Discover Sunderland's Past: #LoveSunderlandHeritage Festival Offers Two Weeks of Exciting Events

LoveSunderlandHeritage fortnight begins on Saturday, 18 May, highlighting a diverse array of venues, groups, societies, and destinations dedicated to celebrating Sunderland’s remarkable history.

Running from 18 May to 2 June, #LoveSunderlandHeritage fortnight is a festival offering residents and visitors a unique opportunity to engage with the people, places, and creations that have shaped Sunderland and its surrounding areas.

The Heritage Sunderland Partnership, which includes local heritage venues and organisations from all across the city have joined forces to offer a vibrant 2-week programme of open days, performances, talks, tours and workshops.

There is something for everyone, with events, activities and attractions for children and adults of all ages.

The festival gets under way with a special guest appearance from Horrible Histories author Terry Deary at the showcase Sunderland History Fair on 18 May, in which he will reminisce about the past 80 years of Sunderland and his own passion for the city.

Author Terry Deary

Other opportunities include a Bishopwearmouth Townscape Heritage Geology Walk, a chance to tour backstage at Sunderland Empire, and a classic car show presented in the shadow of the North East Land Sea an Air Museum’s exhibits, which include their newly acquired Hawk T.1 jet that was unveiled by the Lord Lieutenant of Tyne & Wear on 13 May.

There are talks, exploring the surprising North East roots of Catherine, Princess of Wales and covering local military history for the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

While families can enjoy kids’ history trails around Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens and Mowbray Park as well as music with rich historical roots, from ballads and shanties to skiffle in venues including The Fire Station, and the beautiful Grade 1 listed Holy Trinity Church – Seventeen Nineteen.

“It’s wonderful to be coming together again to present such a varied programme of events for #LoveSunderlandHeritage. As a venue it’s a pleasure to offer a range of exciting activities and to meet new audiences throughout the festival.

“The Heritage Sunderland Partnership is delighted to bring together and help promote our collective events and activities throughout the whole of Sunderland. As well as the talks and shows there are tours and open days at the jewels in the crown of Sunderland’s history including Ryhope Engines Museum, Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, 1719, Penshaw Monument and the Empire Theatre. Even if you think you know Sunderland like the back of your hand, there’s something new and surprising to learn at every one of this year’s events!” 

Chair of the Heritage Sunderland Partnership and manager of 1719, Tracey Miene

“This festival is an excellent opportunity to shine a spotlight on Sunderland’s rich heritage, collections, our heritage buildings, and cultural landscapes.  Developed and delivered in partnership, festivals such as #LoveSunderlandHeritage enable us to highlight the breadth and depth of the city’s heritage offer and the part this plays in creating a vibrant and dynamic city for the benefit of all our communities and visitors alike.”   

Peter McIntyre, Executive Director of City Development at Sunderland City Council

“I’m delighted to be part of the latest #LoveSunderlandHeritage festival. I’ll be launching my new book The Toffee Factory Girls during the festival, with two book signing events in Sunderland. I couldn’t hope for a better moment than this celebration of Sunderland’s thriving local heritage scene, in the city I love.”

Bestselling local author of historical novels, Glenda Young

Take a look at the full programme of events and find out how to book at: #LoveSunderlandHeritage – MySunderland 

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