Welcome to the Sunderland Antiquarian Society

Established in 1900 we are the oldest history society in Sunderland

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We have had to re-schedule our monthly talks for the forthcoming season as the main hall in Thornhill School is still undergoing refurbishment and will not now be ready for use until the new year.

   Our next illustrated talk will take place on TUESDAY, 20th December and take place at BEDE TOWER in the Bethany Hall, which is in Burdon Road SR2 7EA. The hall is directly across the street to the society's Heritage Centre and the facilities there are extensive and modern with a lift for disabled.  There is also extensive parking in the grounds as well as across the street.  So please come along and support your society.  

   Tues 20th December     ' Life in 1970s Sunderland'    by Phil Curtis

Doors open 6.35pm and the talks commence at 7.30pm.  Carriages at approx. 9.00pm

                                                   Please note that we have now obtained a central screen for projection

A number of queries have been received about the payment of annual subscriptions that are due now, or in the near future. These can still be paid in the usual manner but if you are used to paying personally at either Douro Terrace or at the monthly talk then PLEASE do send payment to the society at 6 Douro Terrace, Sunderland SR2 7DX or direct to our Treasurer, Linda King, at 3 Woodside, Sunderland, SR2 7ET

Renewal reminders are always enclosed with the relevant newsletter. If you are in any doubt as to whether your subscription is due or the method of payment in the forthcoming months then please do contact Linda King, our Treasurer by email:


It is with immense sadness that we announce the death of our dear friend and colleague, Norman Kirtlan.  Norman was a wonderful, unique man. He was someone who had time for everyone and loved being part of this society. He was the heart and soul of the society and nothing was ever too much trouble to him. Norman would listen to everyone and give advice where needed and would regularly have us in fits of laughter as he recounted stories of his life and experiences. He could sometimes be irreverent with his wonderful sense of humour that most ex-police officers seem to have. Quite often you would hear him playing his guitar or mouth organ in the society's centre, making up songs to brighten the day.

History was Norman's passion and he often would say that he wished he could go back in time with a modern camera to capture life as it was. 'History is for sharing' he would say and he was generous in sharing his knowledge and expertise with whoever wanted it. He was quite simply 'the best.'

Suffice to say that without Norman's input the society would not be where it is today. He was a driving force behind many of the moves made. His foresight and dedication helped make the SAS into one of the most successful local history groups in the UK and the time he spent on getting our Facebook Page functioning in the way that it now does cannot be ignored..

Norman will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Sheila, Scott, Glenn and his wider family.