Wearside is showing its solidarity with Manchester after Monday night’s terror attack by floodlighting two iconic structures in the colours of the Union Jack.

Last night, the Penshaw Monument – a large folly built on Penshaw Hill near Washington – was lit in red, white and blue, as was the magistrates court building in Keel Square. 

Both structures will be floodlit in the national colours until Sunday to show that Wearside is standing together with the people of Greater Manchester, after the suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert. 

The bombing, at the Manchester Arena, is so far known to have killed 22 people and injured 59.

As an additional mark of respect, the Union Flag at Sunderland’s Civic Centre will be flown at half-mast. 

Sunderland City Council leader Paul Watson said, “This was a dreadful attack, which is all the more sickening because it was targeted at innocent children and young people.”

“Our thoughts and prayers go to those caught up in this devastating tragedy and their families and friends.”

“It is right and fitting that as a city we show solidarity with the people of Manchester as they come to terms with this cowardly assault.” 

“I’d like to salute the people of Manchester who have shown such an inspiring community spirit in the face of this act of terrorism and I know the people of Sunderland will join me in sending our sympathies to them.”

The Penshaw Monument was built in 1844 and dedicated to John Lambton, who was the first Earl of Durham and the first governor of the Province of Canada.

The 20-metre-high gritstone monument is a half-sized replica of the Temple of Hephaestus in Athens and is usually floodlit at night.

The Penshaw Monument – which features on the badge of Sunderland AFC – was donated to the National Trust by the fifth Earl of Durham in 1939.

(Featured image courtesy of old system, from Flickr Creative Commons)

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