Displaying the first of 10 old photos of Sunderland. View all Sunderland photos
Historic maps of Sunderland and the local area, hand-drawn by Ordnance Survey and Samuel Lewis. View all Sunderland maps
Sunderland area books
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Memories of Sunderland
The War Years
I was born in Hawthorn Street, Millfield in 1930. Went to Diamond Hall School. I remember the day war was declared, my mother said the Germans would bomb us because of all the industry around us. My father was in the Territorial Army so he was called up the next day and was put in the Sunderlands 125th Anti - Tank Regiment. We never saw him again until after the war. The schools were closed down until air raid shelters were built. We moved to 14 Hedley Street in 1940. There were nightly air raids and we took shelter under the stairs. In May 1943 there was a real heavy raid which demolished the town centre with many deaths. One week later was the heaviest raid of the war; a 500 kilo bomb fell about 60 feet from our door. It blew out all the windows and doors and the roof we were covered in plaster dust and soot, but only had minor cuts, others were not so lucky; it... Read more
at the time I lived in South hetton about 12 miles from town and on leaving school at age 14 started work in Turveys garage at the bottom end of holmeside,just around the corner from the south end of the station. I remember going into whites market with one or two of the staff from the garage.Some names to remember, Mr English the stores manager, Ted Gorman workshop foreman, Ken Laws and Tiny Dunn. Both mechanics.
Wages to start 10 shillings per week travel costs 12shillings and six pence.In today's money that works out at 50pwages and 62p travel. The good old days !
My First Memory
I was sitting in a tall pram outside my grandfather's pie shop (Pyburns') and men were herding cattle down the High Street to some abattoir, I put my hand out and felt the side of one the cows and to this day can feel the scratchie feel of its short coat. I must have been about one and a half years old. I also remember I was 10 and my brother Brent was 8 and we went in search of a pet tortoise and after going into one or two shops we ended up in the basement of a big old building, I think it was a picture house that had been bombed and taken over by stall owners. and it was there we purchased Tommy our one legged tortoise.
The illuminations were a yearly event in Roker Park and it was magic as a young child to visit each year - particularly scarey was Marley's Ghost in a cave in the ravine.
The other memory was of fishing for tiddlers in the pond or having rides on the little train.
Going to School
My family and I lived in Seaburn, a suburb of Sunderland north of the River Wear, and from 1942 to 1944 I attended the nursery department of the Sunderland High School, south of the Wear. Every morning and evening my father, who taught in Sunderland Technical College, would take and fetch me travelling in a tram like the one on this photo.
Getting Lost in Binns
One day, when I was about 5 years old, Mother took me to Binns, which used to be a big store in Fawcett Street. While I was standing by one of the counters, lost in a daydream, Mother went to another counter a few feet away. Abruptly I woke from my dream when the shop assistant leaned over and asked me what I wanted, and because I didn't see Mother, I thought she had gone away and left me there. I rushed out into the street crying, and a small crowd collected around me. A lady asked me where I lived, I was able to tell her, she gave me money for my tram fare, and I travelled home on the top deck, happily singing to myself, for I'd got over my fright. By the time I reached Seaburn, where I lived, I was happy again, and couldn't imagine why Mother was in tears!