Ten Mackems who helped put Sunderland on the map

Tony Jeffries
Tony Jeffries
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Friday sees the first ever National Mackem Day - and to celebrate we’ve taken a look at some of the most influential Wearsiders.

From the inventor of the lightbulb, a Naval hero and an Olympic medal winner to the first woman to gain a first class degree in modern history from Oxford University, all have called Sunderland home.

Joseph Swan at 21

Joseph Swan at 21

National Mackem Day is the brainchild of author Paul Swinney who is launching the second edition of his Mackem Dictionary on Friday with a Sunderland-themed launch event at The Royalty Theatre, off Chester Road.

Here’s some of the Mackems who’ve helped to put the city on the map:

•Joseph Swan - Pallion-born physicist and chemist Joseph Swan won fame world-wide after inventing an incandescent light bulb in the 1870s – as well as electric safety lamps for miners. Despite being one of Sunderland’s most famous sons, Swan is often over-shadowed by Thomas Edison – who was the first to patent the light bulb in the US.

As well as the lightbulb, the inventor devoted his talents to developing photographic processes – revolutionising the craft with a dry plate process using gelatine and silver bromide. He then invented bromide paper in 1879 and, in 1882, patented the first commercially viable carbon printing design – allowing permanent photographic prints to be made

Jack Crawford

Jack Crawford

•Jack Crawford - Jack Crawford, immortalised in statue form in Mowbray Park, won the admiration of the nation after nailing a flag to the broken mast of HMS Venerable during the Battle of Camperdown in 1797. The son of a Scottish keelman, he was born in Pottery Bank in March 1775 and was sent to work on the keels as a cabin boy while still a young child.

He went on to serve a Royal Navy apprenticeship from the age of 11 and later enlisted on HMS Venerable – the ship commanded by Dundee-born Admiral Adam Duncan. It was on October 11, 1797, that Duncan led a fleet of 15 British ships into battle against the Dutch, in an attempt to prevent them from joining the enemy French fleet.

At the height of the conflict, just off the coast of Holland near Camperdown, the Venerable’s colours were shot down and young Jack scaled the rigging to nail the colours back on to the broken mast. He was shot through the cheek during the brave deed, a wound that proved hard to heal.

•Kate Adie - Broadcast journalist Kate Adie, who was raised in Sunderland and attended Sunderland High School, has become one of the most respected war correspondents of her generation. Her career, which began at the BBC, has seen her report from the scene of the Gulf War, the war in the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the 1994 Rwandan Genocide and the war in Sierra Leone in 2000.

Renowned as the uncrowned queen of Iraq,
Gertrude Bell was once the most powerful woman in the British empire

Renowned as the uncrowned queen of Iraq, Gertrude Bell was once the most powerful woman in the British empire

•Dave Stewart - Rock veteran Dave Stewart from Barnes found fame in the Eurythmics alongside Annie Lennox. Behind the scenes, he has produced albums and co-written songs for Bono, Bryan Ferry, Gwen Stefani, Tom Petty, Stevie Nicks, Katy Perry, Mick Jagger, Sinead O’Connor, Joss Stone, and many more, garnering numerous producer, songwriter, Golden Globe and Grammy Awards along the way.

His most recent work includes writing the music to Ghost the Musical. He has always been a proud advocate of his home city, keeping a keen eye on Mackem musicians. Last year he signed Sunderland singer songwriter The Lake Poets to his management label.

•Gertrude Bell - Washington woman Gertrude Bell led an exceptional life and went on to become the first woman to gain a first class degree in modern history from Oxford University. She became an explorer, travel writer, archeologist, diplomat and had a hand in politics, with her language skills and knowledge of people and places proving invaluable as she was called in to help Winston Churchill as the future of the Middle East was discussed.

During the First World War, where the Gallipoli Campaign ran from 1915-16, her experiences of Mesopotamia saw her assist British intelligence and at the end of the war she focused on the future of the country, playing a part in Iraq’s kingmaking. Her love of archeology kept her in the country, where she was honorary director of its antiquities and founded the Iraq Museum in Bagdad.

Kate Adie

Kate Adie

•Jimmy Montgomery - Goalkeeping hero Jimmy Montgomery was this year given the Freedom of the City for his significant contributions to the wellbeing and community spirit of Sunderland. Jimmy, fondly known as Monty, was born in Hendon and joined Sunderland AFC in 1960. He went on to make a record 627 appearances for Sunderland and is famed for his 1973 FA Cup Final double save to seal a 1-0 win. It was considered by many to be the greatest goalkeeping save of all time.

•Tony Jeffries - Former Farringdon School pupil Tony Jeffries, aka Jaffa, honed his boxing skills from a young age in his beloved home city, winning five European medals and seven national titles. He went on to take bronze at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. He later turned professional and was undefeated in the field before hanging up his boxing gloves due to hand injuries. Today he lives in LA and runs a successful gym, Box’n’Burn, which is used by Hollywood stars.

•Raich Carter - Recently immortalised in a giant mural on the Blue House pub in Hendon, Raich Carter - or Horatio to give him his full name - played for SAFC from 1931 to 1939. The Hendon-born athlete captained Sunderland to the Football League title in 1936, at that time the youngest man ever to have captained a First Division title-winning side. He followed that up with victory in the FA Cup final a year later, scoring the second Sunderland goal in a 3–1 win over Preston North End.

•Venerable Bede - St Bede - also known as the Venerable Bede - is widely regarded as the greatest of all the Anglo-Saxon scholars. He wrote around 40 books mainly dealing with theology and history. Thought his exact birthplace is not know, at the age of seven he was entrusted to the care of Benedict Biscop, who is 674 AD had founded the monastery of St Peter at Wearmouth where St Peter’s church stands today.

His most famous work, which is a key source for the understanding of early British history and the arrival of Christianity, is ‘Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum’ or ‘The Ecclesiastical History of the English People’ which was completed in 731 AD. It is the first work of history in which the AD system of dating is used.

•Steph Houghton - Former Sunderland Ladies player Steph Houghton from South Hetton was this year awarded an MBE for her achievement in women’s football, the fastest-growing sport in the country.

Former Sunderland Footballer Jimmy Montgomery receives the Freedom of the City.

Former Sunderland Footballer Jimmy Montgomery receives the Freedom of the City.

In 2015, she led England’s Lionesses to their highest-ever finish at the World Cup in Canada, earning a bronze medal, and she also represented Team GB at the Olympics at London 2012. In addition, the defender is an ambassador for UEFA, and made history in 2014 as the first woman to feature on the front cover of Shoot Magazine.

Raich Carter

Raich Carter

Steph Houghton

Steph Houghton