Some of our residents living in Lumley, Londonderry and Lambton tower blocks have been learning about the history and heritage of the city’s East End.
They have been working with artist and film-maker Julie Ballands on a project funded by the Cultural Spring, an Arts Council England funded initiative aimed at increasing the number of Wearsiders and South Tynesiders participating in arts and culture.
Over a five week period residents gathered to discover how the area has changed over generations. They looked at pictures and maps of the East End, visited the Local Studies Centre to research material on the East End and took a walking tour around the area which allowed residents to see how different it looked compared to previous years.
Residents also got a chance to take a step into the past watching a video, made in the 1960’s, about shipbuilding on the Wear.
Brian Turner, a resident at one of the tower blocks said he’d enjoyed the sessions and learned a lot about the area: “Although I’ve lived here a long time, I was born in Whitburn so it’s been fascinating to find out how the area around the tower blocks has developed over the years. I had family who lived around the East End, so I was a regular visitor and I’ve enjoyed learning about the area’s history.”
Emma Horsman, Project Director for the Cultural Spring, said: “I was pleased to hear the residents are enjoying the project - Sunderland’s East End is a historic area and we were only too happy to enable some of the tower block residents to learn more about the area in which they live.”
Lucy Malarkey, Deputy Director of Operations, said: “We are delighted to be working alongside The Cultural Springs, encouraging our residents to participate in arts and culture.”
“Here at Gentoo we are committed to supporting community life. Many of our residents have grown up in Sunderland, so offering them the chance to learn about its history is just one of the ways we can work towards our aim of building a strong community. We are proud to be part of a city that is continuously improving and looking into its past has allowed us to see how much it has developed.”