A project is underway to gather people’s memories of a historic Sunderland landmark.

Ghosts of Hylton Castle aims to capture people’s recollections of growing up near the ancient monument.

Hylton Castle – a 14th century structure – is currently being restored thanks to a partnership between Sunderland City Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The gathering of memories aims to put the local community at the heart of the restoration scheme.

Some memories have already been preserved in a time capsule buried in the castle grounds while other recollections are being collated into a digital record for future generations to enjoy.

Recording sessions for the Ghosts of Hylton Castle project are taking place on Saturday 16th June at the nearby Bunny Hill Centre from 10.30 am to 2.00 pm. Anybody who would like to share any memories of the castle is very welcome to come along.

Local company Foresight eLearning – which helps businesses develop content for their websites and social media channels – has volunteered its services to enhance these recording sessions.

Company founders Lee Daymond and Barry Braley – who both grew up near Hylton Castle – will be at the Bunny Hill Centre on Saturday, where they will film anyone who wishes to be recorded.

The footage will be used on the Hylton Castle website and as part of the Ghosts of Hylton Castle project.

Cllr John Kelly, Sunderland City Council’s cabinet member for communities and culture, said, “We want people to come along and share their memories with the Hylton Castle project team to help us create a permanent record of their recollections.”

“Generations of people have grown up with the castle and the dene in their lives, and the Ghosts of Hylton Castle oral history project is collecting their stories and interviews. They will become part of the castle’s future through their use in exhibitions, images and film when it reopens to become a new education and visitor centre at the heart of community life again.”

Hylton Castle

Lee Daymond, from Foresight eLearning, said, “Myself and Barry were both brought up near the castle and wanted to help support the restoration project for this much-loved local historic landmark.”

“It will have such a fantastic impact not only on the local community, but also the city and the region as a whole.”

“We are proud to volunteer our company’s digital skills to help promote the excellent work being undertaken there to an even wider audience and get even more local people and volunteers involved in telling its story.”

On Saturday, members of the group Castle in the Community will be around to talk to people about the restoration project over coffee and cake.

You can learn more about Hylton Castle at www.hyltoncastle.org.uk and about Foresight eLearning at www.getsomeforesight.com.

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