March Events in & around Sunderland (Mainly of a Historical Interest)

Posted on Mar 09 2016


(events in and around Sunderland, mainly of a historical interest)

Sunderland Museum

To 3rd April            Sunderland: Then and Now – paintings, drawings and prints from the Museum’s collection together with present-day photographs of the same views

To 3rd April            Sunderland Style: Then and Now – fashion from the 1940’s to the 1970’s

To March 13th       Sunderland Art Club exhibition in the Open Space Gallery on the 2nd floor

Monkwearmouth Station Museum

To 31st March       Ian S Carr: a Wearside railway photographer

The Great North Museum: Hancock

To 3rd May             The Extraordinary Gertrude Bell:  the Washington-born archaeologist, diplomat, linguist, writer, mountaineer and explorer

The Donnison School

The Lovell Lectures will be given at The Donnison School, Church Walk, Sunderland from 1pm to 3pm on certain Mondays (admission £3.00 for visitors and £2.50 for members, including refreshments)

21st March             Washington Old Hall – sixty years with the National Trust                          Ged Parker


The Friends of Sunderland Museums (FOSUMS)

Meetings are held in Sunderland Museum on irregular Saturdays at 2pm. Visitors welcome, charge £1

12th March             ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz’: the Art Deco buildings of Sunderland                          Michael Johnson


Hetton Local and Natural History Society

Meetings are held in Hetton and Eppleton Community Hall at 7pm – the entrance fee of £2 includes

refreshments.  Please see for details


Houghton and District Local History Group

Meetings are held at the Kepier Hall (behind Houghton Parish Church) on the fourth Thursday of the month at 6.45pm – a charge of £2 includes refreshments.

24th March             The George Elmy: the remarkable story of this Seaham lifeboat                             Allan Brooks


Nifty Fifties

The group meets fortnightly on a Thursday in the City Library and Arts Centre from 1.30 to 3pm and

the charge is £2.50 per session, refreshments included.  Please ring 5611235 for further information.

17th March             A walk around the Fawcett and Sunniside Estates                                       John Tumman

31st March             ‘Our Finest Hour’                                                                                                 Robert Moon


Ryhope Heritage Society

Meetings are held at Ryhope Community Centre on the second Tuesday of each month at 1.30pm

8th March               The speaker will be Colin Orr


Silksworth Heritage Group

Meetings are held at Beckwith Mews, Silksworth, on the third Monday of each month at 1.30pm and the charge is £1, including refreshments

21st  March            Miss Doxford                                                                                                        Lorna Parkes


South Hylton Local History Society

Meetings are held on the third Monday at The South Hylton Tansy Centre at 7pm              

21st March             Nostalgic views of the North                                                                             John and Sheila                                                                                                                                  Morreels               

Sunderland Antiquarian Society

Members and visitors are welcome to view the Society’s archives at the Heritage Centre, 6 Douro Terrace, each Wednesday, Friday and Saturday morning from 9.30 to 12.  Meetings are held in St. George’s Church, Stockton Road, on the 3rd Tuesday at 7.30pm. Visitors welcome, charge £2.

15th March             Sunderland Association Football Club in the 50’s and 60’s: Len              Phil Curtis

Shackleton to Charlie Hurley


Sunderland Civic Society

Meetings are held at Age UK, The Bradbury Centre, Stockton Road on the second Thursday of alternate months starting at 6pm.  Visitors welcome, charge £1

10th March             AGM followed by a talk by Carol Freeman (Carol Roberton, formerly features writer with the Sunderland Echo)

Sunderland Theatre Organ Preservation Society

Concerts are held on irregular Sunday afternoons at Ryhope Community Centre, Black Road, Ryhope starting at 2.30pm.  The 1932 Compton Theatre Organ was formerly at the Odeon in Holmeside.  Please see for details


Washington History Society

Meetings are held at 1.30pm on the first Monday of the month at the Life House (Washington MIND’s premises in Grasmere Terrace, Columbia, formerly Glebe Colliery Welfare)

7th March               Box sort – ‘document fest’


Wearside Field Club

Meetings are held in Fulwell Community Centre, Chapman Street (behind Fulwell Junior School) on the second Tuesday at 7.30 pm.   Visitors welcome, charge £1

8th March               AGM followed by The Great Train Robbery                                                   John Yearnshire



In the Textile Traditions Gallery at Sunderland Museum on 9th March members of the Sunderland Branch of the Knitting and Crochet Guild will demonstrate their skills.


Sunderland Volunteer Watch House Museum has reopened after its winter closure. It is open every Sunday from 12 to 4pm and admission is free. For further information please see


The next open day at the Hetton Smithy will be on Saturday April 2nd from 10am to 2pm. The smithy is situated  in North Road, Hetton le Hole and the postcode is DH5 9JS


Lord David Puttnam will be giving a public lecture on storytelling, his life in films and his recent return to the film industry.  The lecture will take place at 6.30pm on Tuesday 15th March at the Murray Library Lecture Theatre, which is situated in the Sunderland University City Campus on Chester Road.  Tickets for the lecture are free but must be booked by visiting or by telephoning 5153265


On Saturday 19th March from 11am to 4pm,  Arts Centre Washington will be holding an open day to celebrate its refurbishment.  Visitors are welcome to join workshops, see the exhibition and look around the creative business studios.


In addition to his talk at FOSUMS on the Art Deco buildings of Sunderland (please see above) Michael Johnson will be speaking on the Treasures of Islamic Architecture at Northumbria University at 6pm on Thursday March 10th.


The following talks will be given at Sunderland City Library and Arts Centre and Washington Town Centre Library to mark International Women’s Day, Tuesday 8th March:

Glitz ‘N’ Glamour City Library and Arts Centre Tuesday 8 March, 10.30am
Join costume designer Meredith Towne for a lively and informative talk on women's fashion throughout history. The talk will feature a display of original costumes and accessories.  This event is free. Places are limited and must be booked. For further information or to book please contact the City Library on  5611235.

From Pit Village to Buckingham Palace Washington Town Centre Library Tuesday 8 March, 2.30pm

Stephanie Yearnshire, MBE, is a retired police superintendent. Her talk centres, with some humour, on her career from the days when there was no technology - to her work across the world. Stephanie ran many firearms operations, worked as match commander for Premier Division Football, took part in television programmes and was at the forefront of change in respect of victim issues and domestic violence. This event is free. For further information please contact Washington Town Centre Library on 5613441


The Wor Women Exhibition  will be at the City Library and Arts Centre from  Monday 7 March - Friday 25 March.
This exhibition from Tyneside Women's Health and Curiosity Creative explores the impact of the First World War on women and their families in the North East of England. Accessing local archives as well as collecting previously untold personal stories the interactive exhibition shows how the lives of many North East women changed during this time in history as they adapted to living without men of fighting age, taking work opportunities previously held by men and the subsequent effect on women's rights as we know them today.


National Shakespeare Week

To celebrate National Shakespeare week, a variety of free children’s craft activities will be taking place at the City Library and Arts Centre and at Washington Town Centre Library on Saturday 19 March 2016. For further information please contact City Library/Washington Town Centre Library or visit


Hundreds of historic photographs from the collection of Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens can be seen on the Museum’s flickr page at   The albums include Port of Sunderland, Sunderland Shipbuilding, Sunderland Street Scenes and the Alan Williamson Collection which covers Sunderland in the seventies, eighties and nineties.

Last changed: Mar 09 2016 at 5:35 PM