Meet the team
Janette Hilton - Project director
Janette is an experienced oral historian who has been recording
oral histories and involved with community oral history
developments in the region since 1981. Janette was the founder
of Living History North East and has led the strategic development
of the organisation since its inception. Janette was responsible
for establishing the charity in 1995 and spearheaded the restoration and
re-development of The Donnison School including securing over £1 million from the National Heritage Lottery Fund, Sunderland Local Authority, Norther Rock Foundation and other funders to reclaim the derelict building and establish a regional centre for oral history. Janette has also been a north east network representative for the National Oral History Society for many years
“Our precious archive keeps safe the lives of laundry ladies, local politicians, war veterans, housewives, miners, shipyard workers, POW’s, refugees – all with remarkable, but otherwise untold stories that it has been a privilege to capture and share…”
Terry Hilton - Principal video producer
Terry is a BBC trained video producer with over 21 years experience of oral history film making. Terry has created most of our video archive, is a skilled and experienced interviewer and is our chief archivist.
Dr Susan Jones - Chair
Susan is a former computing academic from the University of Sunderland. Susan has a background in teaching, research, team leadership, business development and overseas partnership development with educational centres in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya and Hong Kong. She is now a freelance consultant specialising in new enterprise development in the heritage sector.
Pauline Hilton - Treasurer
Pauline is a retired health professional with a 30 career in nursing. She was a specialist in Gerontology and worked in the Stroke Unit. She finished her career as an a senior nurse in Infection Prevention and Control at Sunderland City Hospital. Pauline has been interested in local history and genealogy for many years and volunteers on the boards of number of several local heritage charities including the Friends of the Donnison School and Sunderland Old Township Heritage Society.
Alan Cummings - IT Specialist
Alan spent most of his working life running ‘Images’, a successful hairdressing business in the City of Sunderland. He went on to teach hairdressing at Newcastle College in the Department of Food & Service Industries and then quickly moved on to teaching HND programs, IT qualifications and NVQ's to Level 5. Alan supported departmental IT systems, intranet and networks and worked as an examinations consultant to NCFE and OCN.
As well his passion for IT, Alan is also interested in local history and has co-authored a book - Sunderland’s People & Places.
Connie has given many years service to communities across the City of Sunderland and was elected to the Federation of Community Associations as Treasurer in 2002. Connie is currently serving as treasurer to Sunderland City Under Five’s and is also treasurer of VCAS – Voluntary Community Action Sunderland. Connie is a keen walker and was also a founder member of the Wearside Field Club established in 1974.
Raymond worked for Sunderland Local Authority Planning Department for many years. Retired now, he provided ongoing support with the Census Collection. Raymond also volunteers for Age UK’s befriending service and was a founder member of Sunderland Old Township Heritage Society and the establishment of the annual Victoria Hall Memorial Service.
Sharon is an historian, public speaker, writer and teacher who has a passion for teaching history in adult education and heritage settings. Sharon has worked freelance as a history adult education tutor with the Workers Educational Association for over 10 years and has a special interest in helping people to research their own family history. Sharon also loves horses and horse riding.