Can you help to shape Sunderland’s High Street history?

The new-look Palmers Arcade in 1963. The arcade had been damaged in an air raid in 1943.
The new-look Palmers Arcade in 1963. The arcade had been damaged in an air raid in 1943.

Sunderland people are being urged to help shape and revive memories of the high street from decades gone by.

A campaign to encourage interest in Sunderland’s heritage will be stepped up next week.

High Street West showing shops such as Kennedys, Meesons and Stylo.

High Street West showing shops such as Kennedys, Meesons and Stylo.

And a call has gone out for as many people as possible to come along and find out more.

Two organisations – the international environmental and engineering consultancy Wardell Armstrong and Historic England – are hosting an open day. It runs from 10am to 1pm on Saturday, July 7, in the Winter Gardens Pottery Room.

It is being held to put the spotlight on Sunderland’s Historic Assessment project, which is part of the Sunderland Heritage Action Zone.

It aims to bring the city’s high street heritage back to life.

The scheme will build on work by Sunderland City Council and local partners to revive historic Sunderland and reconnect it with the modern city centre

Spokesman for Wardell Armstrong

So far, Wardell Armstrong have already taken their own look at the history of Hutchinson’s Buildings and Phoenix Hall, and assessed the Athenaeum Building on Fawcett Street.

But there’s more to come.

A spokesman for Wardell Armstrong said: “The scheme will build on work by Sunderland City Council and local partners to revive historic Sunderland and reconnect it with the modern city centre.

“Focussing on Fawcett Street, Church Street, High Street East and High Street West, the project aims to revive historic Sunderland.”

Palmers Arcade in November 1970 .

Palmers Arcade in November 1970 .

Work has been carried out already and it has included studies of the archive aerial photographs of the area, from 1924-2017. It includes Sunderland before the Second World War air raids and helps to show changes in the landscape.

Before the open day, people can have their own say on the project, including the chance to share their thoughts on their favourite buildings within the assessment area.

Those interested can fill out the project survey by visiting: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ZLKS3K8.

Back to 1930 for this archive photo of  the old market at the foot of High Street East.

Back to 1930 for this archive photo of the old market at the foot of High Street East.