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I was fortunate to be invited to Sunderland to photograph the Football Association’s delegate visit for the city’s World Cup Host City bid.
Basically that means important people came to have a look round to see if the city could host World Cup football matches in 2018, should England win the bid to host the competition.
The city struck it lucky with the weather but the real gold are the people of the North east. Welcoming, excited, interested and friendly. Photographing them at Herrington Park and Roker and Seaburn seafronts was brilliant.
Then there were the kids from schools across Wearside and the teenage football club visiting on tour from South Africa.
There are a lot of preconceptions about Wearside, Tyne & Wear and the North east, but let me assure you the brilliant coastline is worth the entrance fee alone.*
South Shields to Roker, past Souter Lighthouse and Marsden Grotto, is a surprisingly stunning coastal drive. The North west coast of England does not have any beaches to rival those on Wearside and further north in Northumberland. Formby Point is good, but it can’t beat Roker beach or Marsden when the tide is coming in.
*Entrance to Sunderland’s coast is actually free.