Katie Bulmer-Cooke: Shout out about Sunderland’s achievers

Dressmaker Kevin Thornhill with his copies of the wedding dresses worn by Lady Diana and Sarah Ferguson, right.
Dressmaker Kevin Thornhill with his copies of the wedding dresses worn by Lady Diana and Sarah Ferguson, right.

If you’re a regular reader of my column you’ll know that I love to celebrate everything that is great about Sunderland, and I thought what better way to kick off the new year than with a celebration of a very cool story that I heard at the end of last year.

If you’re a fan of the royals you will enjoy this for sure.

Via a friend of a friend, I met a lovely man named Kevin Thornhill, we got chatting about his work, and because I’m inquisitive by nature, I started asking him questions about where his career began.

Kevin is a wedding dress designer and he makes beautiful gowns from scratch, which is, of course, a tremendous skill, but I was blown away to find out that he was one of the eight team members who made Princess Diana’s wedding dress!

On the day of the royal wedding he stitched, helped dress her and was responsible for putting her train neatly into the wedding car.

The royal connection doesn’t stop there, as Kevin was also the first person to copy the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding dress stitch for stitch.

I was fascinated by Kevin’s stories from a career that spans three decades, he really should write a book and we should be so proud that someone who has achieved so much in their industry, on a global stage, is from Sunderland.

Kevin has just opened a brand new shop in Seaham, Lynthorne Weddings, and with so much experience and such expertise, I have no doubt it will be a huge success.

My chat with Kevin, led me to wonder how many more people there are in the city that have done hugely impressive things and the vast majority of people here in Sunderland don’t know about.

I firmly believe that this should be the year that everyone shouts about their achievements and tells the city, and beyond, how hard they are working and the amazing successes they are experiencing.

All too often people are shy about their achievements and never blow their own trumpet, or worse, if they do, others shoot them down as a bragger.

I’d love to hear from those in the city who are achieving cool things and making a positive impact, and would encourage everyone to lift each other up in the new year.

Here’s to another year of celebrating all that is great in Sunderland.