PEOPLE CAN see a 125-year-old letter first-hand when a fully restored historic Sunderland building officially opens next week (16 April) – for the first time since 2019.

Seventeen Nineteen – formerly known as Holy Trinity Church and now a performance, celebration and events space – is hosting its Spring Fayre on Saturday 16 April.

And the team behind the £5.1m restoration project are excited to showcase the incredible transformation carried out at the Grade I listed Georgian building, the result of 10 years’ of work.

Tracey Mienie, Seventeen Nineteen’s Centre Manager, said that people will be “amazed” at what the building how has to offer.

“It really is a fantastic space and we can’t wait for people to come along and see if for themselves, and this great celebration that we’re planning is the perfect way to do that.”

Seventeen Nineteen will be officially opened by the Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Harry Trueman, and will host a full programme of entertainment from 10am to 8pm.

And those visiting the newly renovated space will have the opportunity to view 13-year-old choirboy William Elliot’s poignant letter – dated 11 August 1897 and recently uncovered by workmen restoring the building – in which he begs not to be forgotten.

Along with displaying the moving plea, the venue will welcome a variety of artisan stalls selling homemade wares and baked goods, craft sessions, performances, an art exhibition and children’s rides, with a wide range of hot food and drink on offer.

Then, from 5pm until 8pm, Seventeen Nineteen will showcase its new events space with a performance from Sunderland musician, The Lake Poets, whose song Shipyards is the theme music for Netflix series Sunderland Til I Die.

“Not only do we have a whole host of entertainment for all ages across the day but it’s also an amazing opportunity to see a real piece of the city’s history, with William’s letter on display for all to read,” said Tracey.

“The launch is sure to be a brilliant day out – with one of Sunderland’s own talented artists closing the evening – and we can’t wait to see the venue truly come alive with events and special occasions in the coming months.”

The event is free to attend from 10am to 5pm, with tickets for the 6pm to 8pm entertainment available at with attendees asked to make a donation in lieu of a ticket price.

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