Block-laying ceremony at the official inauguration of the new South Pier, then under construction by the River Wear Commissioners, 12 September 1893 (TWAM ref. 3768/8).
This set of images celebrates the 300th Anniversary of the establishment of the Port of Sunderland. The port authority was constituted in 1717 by Act of Parliament, which appointed the River Wear Commissioners to manage and improve the harbour and river. Since then the port has changed beyond recognition with the construction of piers, docks and quays and the dredging of the River Wear to make it wider and deeper.
These developments were vital to the coal trade on which the region’s prosperity depended. The improvement of the river was also essential to the success of shipbuilding in Sunderland as well as allied industries such as marine engineering and ship repairing. These images are a reflection of Sunderland’s proud industrial history.
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Owner: Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums
Source: Flickr Commons