Take a walking tour of Sunderland streets featured in best-selling novels

A free walking tour of Ryhope will take place next month to celebrate the best-selling novels it’s inspired.

Saturday, 31st August 2019, 8:00 am
Updated Saturday, 31st August 2019, 9:00 am
Glenda Young has set her story in her home village of Ryhope. Photo by Emily Pentland.

Author Glenda Young will be co-hosting the 90-minute tour which takes in the real-life locations from from her best-selling book Belle of the Back Streets, as well as follow ups The Tuppenny Child and Pearl of Pit Lane.

Glenda will be interviewed along the route by local historian Paul Lanagan who will be finding out about Glenda’s journey from writing a popular Coronation Street blog to becoming a published author. The tour, which takes place on September 14 as part of Heritage Open Days, is a chance to walk the streets where character Meg Sutcliffe plied her trade on her rag and bone cart under the shadow of the predatory rent collector, Hawk Jackson and will give people the chance to discover the inspiration behind the characters as well as an insight into the world of being a writer.

Glenda, who grew up in the village, said: "The walk is free and will last an hour. It will cover Ryhope from the where the old pit stood all the way down to the village and around the village green. Through my research at Ryhope Heritage Society, Durham Records office and Sunderland Antiquarian Society, I've got loads of old pictures showing 'old Ryhope' and how things used to be.

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The front cover of Glenda Young's first fictional novel.

“The plan is to end the walk at the Albion Inn for a drink, as the pub has a starring role in Belle of the Back Streets. My friend and local historian Paul Lanagan will accompany me on the walk and I'm really looking forward to meeting readers and fans of the book and bringing Belle of the Back Streets to life."

Glenda’s second novel set in Ryhope in 1919, The Tuppenny Child, is released in paperback on September 19. Since its hardback release in May this year it's been at No. 2 in Waterstones shop chart in Sunderland.

A third book Pearl of Pit Lane, again set in Ryhope in 1919 is released in hardback, audio and ebook in November this year and in March 2020 in paperback.

*The walk will take place from 11am to 12.30pm on September 14 and will end at the Albion Inn where Glenda will sign copies of her books. Sturdy shoes are a must as the walk will cover some distance and on uneven terrain.Booking is essential and places are offered on a first come, first served basis. Book at https://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/visiting/event/belle-of-the-back-streets-a-walk-around-ryhope-with-author-glenda-young

*In addition to the walk, Glenda is is giving a talk on Ryhope 1919 as part of Heritage Open Days. It's at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens on Friday, September 13. All details here https://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/visiting/event/ryhope-1919