They’re the sailors of the future - and they’ve peaked into Sunderland’s past

Sail trainees Phoebe Collins, left, and Lauren Williams take a look at the exhibition.
Sail trainees Phoebe Collins, left, and Lauren Williams take a look at the exhibition.

Fascinated sail trainees learned more about their own city’s maritime history.

Young adventurers - who will from Sunderland to Esbjerg as part of The Tall Ships Races this summer - found out more about Wearside’s shipbuilding past.

Joanne Moore-Senior from the Tall Ships Project Team visits the Port 300 exhibition with the sail trainees.

Joanne Moore-Senior from the Tall Ships Project Team visits the Port 300 exhibition with the sail trainees.

They visited Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens for a team activity, and got a guided tour of The Port 300 exhibition which tells how The Port of Sunderland developed into a major trading port following the creation of the River Wear Commissioners in 1717.

Exhibits include paintings and prints, maps, photographs, documents, objects and models from the Museum’s own extensive collections as well as a specially commissioned short film.

Curtis Lawton, a sail trainee sponsored by Sunderland East Area Committee SIB Fund, loved the visit.

He said: “I’ve had a great time today finding out about the history of Sunderland and in particular the Port which is somewhere I didn’t know much about, it really does have a fascinating history with some real characters living and working in the area.

I’ve had a great time today finding out about the history of Sunderland and in particular the Port which is somewhere I didn’t know much about, it really does have a fascinating history with some real characters living and working in the area

Curtis Lawton

“It’s great to have a get together with other people that will be sailing on the ships in July. Everyone is getting excited now, I can’t wait and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be involved.”

The exhibition is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the Roker Pier and Lighthouse restoration project and with support from Sunderland City Council.

Sunderland City Council’s portfolio holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, Councillor John Kelly said: “As our riverside developed to meet the need to transport coal from the Durham coalfield, it led to Sunderland becoming one of the UK’s leading coal exporting ports and achieving international recognition as the largest shipbuilding town in the world. I encourage anyone who hasn’t had the chance to visit the exhibition to go along and find out more about our fantastic port.”

For information on Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, visit http://www.seeitdoitsunderland.co.uk/sunderland-museum-winter-gardens/whats-on. And for more on The Tall Ships Races, visit @TallShipsSund or https://www.tallshipssunderland.com.