10 old colour photos featuring the changing face of Sunderland

Wimpy in Union Street in 1987.
Wimpy in Union Street in 1987.
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Photos charting the changing face of Sunderland over a 30-year period have been released on the internet for the first time.

Ex-RAF man Alan Williamson documented demolitions, revamps and building projects around the town between the late 1960s and 2000.

Webster's Ropery in 1978.

Webster's Ropery in 1978.

Now almost 400 of his colour slide images have been digitised by staff at Sunderland Museum and placed on the Flickr website.

“Mr Williamson made it his mission to record the changing face of Sunderland,” said Martin Routledge, Keeper of 
History.

“Any sort of photographic work recording changes over the decades is important, but the Williamson collection is absolutely unique.

“He went out and about specifically to document change. He had an idea that a record should be kept of changes – and he did it.”

The Saltgrass Inn in 1974.

The Saltgrass Inn in 1974.

Topics ranging from the demolition of key buildings to the creation of Crowtree Leisure Centre were captured on camera by Alan.

The photographer, who served as a volunteer at Sunderland Museum in the 1980s and ’90s, also documented changing shops and pubs.

“Mr Williamson kindly left his collection to us following his death. It is so wonderful we wanted others to see it,” said Martin.

“We believe history is for sharing. It is nice to be able to put Mr Williamson’s wonderful images out there for people to en-
joy.”

Timothy Whites in Market Place in the 1980s.

Timothy Whites in Market Place in the 1980s.

l The Sunderland Museum Flickr page can be accessed at: www.flickr.com/photos/137368687@N02/albums

High Street West in 1988, with Boulevard to the left.

High Street West in 1988, with Boulevard to the left.

The Market Place in 1984 - four years before w roof was popped on The Bridges.

The Market Place in 1984 - four years before w roof was popped on The Bridges.

Dun Cow Street in 1976.

Dun Cow Street in 1976.

Wellington Street in 1980.

Wellington Street in 1980.

The building of Crowtree Leisure Centre in 1976.

The building of Crowtree Leisure Centre in 1976.