Sunderland tattoo spectacular celebrates Diamond Jubilee

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MARCHING bands, dancers and choirs were among hundreds of performers who staged a spectacular tattoo to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Delighted crowds waved their Union flags as they watched the extravaganza at St Peter’s Square, at Sunderland University’s Sir Tom Cowie Campus.

The six decades of Her Majesty’s reign were represented by dancers, musicians and singers, with the show capped of with favourites from the Last Night of the Proms and fireworks.

The line-up of more than 300 performers included the Durham Army Cadet Band, 102 Battalion REME Pipe Band, Standard Bearers from the Royal British Legion, Highland Dancers, University of Sunderland Choir, tenor John Rowland, soprano Julie Pendleton and pupils from Southmoor School.

Tattoos took place on Saturday afternoon and evening.

Among the crowd in the heat of the afternoon display was former World Cup winner Jack Charlton, who supports a number of military causes.

He said: “I’m just enjoying my day. It’s important to support them. Look at them, they’re fantastic.”

The former Republic of Ireland boss was sitting with Colonel Tierney, who took a salute from the forces at the beginning of the display.

He said: “It’s a big day for all the cadets. They’ll have a good experience and enjoy themselves and show everyone the range of things cadets can do.”

Colonel Tierney also paid tribute to the support shown by Wearside for those in the armed forces. He added: “It’s also great everybody’s recognising the Queen’s 60 years on the throne.”

Nigel Sherlock, The Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, said: “It was an excellent event, with some terrific performances and a fabulous flag-waving finale.

“And I’d very much like to pay tribute to everyone involved in making it a success and all those who came along to watch.

“We had been concerned that the weather might put people off, but the sun shone, and I was delighted to see so many people from all parts of the Tyne and Wear region turnout.

“It was a really good atmosphere and a very fitting tribute to Her Majesty The Queen in Her Diamond Jubilee year.”

Among the crowd were staff and residents from St Mark’s Nursing Home on Hylton Road. Activities co-ordinator Susan Appleby, 56, said: “It’s lovely to see them all out enjoying themselves.”

Sharon Grainger, 36, had taken her children and friends along. She said: “They get forgotten really easily the troops, and it’s important to support them.”

Twitter: @sunechomark