The stories you read the most on the Sunderland Echo website in 2021
From supporting local business to navigating the ever-changing pandemic, it’s been another year of highs and lows in Sunderland.
Our teams, while working from home, have been there throughout, bringing you all the latest news on Sunderland and the surrounding areas, from breaking news, sport and crime stories to lifestyle and retro content.
In 2021, the Echo website received 50million page views – and here’s the top 10 most-read stories of the year.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have reported the key daily figures on coronavirus covering the number of recorded cases and deaths after a positive test, with other data such as hospital admissions. Updated daily, this article has been the most-read of the year.
2:: The mystery of the 4x4 jeep stuck in the sand at Blackhall Beach
Georgina Cutler’s story about the mystery of a 4x4 jeep that had been stuck in the sand at Blackhall Beach, East Durham, for a year and a half certainly generated a lot of interest.
The abandoned vehicle would usually be submerged by the sea until low tide revealed the car, which was still mostly intact, almost a year and a half after it was first reported. No one was ever found in the car and there was not thought to be any foul play involved.
3:: LIVE updates: Health minister says Government could not afford to give NHS staff a pay rise
As well as individual stories, we also run a live blog bringing you all the latest, breaking news which this year accumulated tens of thousands of page views.
Heart-warming stories have always been popular with readers – especially when they involve dogs.
This piece on lively Springador pup Rolo, who was a little too lively for a family home, proved popular when he was taken on as a new recruit with Northumbria Police dog section. Good boy, Rolo!
In April, we were finally able to go back to beer gardens after restrictions on outdoor mixing were lifted. Cheers to that!
You were all very eager to go to pubs, which had been closed since November 2020 in the North East due to the tier system. So eager, that Katy Wheeler’s guide to city beer gardens open for pints in the sunshine over the Bank Holiday weekend proved one of our most popular stories of the year.
Our sports teams certainly put in the hours to bring you all the latest news on football and beyond. Mark Donnelly’s piece on another dramatic Derby County twist certainly scored with readers.
In June, Derby County had been fined £100,000 over some of their accounting policies – but the threat of relegation to League One had not completely evaporated.
7:: 10 Sunderland restaurants, takeaways, cafes and shops which have been given 0 and 1 star food hygiene ratings this year
There’s always a huge appetite for restaurant news – good and bad. Each year we bring you the hygiene ratings from the Government’s food hygiene agency website.
We print the 5 star ratings too, but this piece on those in need of improvement received more page views from readers. Many have since improved their kitchens.
During the pandemic we’ve all turned to the telly for a bit of escapism and Vera is always popular with readers. It’s always fun spotting some of the familiar locations on the hit ITV series, which often films in Durham, South Tyneside and Sunderland. Reporter Ryan Smith’s piece on locations for the 11th series, including Vera and her hat spotted at Sunderland Civic Centre car park, proved a hit.
Our nostalgia reporter Chris Cordner does a sterling job of rifling through our extensive archives to bring you some top retro content.
This gallery of pictures of clubbers from 2003 and 2004, and their epic early noughties fashions, was a winner with readers.
It was a part of the city skyline for 100 years before being demolished to make way for housing, but Cherry Knowle is still a household name in Sunderland. Ryan Smith’s piece on creepy photos of the abandoned asylum, as featured on the urban explorer website, Whatevers Left, certainly captured people’s imaginations.