Industry in Sunderland was something to shout about, even to the most recent generations. ‘Did you know that we were the biggest ship building town in the world?’ is something I’ve been asked on numerous occasions. The high turnout of ships, coal or glass, has long been a source of pride: we worked hard, we made things that the rest of the country needed, ergo they needed us. When those industries started to decline and eventually disappeared, people found themselves out of work, and that sense of pride faltered.
Sunderland Industrial Giant: Recollections of Working Life, is a social history of those industries; their stories told by the people who in many cases, were the last generation to work there.
Sunderland Industrial Giant was published in November 2017 by The History Press. It’s available to buy now from Amazon, including a Kindle version, and also from Waterstones, W H Smith, The Back Page, Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens and more.
If you’d like to purchase a signed copy from me, they’re £10 plus postage and packaging - send me a message using the form on the right and I’ll get back to you.
The industries covered in the book are:
Coal mining (Monkwearmouth Colliery) and an interview with Albert Holyoak
Shop work (Co-op stores and Joplings) and an interview with Moira Lawrence
Vaux Breweries and interviews with Sir Paul Nicholson, Frank Nicholson and Ed Forster
Glass making and Pyrex and an interview with Brenda Forster
SAFC football club and interviews with Sir Bob Murray, Malcolm Bramley and Ernie Stout
The docks and Port of Sunderland. Interviews with Jack Curtis and Alan Gregory
Shipyards and interviews with Paddy Hilton and Pete Wright