Sunderland’s history and culture are set to be celebrated in a two-day festival at one of the city’s most interesting venues.

On 14 and 15 October, the Seventeen Nineteen event space – formerly Holy Trinity Church – at Hendon, will host its autumn fayre; a series of displays, tours and activities for all ages, with the city’s heritage at their heart.

The festival will also delve into the past of the building itself, with the first event, Photographing Sunderland, showcasing historic photos from photographers in the community alongside photographs from the present day.

The exhibition will run from 14 to 29 October and, along with images of the multi-million-pound regeneration of the building taken by award-winning volunteer Chris Audsley, organisers are accepting digital submissions from members of the public.

From 1pm to 3.30pm, on 14 October, The Shipyard Girls walking tour will explore Sunderland’s fact and fiction, inspired by the work and characters of author Nancy Revell.

Starting at Seventeen Nineteen, it is expected to take around 90 minutes, mostly on even ground and finishing at the National Glass Centre, with a hot, takeaway drink included in the ticket price.

Then, at 6pm, quizzers are invited to test their knowledge of the city at a fun ‘pub’ quiz – featuring trivia, puns and challenges – hosted by TikTok historian Kathrine Taylor.

The work of writers and storytellers is the theme of the following day’s events when a Writing History Fayre, between 10am and 3pm, will see the building packed with writers, crafts people and food stalls, with free activities for all ages.

At 10am a panel of writers led by local author Glenda Young will discuss the methods they use when researching and writing stories set in Sunderland’s past.

And, at noon, historian and singer Keith Gregson and We Make Culture’s Laura Brewis will explore how Sunderland’s history has inspired songwriters through the years.

they will discuss the Songs of the Streets project and share traditions of Sunderland music and how that translates into new tracks.

The day will also mark the launch of Seventeen Nineteen’s new Hidden Stories trail, with clues scattered around the building, leading to a mystery object.

“Not only was Seventeen Nineteen formerly a church but it was also a library,” said Participation and Engagement Officer, Lily Daniels. “And, as this year marks its 303rd anniversary, it seemed appropriate to make writing and heritage the focuses of our autumn fayre.”

For more information or to book tickets and reserve places at autumn fayre events, visit

For more information about Seventeen Nineteen – which is cared for by national charity, Churches Conservation Trust (CCT) – visit

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