Celebrating 100 years of Sunderland's Backhouse Park - and here's how you can take part in 100th birthday event

One hundred years of Backhouse Park will be celebrated next month with lots for all the family to do.

Trails, live music, arts and crafts and story sharing are all on the way in an event to be held opposite the play area on March 27.

Four hours of fun are planned between 12pm and 4pm and the planners behind it have explained more.

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Daniel Krzyszczak is an organiser with the charitable International Community Organisation of Sunderland. He said the ‘main attraction’ would be a timeline displaying photographs taken by the local community.

Backhouse Park which will be the subject of 100th anniversary celebrations next month.

He said it would be ‘a catalyst to getting people together. The photographs will be printed and displayed using the banners. The banners will remain in the park after the event.

"Other activities will include taster sessions of community languages and stories’ sharing, the heritage of the park, bird workshops, environmental sessions, and children’s activities, such as stamp trail, arts and crafts will also be provided.”

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All of this will be held while music is played by the local Sunderland Symphony Orchestra.

The event is supported by the Community Fund in Partnership with IKEA, local councillors, the East Rangers Project and Friends of the Park.

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An Autumn scene in 1957.

Daniel added: “The park was taken over in 1922 December by Sunderland Corporation and from 1923 is officially public. We choose 1922 as a celebration year. History of the park did not end there as this was about half of what we have now.”

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Ashburne House in Ryhope Road is where the Backhouse family lived. The land on which the house was built was bought at auction in 1830 by Edward Backhouse.

The Backhouse family were Quakers and they were also successful bankers. Edward Backhouse, who lived from 1781 to 1860 opened the Sunderland branch of their bank and this added to his own substantial wealth.

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After the death of T.W. Backhouse at West Hendon House the land around the house was gifted to Sunderland Corporation and was used for the construction of a park.

Sledging in Backhouse Park in 1957.
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To find out more about the International Community Organisation of Sunderland, visit the organisation’s Facebook page at

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The opening of Backhouse Park Aviary in October 1937.

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Students in Backhouse Park in May 1962.
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Ashburn House in Backhouse Park in 1934.
Snowdrops in Backhouse Park in 1948.