|About the area of Southwick
History of our local area.
Southwick was the earliest village in the area. It grew from trading on the river wear and most of the settlers were linked to this by employment. In 1801 the first English census showed that 554 people lived in Southwick Village. The first school in Southwick opened in 1837 and was known as ‘The National School’, and in May of 1842 the foundation stone of Holy Trinity Church was laid, the first person buried at the church was 70 year old Samuel Moore who died in November 1844.
Cholera hit Southwick in 1848 and twenty two children became orphans because of this. Southwick was also hit by a hurricane on Christmas Day in 1852. Southwick was lit up on the 16th August 1854 when gas lights were introduced as street lighting for the first time, and in December 1880, Southwick had it’s own tram line opened.
In 1877 High Southwick Board school opened, on the site which is now the Cornhill Centre in Goschen Street.
On 28th February 1893, Southwick Local Board Offices were officially opened by Mrs R Thompson, which is where SNYP is based today. These offices played an important part in the lives of those living in Southwick village, and even today the building is still used and held in trust for the local young people.
Southwick changed it’s name in 1901 to Southwick-on-Wear, and this year also saw electric trams introduced to the area.
St Hilda’s school opened on King’s Road on 1st of June 1903. The Roman Catholic School was attended by many families and generations in the area, only to close shortly after it’s centenary celebrations on 30th July 2004. The school was built opposite High Southwick Board school.
In 1907 Southwick Central School opened and later became known as West Southwick school. The school is still open today, although not for much longer, and it is now called Southwick Primary School.
In May 1917, during the time of the first world war, an aeroplane crashed on to Southwick Green killing five people, at least 365 people from Southwick died during this war.
During July 1924, Sunderland expressed an interest to incorporate Southwick, and offered the town a recreation ground, public baths and a public library, Southwick became part of Sunderland on the 1st April 1927. As promised, Southwick library was opened in 1931 and in 1933 Margaret Thompson Park was officially opened by the mayor.
The Green, Southwick-On-Wear
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