and Mayoress Carol Curran join youngsters Chloe Maw, Emily Smith and Luke Richie as they enter Dr Who's Tardis in Barnes Park to step back in time to 1915.

The West Area Heritage Event kicked off yesterday in Barnes Park, Sunderland.

Schoolchildren were invited along to the park to learn what life was like in their city during the war.

The entrance to the festival is through a full-scale replica model of the TARDIS, the time-travelling device used by the Doctor in hit BBC show Doctor Who.

It was created by local training providers Learning Curve, and is based on the police box which stood on the junction of nearby Kayll Road.

This is a wonderful history event going back to 1915 and I just think it’s fantastic for the bairns to be involved in it and to feel what it was like in 1915 because it must have been a hard time in Sunderland.

Coun Barry Curran, Mayor of Sunderland

Visiting the event was one of the first appointments for Sunderland’s new Mayor, Coun Barry Curran, and his wife, Mayoress Carol Curran.

He said: “This is a wonderful history event going back to 1915 and I just think it’s fantastic for the bairns to be involved in it and to feel what it was like in 1915 because it must have been a hard time in Sunderland.”

Coun Curran added: “I think it’s hugely important for the children to learn what life was like in that time.

“Events like this, and places like Beamish, bring back that lifetime, when things were really hard but people of the communities came together more to help the war effort, and obviously the communities as well because life was hard in those days.

Pupils from New Silksworth Infants school step back in time to 1915 during a visit to Barnes Park.

Pupils from New Silksworth Infants school step back in time to 1915 during a visit to Barnes Park.

“Entering the park through the TARDIS is very exciting. It was made for the event and I think it’s wonderful, the workmanship is fantastic and I hope we can use it again some time in the future.”

Visitors can also see some War Horse-inspired puppetry from the Sunderland Empire, photography exhibitions, take part in traditional games and enjoy some period fairground rides, including shuggy boats.

Chair of the West Area Committee, Coun Peter Gibson said: “Our community has a lot to be proud of, and we wanted to arrange an event to celebrate our heritage and look forward to our future.

“We are looking back at the sacrifice of all those local families affected by the First World War, to be inspired by their strength and courage.”