The Rif Files

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Sunderland According to RIF


I always carry around with me my digital camera. Always have done for the past few years in fact. I mentioned this to a friend at work the other day and he asked me why. It’s simple, so I can take random photos like these ones that you’re about to see.

I’ve lived in Sunderland my entire life and proud of my up bring. I love Sunderland, admittedly it’s seen better days but that doesn’t change how I feel about the place. Now I’m fully aware that the majority my audience aren’t from the North East of England, heck, I bet most of you haven’t even heard of Sunderland until I brought it up so that’s why I’m doing this. I just want to share some pictures of random parts of Sunderland and talk about them. Now if you’re using this as research purposes for your “History of Sunderland” homework then you’ve come to the wrong place. You see that picture of the Walrus at the top there? I haven’t a fucking clue what it’s about. Put it this way, if there was a job going for a Sunderland tour guide, I wouldn’t get it!


Right off the bat I need to tell you that these photos aren’t exactly landmarks, I mean look at this. It’s a convenience shop which is opening on August 22nd. The date when I took this photo was Wednesday 11th March at around 11:30ish. Something tells me that the store has closed down. Either that or the owners are trying to create some major hype! Why did I take the photo? I dunno.


Seriously what’s not to like here? Just look at it! You’ve got a fire-breathing lion, a juggling penguin, a pig with two hola hoops, a polar bear spinning plates, a breakdancing alien and a ballerina rhino. If I was doing guided tours of Sunderland then I would have to show them this! It’s fucking brilliant!


Ummm……the best way I could describe this is it’s a patched up, suit wearing Pedo Bear/Rocket Raccoon eating mutant piranha fish that are diving from this guy’s ball sack shaped head and has a strong resemblance of my old Primary School Headmaster.  I don’t know what this guy was on when he was creating this but I want some too!


I love this! Simply stunning! Just wish the bastard scaffolding wasn’t in the way. I think it’s the eyes that make this appealing to me. They’re so captivating man!  I’ve no idea who it’s supposed to be but it was done by someone going by the name of “Irony”. I would love to track down this guy and quiz him about this quality artwork.


The story of Nikki Allan is a sad one. In October 1992, seven year old Nikki Allan was stabbed to death in derelict building near her family home, last year her killer was arrested. It’s sad knowing that Nikki’s life was robbed from her at the age of seven but this memorial will keep her memory alive forever. RIP Nikki Allan.


I almost had to take a double look when I saw this. I thought it was Ian Duncan Smith! The resemblance is uncanny! No idea who it’s supposed to be and I haven’t a Scooby what Warlock is referring to. Not exactly a fountain of knowledge am I? The other word for those who can’t make it out says “Mackem”. A Mackem is an informal term for the residents of Sunderland. How did it come about? There’s a number of reasons behind it but the most popular is a reference to the volume of ships built during wartime on the River Wear, e.g. “We mackem and they sink em”.

I have a confession to make guys. All these photos you’ve just seen, I never even knew they existed. I stumbled upon them by complete accident. There’s so much out there in the world and it’s all about being there, man.

Try it yourself one time. Instead of taking the bus, the tube or whatever, try walking sometime. Take a different route like what I did. Maybe you too will be amazed by what you can discover right on your doorstep.

So can you see just why I carry a camera with me all the time?


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