Saturday 24 November 2012
If you come from Sunderland you are known locally as a Mackem. Historically Sunderland was a trading post but ship building commenced in the 14th century and until recently Sunderland was known as one of the largest ship building towns in the world. Today the Port of Sunderland is the second largest municipally owned port in the UK and handles cargo from Scandanavia. The port also provides distribution and warehousing.
Sunderland city centre is a mix of modern and old with all the main high street chains that you can find in most towns and cities across the UK. Since 1985 the city has seen massive investment which has transformed the river front and helped improve the economic situation since the collapse of ship building. In 1986 the car manufacturer Nissan opened a large factory in Sunderland providing much needed employment in the area.
If you follow the coast road from Sunderland to Roker Beach you will also reach the mouth of the River Tyne. The coastline along this route is stunning and the surrounding countryside is unspoiled. Most tourists visiting the area head straight for Roker Beach or the Promenade area. However the National Glass Centre is worth a visit as it tracks the history of glass making in Sunderland with examples of glassware from the city.