Changing face of Sunderland is the focus of new website featuring old photos

An August Bank Holiday Fun Fair in the Block Yard at Roker during the 1930s. John Powell's Supreme Speedway is one of the main attractions.
An August Bank Holiday Fun Fair in the Block Yard at Roker during the 1930s. John Powell's Supreme Speedway is one of the main attractions.
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Old photos are the focus of a new internet project aimed at preserving Wearside’s past for the future.

Thousands of vintage images from the archives of Sunderland Museum have been digitised and placed on the Flickr website.

Sunderland Borough Mounted Police in the stalls at the Central Fire Station in 1923.

Sunderland Borough Mounted Police in the stalls at the Central Fire Station in 1923.

Topics ranging from industry and shipbuilding, to beach scenes, military units, football and public services are included.

And there are also hundreds of images from the Williamson collection, charting the changing face of the city centre in colour.

“Our archives contain thousands of images, and it is nice to be able to put some on show,” said Martin Routledge, Keeper of History.

“Over the years we have supplied many photographs to people and groups but, in recent times, enquiries seem to have slowed down.

Officers from the 20th (Service) Battalion of Durham Light Infantry pictured in June 1916.

Officers from the 20th (Service) Battalion of Durham Light Infantry pictured in June 1916.

“I thought that setting up a Flickr page would be a way of getting the message out that we have a great archive people can access.

“We are constantly adding new photos, to keep the page fresh and interesting.”

Among the images featured on Flickr is a stunning snap of an August Bank Holiday Fair at the Block Yard at Roker in the 1930s.

Scores of never-before-seen photos of 20th (Service) Battalion of Durham Light Infantry during World War One are also included.

A third, stand-out shot shows members of Sunderland Borough Mounted Police in the horse stalls at the Central Fire Station in 1923.

“We believe history is for sharing. It is nice to be able to put these wonderful images out there for people to enjoy,” said Martin.

“Our archive really is quite extensive and, if people have specific interests in topics, why not get in touch and see what we have.”

l The archive can be contacted via 561 8609. The Sunderland Museum Flickr page is at: www.flickr.com/photos/137368687@N02/albums