Take a trip back in time to the huge Joplings fire, the Queen's visit to Sunderland and the end of the city's tram system

A talk is to be given about life on Wearside 65 years ago.

Monday, 9th September 2019, 5:12 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 11:35 am
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh are introduced to the Bishop of Durham at Sunderland Town Hall in 1954.

It will be given at Thornhill School on Thornholme Road and is one of the monthly talks to be given by the Sunderland Antiquarian Society.

The talk, simply called Sunderland in 1954, will feature a number of fascinating photographs from the period and offers the nearest thing there is to a time machine.

In 1954 Sunderland was still a town. Its magnificent town hall still stood on Fawcett Street, Sunderland AFC had never been outside the top flight and the A19 Hylton Bridge was still 20 years away.

The last ever tram ride in Sunderland is taken in 1954.

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In the wider world Queen Elizabeth II was 28, Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile and Hancock’s Half Hour was heard on the radio for the first time.

The talk will be of interest to anyone who wants to find out more about what life was like back then; or to people who are old enough to remember the 1950s and would like to reminisce.

It will be delivered by the Antiquarian Society’s secretary Philip Curtis.

Philip said: “Sunderland in 1954 will cover the social and economic life of the town at that time as well as the industries and major events that occurred in Sunderland that year.

“These included the first visit of the Queen to the town following her coronation the previous year, the end of the tram system and the destruction of Joplings by fire.”

The society’s monthly illustrated talks are held in Thorhnill School’s main hall. The venue is large and there is plenty of available free parking. The talk will begin at 7.30pm on Tuesday, September 17 and lasts for about an hour. Doors open at 6.50pm and all are welcome.

Entrance costs just £1 to members of the Antiquarian Society and £2 for visitors. The society's talks are held on the third Tuesday of each month between September and June.

The society holds extensive archives and information about of Sunderland that is available to members and visitors. Membership is open to anyone and brings regular newsletters, published booklets and meetings.

For more information, visit www.sunderland-antiquarians.org