Sunderland gained city status in 1992 after a competition to celebrate the Queens 40th year on the throne.
The estimated population as of 2017 is 289,880 with approx 70% living on the south side of the river wear and 30 % on the north side. There are 3 main bridges in Sunderland crossing the wear and linking the north and south side. The Queen Alexandra bridge at pallion, the Wearmouth bridge just to the north of the city centre and the Hylton Viaduct to the west.
Interesting fact – at the time of construction the Wearmouth bridge was the largest single span bridge in the world. It is at present the oldest iron bridge in the world that still carries traffic.
People from out of the region will often confuse the accent and dialect as Geordie when in fact it is known as Mackem.
The main football team is Sunderland Association Football Club known as SAFC. The home ground is the stadium of light at Monkwearmouth after moving from Nearby Roker Park.
The area has a rich history of ship building and was once the largest shipbuilding town in the world. Other industries Sunderland is known for is mining and glass making. Sadly these industries are gone but the national glass centre which is part of the university of Sunderland contains a museum dedicated to the history of glass making.
Nowadays Nissan Motor Manufacturing LTD, a car manufacturing plant in Washington to the west of the city is the areas biggest employer.
Interesting fact – The first president of the USA George Washington came from Washington. Washington Old Hall was the home to the family of his ancestors.
More interesting facts –
During the second world war Sunderland was the 7th most bombed town in the country.
The comedian and actor Sid James Died during a show at The Empire Theatre in 1976. The theatre is located in High Street West opposite Sunderland Minster.
The Victoria Hall disaster occurred in 1883 which claimed the lives of 183 children. It is because of this disaster that emergency exits now open outward. A memorial can be found in Mowbray Park. The Victoria Hall which was located opposite was destroyed in 1941 by a German bomb.
Suburbs – North
Carley Hill, Southwick, Marley Potts, Castletown, Hylton Castle, Town End Farm, Witherwack, Roker, Whitburn, Seaburn, North Hylton, Redhouse, Downhill, Monkwearmouth.
Pennywell, Grindon, Thorney Close, East Herrington, Doxford Park, Hall Farm, Ryhope, Silksworth, Farringdon, Plains Farm, Springwell, Ford Estate, Pallion, Millfield, Eden Vale, Barnes, Leechmere, Grangetown, Hendon, East End, Ashbrooke, Gilley Law, Lakeside village, Hill View, Deptford, Hastings Hill, Moorside, Penshaw, Houghton-le-Spring, Hetton-le-Hole, Shiney Row, Warden Law, Thornhill, Tunstall, Newbottle.
There are many places to visit in Sunderland for a great day out.
Sunderland International Airshow is probably the highlight of the year. It takes place along the sea front from Roker to Whitburn. Held over 3 days It is Europes biggest free airshow and attracts approx 2 million people each year. Find out more.
You can expect to see displays from spitfires, apache helicopters, the Typhoon, Harrier and the crowd favourite the Red Arrows. In previous years the cities adopted warship HMS Ocean has provided an impressive back drop. HMS Ocean also docks in The Port Of Sunderland and is open to the public to have a look around.
The Airshow started in 1989, originally as a one off one day event. Due to it’s popularity it has evolved into a 3 day event.
Penshaw Monument is located at Penshaw between Houghton-Le-Spring and Washington. An impressive monument built in 1844 in honour of John Lambton 1st Earl of Durham. Built on top of a 136 metre hill it is a prominent landmark that can dominates the landscape.
Directly opposite Penshaw Monument is Herrington Country Park. Sitting on the site of a former colliery it is now landscaped into a beautiful park with lakes.
Other parks in the area include Mowbray Park. Situated in the city centre ajoining Mowbray Winter Gardens And Museum. The park is only a stones throw away from the busy city centre thoroughfares of Fawcett Street and Holmeside, with Hendon to the south. The Victoria Hall Disaster memorial can be found in the park.
To the south of the city is Ryhope Engines Museum. A little know gem in a grade II listed building at Ryhope Pumping Station. The site is owned by Northumbria Water and contains 2 Victorian Beam Engines. Both engines can be seen on various weekends fully working and in steam.
Hylton Castle in the North of Sunderland is a ruined castle made of stone but was originally wood. Built after the Norman conquest in 1066 then rebuilt in 14th/15th century using stone. Many interior and exterior changes were made in the 18th century.
The castle is a grade I listed building now owned by English Hertitage and has featured on the programme Time Tean with Tony Robinson.
The National Glass Centre located on the North side of the River Wear between Roker and Monkwearmouth is a free attraction. A cultural venue that is part of The University Of Sunderland and houses a museum dedicated to the history of glass making. Hot glass demonstrations and a glass roof that visitors can walk across are 2 of the centres main attractions.
The North East Land Sea And Air museum is located at the former Sunderland airport. It is to the west of the A19 near to Town End Farm. Housing over 30 aircraft it is the largest aviation collection in the North East.
Sunderland Empire Theatre located in High Street West is one of the largest venues in the North East. The actor Sid James suffered a heart attack here in 1976. It is said that his ghost haunts the backstage and during an experience Les Dawson had here he now refuses to play this venue. Along with James haunting the backstage it is said that the spirit of Vesta Tilley haunts the front of house areas. Helen Mirren made her stage debut at the empire. The Universities graduation ceremonies were held at the empire up untill 2004 and are now held at The Stadium of Light.