Buildings from Sunderland’s past often attract the interest of the Sunderland Antiquarian Society.
Today, Philip Curtis takes a look at another.
Our city has lost a great number of its old buildings, many of which are fondly remembered on Wearside.
One of these is undoubtedly the old Sunderland Echo Office which stood in Bridge Street.
The old Echo Office with its solid stone front seemed to complement the architecture of two other buildings just a short distance up the street, The Grand Hotel and The Bells public House.
The first floor façade had a wonderful bowed window which fronted the managing director’s room and above this was the flagpole.
The clock, which never seemed to be wrong, had been erected just before the Wearmouth Bridge was re-opened by the Duke of York in 1929Philip Curtis
The front office on the ground floor was nothing short of magnificent with its parquet floor and solid carved wood furniture that always seemed to gleam.
On entering, the public were greeted by office staff seated on high chairs behind a large curved counter with rows of stationery drawers.
It really seemed to have hardly changed since it was first opened.
In the foyer stood a small table and chairs for public use and there were also old back copies of the Echo to peruse. All this tended to emit an atmosphere somewhat akin to that of an old reliable bank.
Situated above the front door of the Echo Office was the old clock with a model of Sunderland’s first iron bridge on top.
The clock, which never seemed to be wrong, had been erected just before the Wearmouth Bridge was re-opened by the Duke of York in 1929.
In 1976 the Echo moved out of Bridge Street to Pennywell and the famous clock was removed and placed outside the new offices.
The regular time check made by motorists driving on and off the bridge was no more and a new era for the Echo had begun.