Washington 60

To celebrate 60 years of Washington New Town, Arts Centre Washington presents a summer of live music, film screenings, exhibitions and activities!

Exhibitions & Craft Fair

ART MART – Summer Craft and Makers Fair
Saturday 6th July, 10am-3pm

Our Craft and Makers Fair with a variety of stalls, crafty workshops and community performances.

Washington: Fact, Fiction and Folklore
Thursday 11th July – Saturday 7th September

An exhibition celebrating Washington’s past, both real and mythical.

Tony Erskine – A Retrospective
Friday 14th June – Saturday 6th July

A retrospective of the former Graphic Designer at Washington Development Corporation varied styles and artworks.


The Davy Lamp Folk Club 50 Years Reunion
Saturday 13th July, 7pm

Celebrating 50 years of The Davy Lamp with performances by past residents, regular performers and club favourites.

Elvis on Tour + Talk with Gordon Minto
Wednesday 17th July, 1:30pm

A talk by Elvis expert Gordon Minto on Presley’s importance to RCA’s Washington factory in the 1970s, plus film screening.

Beatlemania! with Sharon Vincent
Wednesday 31st July, 1:30pm

A talk by historian Sharon Vincent on The Beatles and their lasting impact on popular culture.


Washington on Film – Heritage Reels Washington 60 Special
Wednesday 10th July, 1pm & 7pm
A screening of archive footage exploring Washington’s changing landscapes, landmarks, local events, and most importantly, its people: at school, at work, at play.

Sunderland Film Club presents… The Miners’ Hymns + Performance
Thursday 18th July, 7pm
A screening of Bill Morrison’s mesmerising elegy to the Durham coalfields – The Miners’ Hymns, plus performance by Durham Miners Band and Bill Elliott.

The Sword and the Stone + Make A Cardboard Sword and Wand!
Wednesday 24th July, 1pm
An afternoon of medieval magic, mischief and fun – make your own cardboard sword and wand and watch the Disney animated classic The Sword and the Stone!

Young People Workshops

Rock’n’Roll Tote Bag Printing
Thursday 1st August, 2pm-4pm
Take inspiration from classic RCA Records album covers and create your own unique tote bag using printmaking techniques.

Classic Album Collaging
Tuesday 6th August, 2pm-4pm
Recreate and reimagine some classic RCA Records album covers in collage and celebrate Washington’s musical heritage.

Rock’n’Coal Family Choir
Thursday 8th August, 2pm-4pm
Sing some classic RCA Records songs with the family, including hits from the likes of Eurythmics, Bee Gees and Alice Cooper.

Tie Dyeing T-Shirts (Ages 10-13)
Tuesday 30th July, 2pm-3pm
Learn how to use amazing tie dye methods to design your own groovy psychedelic T-Shirt.

Tie Dyeing T-Shirts (Ages 14-18)
Tuesday 30th July, 3:15pm-4:15pm
Learn how to use amazing tie dye methods to design your own groovy psychedelic T-Shirt.

Summer Songwriting Sessions
Thursday 1st August & Friday 2nd August, 10am-3pm
Work with musicians David Brewis and Paige Temperley to create music, words and songs inspired by Washington’s history.

Adult Workshops

Tie Dyeing
Tuesday 30th July, 6:30pm-8:30pm
Revamp your little white tee with a Japanese Shibori or traditional spiral tie dye technique in our Summer tie dye workshop.

Acrylic Painting and Collage
Wednesday 7th August, 10am-12pm
Create your own artwork using acrylic paint and collage inspired by Washington: Fact, Fiction and Folklore or your own photos.

Community Podcasting Sessions
Wednesdays across June and July, 12pm-2pm
Learn how to record and edit podcasts for a project exploring life in Washington New Town from 1964 to the present.

RCA Records and Washington
RCA Records had a record pressing factory in Washington from 1970 to 1981. The label was home to superstars such as Elvis Presley, David Bowie, Nina Simone and many more.  Some of their smash hit singles and albums were pressed right here in Washington!

Mr Drayton’s Record Player

Join Mr Drayton’s Record Player and enjoy some of the finest albums from RCA Records catalogue and production line. Listen to four classic albums as they were meant to be heard – on vinyl, from beginning to end with no compression, no shuffle and no tinny speakers.

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
Thursday 1st August, 7pm
It’s 1972 and Dave’s just about to go stratospheric, aided and a betted by three blokes from Hull.

Thursday 8th August, 7pm
1977, in the midst of emotional turmoil and Californian excess, the ‘Mac make one of the greatest albums ever.

Transformer Vs. Is This It
Thursday 15th August, 7pm
Two albums for the price of one! Two snapshots of life in New York City. 1972 vs 2001. Which is the best?

Made in Washington
Thursday 29th August, 7pm
A selection of solid gold pop, rock and soul goodness. Twelve chart smashers on 7” 45rpm vinyl, all released between 1970 and 1979 all pressed in the Washington record plant.

Washington 60 is supported by Sunderland City Council’s Washington Area Committee through Washington Heritage Partnership.

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