Saying good by to The Sunderland Book Project

Sunderland Echo

“10 years”, thats what I realised when talking to Brian who I met at Fullwell Community-led Library recently.  Thats how long the Sunderland Book Project has been running, 10 years.

Its now being lovingly cared for by the fantastic and enthusiastic volunteers at Fullwell Community-led Library, Sunderland.

Well thats where one half of the project is living.  When contributors donated their Sunderland Book to the project, they donated two copies of the same book.  One collection was always seen as the ‘spare’ collection. Both collections have now taken up residence in Sunderland, Fullwell Library and Washington Old Hall.

I handed the collection over to Brian with no ceremony, in a busy library and gave a brief background to one or two books. I would have to say the most looked at book on this blog is ‘Hemy’ my first true collaboration with poet, artist and more, Ian Horn.  The book has enquiries from all over the world.  The reference to the painter, Hemy and Sunderland FC are both of huge interest to people who come across the book by accident.

The idea for the Sunderland Book project came about after a visit to Washington DC with Sunderland Council, Business & Enterprise, creatives from the city and alumni from the University. Connecting with other printmakers & bookmakers in Washington DC brought about the idea to connect both cities and more through the exchange of books. Anne Tye at Sunderland Council supported the project from the beginning.  She understood the aims were to inspire positive, celebratory books about the city’s rich history and contemporary success stories. You should check out this blog for all the details of where its been!

The books were meant to be out in the community, celebrating the city of Sunderland. I am pleased the library has them, the Old Hall will use them and more folk can enjoy them!

Washington Old Hall, Tyne & Wear. The manor retains parts of the original medieval house, home of the ancestors of George Washington. (National Trust)

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