WAR-TIME cuisine marked the launch of a new community centre.
Families enjoyed a free day of fun to mark the opening of Beckwith Mews Resource Centre in Silksworth, Sunderland.
Councillor Peter Gibson officially opened the programme of First World War-themed events and activities.
Visitors to the centre’s cafe were able to sample trench soup, which was served to soldiers on the frontline and war-time high tea.
Crooner Kayleigh Cares sang for a 1914-style tea dance and there were demonstrations of vintage hair and beauty styles.
Children and young people were also invited to show off their creative skills, with a competition to design a poster based on their favourite book character and to help Silksworth Heritage Group plant poppy seeds in the centre’s grounds.
Beckwith Mews, in Seaham Road, is run as a partnership between Sunderland City Council, Beckwiths Community Interest Company, Housing 21 and community groups and residents.
Facilities include a community book loan service with plans for council-supported IT suite.
Coun Gibson, chair of the council’s West Area Committee, said: “We have opened Beckwith Mews Resource Centre in response to local residents and ward councillors’ concerns about possible loss of local services, and it is designed to meet the service needs that they helped us to identify.
“Working together, we want to quickly establish it as the centre for community activities and events and a place local people know they can go to and borrow books, learn new skills or take part in some new activities with their friends and neighbours.”
The city council’s Heritage Team is working on a project to collect memories, stories, letters or photographs connected to Sunderland and the First World War.
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