Veterans create striking artworks in honour of Sunderland's heritage on city pub

Veterans have created striking artworks in honour of Sunderland’s proud military and industrial heritage on the side of a city pub.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 4:00 pm
New artworks on the side of the Times Inn
New artworks on the side of the Times Inn

In recent months The Times Inn in Southwick has been drawing many people to the banks of the River Wear to admire its huge Frank Styles murals in honour of Black Cat legends Kevin Phillips and Jimmy Montgomery.

Now, there’s some new additions to check out which have been created by former Forces Personnel who are part of the Veterans in Crisis (VICS) art group.

The silhouettes show two soldiers, in honour of the city’s service men and women, as well as a Davy lamp to mark Wearside’s mining past, a crane for the shipyards and a ship similar to that which once appeared on the SAFC club badge.

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The Times Inn in Southwick is fast becoming an art landmark in the city

The art group started as a form of therapy for city veterans, but has become so successful that it’s produced large scale pieces for the British Heart Foundation, the Southwick Lantern Festival as well as the striking poppy artwork on the side of the VICS building in Roker.

Alyson Stoker, art therapy group coordinator at VICs, said: “Some of the veterans involved had been in a really bad place before the group started a couple of years ago, and hadn’t even left the house.

"The group started as a form of therapy and we never expected to be part of these large pieces, but everyone really enjoys it and it’s fantastic to be a part of the community. It gives the veterans a real sense of achievement and we’d definitely like to do more in the future.”

Since publican Steve Lawson took over the pub last year he’s done much to stamp the historic watering hole, which dates back to 1854, back on the map. It will be reopening its doors to the public on May 17, but the artworks can be viewed at any time.

Sam Neil and Alyson Stoker, from the VICs art group

Speaking about the latest artworks, Steve said: “I’d seen some of the artworks done around the city by the art group and was really impressed with it.

"I sent Veterans in Crisis a message asking if they’d be interested in doing some pieces for the pub and they absolutely nailed it.”

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Read more: cafes and coffee shops with outdoor seating available from April 12.

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A Davy Lamp to mark the city's mining heritage
Cranes are synonymous with Sunderland's industrial skyline
Soldiers mark the city's military history