72dpiRednile Roker Jan 2012_48

Factory Night @Spottee’s Cave, Marine Walk and Watch House Museum in Roker, Sunderland

On Saturday 28th January
Funded by Sunderland Council, with thanks to Sunderland Volunteer Life Brigade

This Factory Night took a great mix of creatives to visit Spottee’s Cave, given the name from the legend of a foreign sailor who was shipwrecked on the coast and given the nickname because of the spotty shirt he wore. Old stories say he lured ships onto the rocks, others say his cave was a place of evil.  It is thought that spotty died deep within the bowels of his cave and still remains there. The cave show great potential for interventions, events and art work. Sunderland City Council’s public art consultants, Grit&Pearl explained the development plans for Spottee’s Cave and other public realm improvements along the seafront.

Attendees also learnt about a masterplan for Roker’s lower promenade, known as Marine Walk, which was adopted in 2010 to guide the regeneration of this unique area and links to asuccessful bid to the Commission of Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) Sea Change fund to regenerate the area. They viewed the recently completed Marine Walk events spaceby CABE as part of this major master plan for the Seafront.

The finale of the day was a visit to the wonderful Roker Watch House&Museum which opened in 1906 as the headquarters of the then Roker Volunteer Life Brigade. It was built with a look out from which the Brigadesmen kept watch over the harbour, beaches and piers to the north of the river; this is now used by SVLB Coastwatch. The Watch House, as well as being the headquarters of Roker Volunteer Life Brigade, contained a huge amount of information and artefacts from the Brigade’s 130 year history including model ships, knots and navigating equipment. Thanks to the generous staff who gave so much of their time telling us about the artefacts!

Photography by Julie Armstrong

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