05 July 2018

SUNDERLAND’S leading shopping centre is riding on the crest of a wave ahead of next week’s Tall Ships Race – with a weekend packed with sea-related activities.

As the final preparations are made for the arrival of more than 50 majestic vessels, the Bridges is getting the party started on 7- 8 July, with a whole host of events.

The centre is welcoming a huge scale model of a British man-of-war ship – which was last seen in the city a year ago to launch the Tall Ships Race.

The 1/10 scale model of 18th century gun ship HMS Venerable has been created by Sunderland Maritime Heritage group, set up to preserve the city’s shipbuilding heritage.

The ship will be in place across the weekend, with members of Sunderland Maritime Heritage group on hand to explain the ship’s history and on Saturday at 3pm will be re-enacting of the Battle of Camperdown, where Sunderland-born sailor Jack Crawford’s quick-thinking led to victory.

Visitors will also be able to see some of the digitally created imagery on the theme of ship building from illustrator Naomi Austin, who is also a lecturer in fashion design and promotion at the University of Sunderland.

Naomi will be in the centre over the weekend where some of her work will be on display and she will also be signing copies of her book, Call of the Sea, at the Bridges’ Waterstones book shop.

Ship lovers can enjoy a mini version of the Tall Ships across the weekend too, with a display of model ships on show.

Shoppers will also be able to get a selfie with a difference, as the Tall Ships Race dress, created by fashion designer Kathryn Russell, will be on display by a model throughout the weekend.

Centre director, Andy Bradley, said the Bridges was all geared up for the arrival of the Tall Ships.

 “It’s going to be an amazing week for the city and the Bridges is delighted to be part of it,” he said.

 “We are a sponsor of the Tall Ships Race and so we wanted to ensure that we brought a real flavour of the event into the Bridges.

“We’re delighted to be able to showcase the craftsmanship of Sunderland Maritime Heritage group again and to highlight the brilliant ship building illustrations of Naomi Austin.

“We are definitely the place to be to get into the spirit of the Tall Ships Race this weekend.”

Members of Sunderland Maritime Heritage will be at the Bridges from 10am – 4pm on Saturday and from 11pm to 3pm on Sunday, while Naomi will be at the Bridges on Saturday, 9am-3pm and from noon to 3pm on Sunday.