Sunderland sea landmark to feature on BBC show


Roker Pier

Sunderland’s Roker Pier is set to feature on BBC One’s Countryfile programme.

The programme, which was filmed in the city last month, sees presenter Ellie Harrison visiting the historic pier and lighthouse.

During her visit, presenter Ellie Harrison talked to volunteers from the Roker Heritage Group about their involvement in the project, including Phil Tweddell, chair of the group and the grandson of the last lighthouse keeper, who showed them round the lighthouse and recalled his memories of it from childhood.

The programme also looks at the history behind the building of the Pier and Lighthouse, the current restoration project, and the plans to open the tunnel and lighthouse as a visitor attraction this autumn.

Cabinet Secretary Councillor Mel Speding said: “It’s fantastic to see Roker Pier continuing to gain national media attention. We’ve already had visits from the Hairy Builders and BBC 2’s Great Railway Journeys so we were only too glad to show round Countryfile.

“We’ve known for a long time what a wonderful asset the pier is for our city and the wider region, but it’s good to see its historic importance being recognised more widely.”

Ms Harrison also joined Phil and another volunteer to clean the brass handrails in the lighthouse as part of the ongoing maintenance.

This will become part of the day-to-day responsibility of the heritage group once they begin tours of the pier and lighthouse.

Sunderland City Council is nearing the end of its £2.5 million restoration of Roker Pier, which has seen the lighthouse, tunnel restored and the entire length of the pier resurfaced for the first time in its 113 year history, with the help of Heritage Lottery Funding.

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