Amazing Facts

Virtual Sunderland : Amazing Facts

• Sunderland does not appear in the Doomsday Book (1086) as the area is recognised as wasteland due to William the Conqueror not taking the North East – initially.

• Sunderland born inventor Joseph Swan demonstrated his electric light bulb in Fawcett Street on January 19th 1879. Edison’s version was demonstrated in December 1879.

• George Stephenson is famous for inventing the Locomotion Train, but a few years prior to this had built a railway to transport coal from Hetton to Sunderland.

• One of the earliest Boy Scout Troops in the country was formed by Col. Ernest Vaux in Sunderland and was inspected by Baden Powell on 22nd February 1908.

• Without a Sunderland invention the TV character Dr. Who would have had to use a different method of transport as it was 1923 when Sunderland Chief Constable F. J. Crawley pioneered phone boxes.

• When US President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in 1865 he was watching a play by Sunderland born Tom Taylor – the play was titled “Our American Cousin”.

• When the Titanic sunk one survivor was a Sunderland man originally from Southwick – working in the engine room of the doomed liner.

• A Walrus on display in the Sunderland Museum is said to be the inspiration behind Lewis Carrol’s poem, “The Walrus and the Carpenter”.

• Lewis Carrol often stayed with relatives in Whitburn and it was one night whilst they all chatted that Carrol created “Jabberwocky”.

• Houdini appeared and performed a show in Sunderland in 1905.

• Laurel & Hardy performed at the Sunderland Empire in 1954, though Cumbrian born Stan Laurel appeared in Sleeping Beauty at the Kings Theatre in 1907 – before he was famous.

• In February 1963 The Beatles performed at the Sunderland Empire – but as supporting act to Helen Shapiro.

• There is a Sunderland in New South Wales (Australia), Massachusetts (USA), Vermont (USA) and there is Sunderland North in Cumbria. Canada also has a few places called Sunderland and there is a Sunderland in Lancashire.

• Buffalo Bills Wild West Show stopped off to perform in Sunderland in 1904.

• The US Flag – the Stars and Stripes could be said to be modelled from our own football teams colours. Though in reality the coat of arms of the First US President George Washington, who hailed from Washington (UK) was red and white stripes.

• Sunderland could be said to have “perfect timing” as on April 1st 1835 the wife of George Ormston gave birth to a daughter. On April 1st 1837 she gave birth to a second daughter. On April 1st 1839 she gave birth to a third daughter and on April 1st 1841 she gave birth to a fourth daughter.

• A Sunderland AFC scarf was used in the box off hit film “The English Patient” set in and around World War I, but a continuity error meant that it displayed the old “ship” badge which was not “created” until the late 70s.

• The famous artist L. S. Lowry painted some of his famous matchstick pictures in Seaburn.