Treasure trove of amazing pictures shine light on old Sunderland

A 1902  interior shot of the George and Dragon pub in High Street West.
A 1902 interior shot of the George and Dragon pub in High Street West.

Hundreds of rare photographs of Wearside will go on show thanks to the public’s support for a Sunderland society.

Pictures which looked destined to end in a skip have been donated to the Sunderland Antiquarian Society.

A view of Barnes Park from the 1950s.

A view of Barnes Park from the 1950s.

So have hundreds of others during a year of success for the group.

Society member Norman Kirtlan will give this year’s Christmas talk on Tuesday, December 19, in Thornhill School hall.

Norman said: “Throughout the year we receive some wonderful donations, and I hope to be able to share some of the best with our audience.

“This year has been no exception, with photographs like this interior shot of the George and Dragon pub in High Street West.”

Throughout the year we receive some wonderful donations, and I hope to be able to share some of the best with our audience

Norman Kirtlan

The shot was taken in around 1902 and was “destined to spend its final days in a skip – it was rescued and donated to the Society and it will now be treasured and shared with our many visitors.”

Norman added: “I will also be showing some of our glass slide collection, including this beautiful Edwardian photograph of a young girl beside the ancient doorway in Mowbray Park.”

Another rare glimpse into days gone by will focus upon a donation of photographs from the 1950s, showing Sunderland Corporation Cleansing Department at work, and the many surprising places that our rubbish was tipped.

Norman said: “I wonder how many Echo readers will recognise this now green and pleasant field in Barnes Park – but back in 1950 it was full of refuse and ash from our dustbins.”

Mr Murphy's merry-go-round in 1926.

Mr Murphy's merry-go-round in 1926.

Barnes School can be seen in the distance, and Barnes Park Road – once called Monkey’s Lonnen – climbs up towards Ormonde Street to the right of the photograph.

Among the rare moving film archive on show is a glimpse into the 1926 celebrations as Sunderland crowned its Carnival King and Queen and enjoyed a great day out on Roker Beach.

Norman added: “The highlight for many youngsters was a ride on Mr Murphy’s fantastic merry-go-round, normally kept in the Old Market on High Street, but brought down to the beach for Bank Holiday Weekend.”

Tuesday’s highlights will also include a raffle with great prizes, including membership of the Society. Everyone is welcome to come along.

A beautiful Edwardian photograph of a young girl beside the ancient doorway in Mowbray Park.

A beautiful Edwardian photograph of a young girl beside the ancient doorway in Mowbray Park.

To find out more about the Sunderland Antiquarian Society, people can visit its base which is in Douro Terrace, and is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays between 9.30am and noon.

People can also visit www.sunderland-antiquarians.org/

Tuesday’s talk starts at 7.30pm and doors open at 7pm.