A sprinkling of magical memories from Sunderland to celebrate Unicorn Day

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It’s a day for being magical and mythical

Take a sprinkling of magic, lots of memories and what have you got - a Sunderland Echo tribute to National Unicorn Day.

Today is the day when the UK celebrates the most popular of mythical creatures.

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We could not resist a magical trip into the Echo archives to see how many unicorn memories we could find. We found loads.

The unicorn and the leopard in Washington

Let’s start with a trip to Washington Arts Centre in 2003 where the Summer School play was called The Flabagast.

Among the cast was Laura Middleton who played a unicorn and she was photographed with her friend Kayleigh Charlton who was Lily the Leopard.

Laura Middleton and Kayleigh Charlton who starred in the Washington Arts Centre summer school play in 2003.Laura Middleton and Kayleigh Charlton who starred in the Washington Arts Centre summer school play in 2003.
Laura Middleton and Kayleigh Charlton who starred in the Washington Arts Centre summer school play in 2003. | se

Fabulous in Fulwell

In 2011, Year 3 pupils at Fulwell Primary School joined in with the Northern Children’s Book Festival, after a survey found the most popular thing for children to dream about is animals, with 43 per cent choosing this, closely followed by wizards and pirates.

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Year 3 pupils at Fulwell Primary School who were enjoying the best books in 2011.Year 3 pupils at Fulwell Primary School who were enjoying the best books in 2011.
Year 3 pupils at Fulwell Primary School who were enjoying the best books in 2011. | nw

The survey was part of a festival which had the theme of Dream A Little Dream, to illustrate unicorns, magic carpets, castles and witches found in the best-loved children’s books.

In 2013, the annual Penshaw Bowl event had to be cancelled because of the icy conditions. It was replaced by an egg decorating competition where the designs included unicorns - and some children even had unicorn face paintings.

Prizewinners at the 2013 Penshaw egg decorating competition where children got magical with unicorns.Prizewinners at the 2013 Penshaw egg decorating competition where children got magical with unicorns.
Prizewinners at the 2013 Penshaw egg decorating competition where children got magical with unicorns. | se

Shoes with a unicorn theme

And in 2014, six-year-old Abigail Burns, a pupil at Barnes Infants School, won a top prize in a national competition after she designed a pair of canvas shoes with a rainbow unicorn for footwear brand Start-rite Shoes.

That same year, Sunderland University student Carly Nelder won a role on one of the region’s biggest stages.

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On stage with a unicorn

The 21-year-old, from Whitburn, starred in The Girl and the Unicorn at The Customs House in South Shields.

It told the story of Sophia, a little girl who desperately wants to meet a unicorn and heads off on a magical adventure.

In 2015, Father Christmas had two unicorns for company when he set up his grotto at Beamish Museum.

Beamish Museum - where unicorns played a part in the Christmas festivities in 2015.Beamish Museum - where unicorns played a part in the Christmas festivities in 2015.
Beamish Museum - where unicorns played a part in the Christmas festivities in 2015. | se

And in 2022, SAFC celebrated their return to the Championship with a play-off win at Wembley over Wycombe.

Fans joined in the party atmosphere by bringing along an inflatable unicorn.

Tell us about the nostalgia you want to see in the Sunderland Echo, by emailing [email protected]

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