The year when pineapples took pride of place in Sunderland

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Steel fruits in the Sunderland news

Now that's a roadside attraction with a difference - and it took pride of place in Sunderland.

The Board Inn roundabout on Durham Road took on a distinctly tropical look in 2000.

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As part of Sunderland’s entry into Britain in Bloom, two giant pineapples with a steel structure inside were produced by the council’s blacksmith shop.

Gardener Paul Armour gets the traffic island at the Board Inn back to its best after the giant pineapples were installed.Gardener Paul Armour gets the traffic island at the Board Inn back to its best after the giant pineapples were installed.
Gardener Paul Armour gets the traffic island at the Board Inn back to its best after the giant pineapples were installed. | se

A giant globe was another roadside feature

They were put on the roundabout on Durham Road, on one of the major entrances into the city.

They rested on a bed of coloured bark which was designed to match the six colours of Sunderland Council’s millennium logo.

The steel fruits were just one of many exhibits along the road, which also featured a spectacular globe at the junction with St Mary’s Way.

But the placing of the pineapples was no accident.

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A symbol of wealth

Since Elizabethan times, when explorers brought back the fruit from their Caribbean travels, the pineapple was regarded as the international sign of welcome and prosperity.

In Edwardian days, pineapples were a traditional feature in gardens and were carved on the inside and outside of houses as a symbol of wealth.

But it wasn't the only quirky news story from Sunderland.

At the fast developing Herrington Country Park, work had started to create an amphitheatre.

Work was under way to create an amphitheatre at Herrington Country Park in 2000.Work was under way to create an amphitheatre at Herrington Country Park in 2000.
Work was under way to create an amphitheatre at Herrington Country Park in 2000. | se

And a new roof was placed on the bandstand at Mowbray Park.

All new in Mowbray Park as a roof is placed on the bandstand in 2000.All new in Mowbray Park as a roof is placed on the bandstand in 2000.
All new in Mowbray Park as a roof is placed on the bandstand in 2000. | se

It's just a sample of life on Wearside that year.

The year when Chile came to Sunderland

Other news included;

Three coronary heart disease nurses were taken on after figures showed 210 more Sunderland people died each year from heart disease than the national average between 1995 and 1997. They were due to work directly with GPs and practice nurses.

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Nine-year-old David Pearson from South Hetton saw his dream come true when he trained as a jester for a day.

He entered a competition where he told judges he wanted to be a jester because he wanted to make people laugh.

Chilean flamingos at Washington Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre produced 12 fertile eggs in 2000 - and celebrated the arrival of a newborn.

Get in touch with your year 2000 memories of Sunderland by emailing [email protected]

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