The 2017 summer series
The Sunderland Community Lectures 2017 are themed around the 300th anniversary of the River Wear Commissioners founded in 1717.
The lectures are free. They are on Wednesday afternoons in the University of Sunderland's Sir Tom Cowie lecture theatre. The lectures commence at 2.30pm and are approximately one hour in duration. Please arrive between 2.00 - 2.30pm to register before the lecture begins.
10th May - George Nairn
A journey down the River Wear in old postcards
A visual journey from the source to the mouth of the RIver Wear along a very picturesque valley. The images are drawn from the collection of the speaker who will be happy to value (for free) any pre-1955 postcards.
24th May - Matthew Storey
The Restoration of Roker Pier and Lighthouse
Built between 1885 and 1903, Roker Pier & Lighthouse represented a 'triumph of engineering'. In 2012, extensive restoration of the pier, tunnel and lighthouse began funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Sunderland City Council. Later this year the tunnel and lighthouse will be opened to the public for guided tours for the first time in the structure's history.
7th June - Gary Bankhead
The Durham River Wear Assemblage
At over 9,000 objects, the Durham River Wear Assemblage has been described as a major research facility, probably the largest collection late- and post- medieval finds in the North of England: a unique regional and national resource.
2nd August - Andy Lane
The Geology of the River Wear
The River Wear is about 60 miles from source to mouth and crosses some 350 million years of geological history. It is a veritable geological textbook, providing many classical examples of rock type and structure but also underpins magnificent scenery and the region's past and present economic development.
16th August - Stuart Miller
"More the Work of Art than Nature"
The modern City of Sunderland is essentially the creation of the River Wear Commissioners who created the harbour from 1717 onwards, overcoming natural and human obstacles, pioneering harbour improvement techniques and experimenting with new technology to do so. Sunderland Harbour was a veritable Mecca for most of the great civil engineers.
30th August - Jack Curtis
My Life on the Docks
A history and personal memories of living on Sunderland's Hudson Docks during a fascinating period of history.
Sunderland Community Lectures are organised and supported by a partnership of the University of Sunderland, the Workers' Educational Association, the Wearside University of the Third Age and Sunderland Heritage Forum.