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Portfolio > City Of Sunderland 1 > Roker/Seaburn Coastline 2                                                      Click on an image below to reveal enlarged version

Roker & Seaburn, Sunderland, England, UK


Roker is a tourist resort and affluent area of Sunderland, North East England, bounded on the south by the River Wear and Monkwearmouth, on the east by the North Sea, to the west by Fulwell and on the north by Seaburn. It is administered as part of the City of Sunderland and lies within historic County Durham. The majority of the houses in Roker are terraced or semi-detached. Further west, to the part bordering Fulwell, are cul-de-sacs with semi-detached bungalows, these being owned mainly by members of Roker's sizeable elderly population. On Roker Terrace (Roker's main street) are exclusive apartments and hotels which overlook the seafront. In addition to Seaburn seafront, the coast at Roker seafront plays host to Sunderland International Airshow, the biggest free airshow in Europe, which takes place each year, usually over the last weekend in July. From 1717 the newly formed River Wear Commission began to improve the harbour entrance at the mouth of the Wear. By 1750 a pair of breakwaters had been built (which survive in truncated form as the 'Old' North and South Piers). By the beginning of the next century each had a lighthouse at its end. (The lighthouse which stands today in Roker Cliff Park originally stood on the Old South Pier; it was deactivated in 1903 and removed eighty years later.)

With the growth of Sunderland as a port, it was decided to improve the approach to the river by creating an outer harbour, protected by a new pair of new breakwaters curving out into the North Sea from the shore on each side. The new piers were the brainchild of Henry Hay Wake, who at the age of 25 had been appointed Chief Engineer to the River Wear.  Commission (in succession to Thomas Meik) in 1868. The foundation stone for the New North Pier (Roker Pier) was laid on 14 September 1885. Applauded at the time as a triumph of engineering, the 1,198 ft (365 m) pier is built of granite-faced concrete blocks, which were Loaded onto wagons at River Weir Works by a Goliath crane and unloaded and placed at the end of the pier by a Titan crane.The opposite 'New South Pier' was begun at around the same time but never fully completed due to the start of the First World War; the twin lighthouse planned for its end was never built.


Seaburn is a seaside resort and northeastern suburb of SunderlandNorth East England. Seaburn lies within historic County Durham. The village of Whitburn borders the area to the north. To the west and south-west is Fulwell and to the south the coastal resort of Roker. Virtually all of Seaburn consists of low-density private housing interspersed with open parkland, laid out in the middle of the 20th century. Much of the housing is amongst the most expensive in Sunderland, with many large mansion houses situated along the coast, and on adjoining streets. The seafront is home to a sandy blue flag beach, seaside promenades, two amusement arcades, children's playgroundsfish and chip shops, small guest houses and one four star hotel, operated by Marriott. The main shopping street is Sea Road, which runs from the seafront up through Fulwell to the Seaburn Metro station. The area around Queens Parade hosts a 'strip' of popular eateries, with three Italian, two Indian and two Chinese restaurants in operation as of 2009. Also trading are several pubs and coffee shops. In the late 1980s, the old Seaburn Hall site was redeveloped, with a Morrisons supermarket, new amusement park and leisure and fitness centre. Previously, Seaburn Hall had been a famous dance hall and live music venue. It was built in 1939 as part of a development scheme which also included the seafront and a funfair.

Seaburn was a favourite place of the painter L. S. Lowry. A large Lowry painting is displayed in the local Morrisons supermarket. The area was close to the Sunderland A.F.C. stadium Roker Park and was the origin of the hooligan firm the Seaburn Casuals. The popular Sunderland International Airshow is held on the coast at Seaburn and Roker and is the largest free event of its kind in Europe, with a variety of aircraft, civilian and military aircraft on display. On the Tyne and Wear Metro Seaburn is served by its own station. The suburb is part of the Fulwell ward on Sunderland City Council, and is represented by three Conservative councillors.

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