Released: Friday 25th September 2015 at 11:38
A SPECIAL installation has been officially launched at National Glass Centre (NGC) to mark the waves of change at Port of Sunderland over the years.
Sunderland City Council has worked in partnership with National Glass Centre to install an interactive display, to catalogue the history of the port as it nears its 300-year anniversary in 2017. Visitors can also find more about some of the historic features of the port, with a map that captures some of the key sites included on the iPad.
The interactive display contains photos of the vessels that have visited the port as well as a timeline of the major developments over the past three centuries. The content goes from the very beginnings of the port’s development right up to present day, with regular updates as ships arrive.
Ian Smithwhite, built heritage officer at Sunderland City Council, was part of the team that pulled together various historical documents to help showcase how the port has transformed, as well as charting all of the important changes that helped to put Sunderland on the map as one of the greatest shipbuilding towns in the UK.
He said: “The Port of Sunderland has always played such a crucial role in the success of our City, we’re delighted that we have a display like this that can really showcase how proud we are of our heritage to those who visit Sunderland.”
The installation saw the port, council and National Glass Centre come together to create a special display, after the team at the Centre noticed a large number of their visitors asking about ships docked in the port, which sits directly opposite the port’s main Corporation Quay.
Michelle Daurat, interim director and head of business and operations at the National Glass Centre, said: “The display looks directly out onto one of the port’s quays and we always have visitors asking about the different vessels that they can see from our Brasserie, so it’s fantastic to have a resource to point people towards.
“Shipbuilding, just like glassmaking, has long been at the heart of the city’s heritage, so to have something that brings the two together is fantastic. We’re sure our visitors will really like it.”
Port of Sunderland has been resurgent over the past few years with investment from Sunderland City Council allowing it to redevelop its quays and broaden its offer.
Neil Mearns, marine services and port facility security officer at Port of Sunderland, said that the installation was one of many things making it an exciting time to be a part of the port. Mr Mearns has been part of the port team for more than HOW MANY YEARS, and worked with the council to develop content for the iPad.
He said: “This year we played host to our first cruise ship in 15 years and it’s already looking like more will arrive next year, and then we have The Tall Ships Races to look forward to in 2018, having been named as the starting port for the event.
“There’s still a lot of change on the horizon but we will never forget all the hard work that has gone into making Port of Sunderland a success, so we’re delighted to have this display at National Glass Centre to pay homage to our fantastic maritime history.”
Councillor Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council, who is also Chair of the port board, added: “There is a huge amount of interest in our port, so to have a resource that people can use, for free, at the city’s National Glass Centre is great and something we are sure will make people really proud of all that Port of Sunderland has achieved.”
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