How you can find out more about old Ryhope

History and fiction will combine this weekend to in a talk which will re-live days of the old Wearside and County Durham pit villages.

By Chris Cordner
Friday, 26 April, 2019, 13:12
A view from Cherry Knowle Hospital.

Local historian Norman Kirtlan will be showing some rare images of Old Ryhope which have been sourced from the Sunderland Antiquarian Society archives.

The colliery, its workers and conditions in which they lived will be brought sharply into focus, said Norman.

A nostalgic scene from Ryhope.

He told Wearside Echoes: “There are also never-before-seen photographs of community life before the First World War; the lanes and alleys, the people who lived there and the lives they led.

“Also to be shown are some incredible images of Cherry Knowle Asylum, Sunderland’s first hospital for the treatment of mental health issues, built in 1895 and closed in 1998. The photographs were taken by one of its employees during the 1920s and give a rare insight into life for patients and staff.”

After Norman’s talk, the story of Old Ryhope will then be taken up by best selling author, Glenda Young.

Glenda used the village as a backcloth for her novel, Belle of the Back Streets, which is set in 1919.

Norman and Glenda will both put the focus on Ryhopes past.

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Glenda will talk about her research for the novel and how she was inspired by the lives of ordinary, hard-working folk to bring a long-gone time back to life.

The novel features Meg Sutcliffe - the daughter of a rag-and-bone man - and her struggles to keep a family afloat after her father’s untimely death.

Glenda has a passion for Old Ryhope as that is where she was born and brought up.

The illustrated talk will be held this Sunday at Fulwell Community Centre, Chapman Street, from 3pm to 5pm.

Norman Kirtlan.

Admission is £2 and that will include refreshments.

The Antiquarian Society is based at 6 Douro Terrace, Sunderland, SR2 7DX. It is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10am to noon.