North East Connected


A very fishy jubilee celebration, which echoes one held more than a century earlier, is set to take place on Wearside next week (1 June).

More than 100 years ago, as the nation celebrated Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887, a group of Sunderland fishwives held a tea party with a difference on the town moor in the city’s east End.

Instead of brightly coloured flags, the fishwives made bunting from crabs, herrings and other fish landed at the nearby docks.

Now, to mark the Platinum Jubilee of HM The Queen, that unique celebration will be honoured with two Fishwives Tea Parties in one of the East End’s oldest buildings, the former Holy Trinity Church, now the Seventeen Nineteen event space.

On Wednesday 1 June, the venue is laying on afternoon tea and children’s packed lunches along with the chance to hear traditional sea shanties and dress up as fishermen and fishwives for the occasion.

“It’s a chance to mark the jubilee in a way that, as far as we know, was unique to the East End of Sunderland,” said Lily Daniels, Participation and Engagement Officer at Seventeen Nineteen.

“And a great way for families to learn about the history of the area while having fun and marking this very important occasion.”

The Fishwives Tea Parties will take place between 12 noon and 1pm and from 2pm to 3.30pm and tickets cost £5 for adults and £2 for those aged five and under, with under-fives free of charge.

Afternoon tea and packed lunches can be pre-ordered at

For more information about Seventeen Nineteen – which is cared for by national charity, Churches Conservation Trust (CCT) – visit

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