Some historic Sunderland toilets – located beneath an old tram shelter in Seaburn – have reopened to the public following a restoration programme.

The Victorian-era conveniences – which first opened in 1901 – had fallen into a state of disrepair after being closed for a number of years.

Many original features of the toilets have been retained or renovated during the restoration work. Such features include the original sanitary ware and terrazzo flooring.

Seaburn Tram Shelter Public Conveniences
After being closed for a quarter of a century, the Seaburn Tram Shelter Toilets have been restored and reopened to the public.

But Sunderland City Council would now like to discover more about the historic building – which combines a disused tram shelter above ground with the toilets below. The council would be grateful if members of the public could share any knowledge they have about the structure.

Seaburn Tram Shelter Public Conveniences
Many of the original fixtures and fittings have been retained.

Sunderland City Council’s portfolio holder for housing and regeneration, Cllr Stuart Porthouse, said, “We believe the tram shelter with its toilets was the terminus of the tram network in Sunderland.”

“But we’d be very interested to know more about their history so if anyone knows more about them or has any old photos of the building we’d love to hear from them.”

“The reopening of the Tram Shelter Toilets is part of our ongoing regeneration of the seafront, which has seen £10 million invested in improvements since 2010.”

Improvements to Roker Pier and Lighthouse even made the national press recently, with The Guardian newspaper declaring Roker Pier to be among the top ten best piers in the world.

Seaburn Tram Shelter Public Conveniences
Bringing the Victorian/Edwardian public conveniences back into use has been no small task.

Cllr Porthouse continued, “The toilets will complement the existing facilities at the seafront, which include fully accessible changing place toilets at Roker and Seaburn.”

Following the restoration of the toilets beneath the tram shelter, the council would now like to look into restoring the shelter itself. The council is considering sensitively converting the structure into a café and restaurant.

(The featured image shows Cllr Stuart Porthouse in front of the newly reopened Seaburn Tram Shelter toilets.)

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