Sunday 17 August 2008

"Northern Cities beyond revival"

"Northern Cities beyond revival" states a recent BBC report on another report concocted by a Conservative think tank (!) One of the cities mentioned includes Sunderland. Following discussion of this in the press plus a recent post by Arthur Clewley I saw a letter sent to "The Times" on Friday August 15th in defence of that great City which I would like to reproduce here:

From The Times
August 15, 2008
No need to move south when it’s far from grim up north
Sunderland has much to offer
Sir, I am certain that many residents of Sunderland may enjoy a trip to Oxford or Cambridge. However, they would be happy to return home to the seaside, their homes and a city that is being rejuvenated. Sunderland was a world-renowned centre of learning almost 600 years before Oxford or Cambridge. St Peter’s, Monkwearmouth, was founded in AD674 by the city’s patron saint, Benedict Biscop. It contained the largest library north of the Alps and produced the Codex Amiatinus, the world’s most famous Latin Bible.

More recently, Sunderland has won several awards for Britain in Bloom and in 2002 the prestigious gold award for Europe in Bloom. With the advent of the Metro, there has been improved employment and, with this, house prices have leapt. New housing developments such as the Marina and Echo 24, as well as the rejuvenation of the Georgian core, have added to pride in the city. Of course, one cannot mention Sunderland without football. The Stadium of Light is a marvellous building, putting almost all other new stadiums in the shade.

Maybe Policy Exchange (“David Cameron faces a grim trip up North after call to abandon poor cities”, Aug 13) decided to criticise Sunderland as it realises that the Tories have no chance of regaining a seat in the city after Margaret Thatcher’s destruction of one of the most modern shipyards in Europe, with a full order book at the time.

Sue Collins Sunderland

I rest my case, m'lord!


Troy said...

Another city mentioned by the think-tank was Bradford which I left 25 years ago. I went back there recently and there is much positive redevelopment going on. I haven't been to Sunderland but next time I'm passing I'll call by (I recently had a wonderful day in Durham). I believe most of us have the countryside and rural living deep in our blood. We don't want city life but rather Hadrian's Country or Suffolk rural living.

Sandi McBride said...

I think we have the same situation in our American South...the northerners are always critical of us Southerners, portraying us as toothless ignorant rednecks,but they can't wait to get down here and futz up the works! The only difference in a Yankee and a Damned Yankee, my mother often said, was a Yankee goes back where they came from...a damned Yankee stays and tries to change our landscape, lol!
Great post...loved it...

Yorkshire Pudding said...

I can't see that much thinking was going on in the think tank. Those academic numbskulls should be taken out for a good piss up in Wakefield or Clitheroe - six pints and a curry plus a full-blooded grope with a northern lady of the night - that should teach the buggers some common sense before we send em back to their boring Home Counties existences.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Hello "eat"..hope you do not mind me calling you that! Thank you for passing by and leaving a comment. Durham is a lovely city. Don't know Bradford but hopefully will have a chance to go there some time. Sunderland has had its fair share of ups and downs. My family are from South Shields (SS) just up the coast from Sunderland. I think SS has been similarly battered as has Wallsend. All these towns and cities have all had a glorious past and hopefully a wonderful future. I don't think you can just go and throw them on the "garbage heap" just because...I think I'm onto a rant now! You are right about rural living. If you'd told me that five years ago....I'd have stared at you blankly!

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Hi Sandi...absolutely agree with you. I couldn't believe what went on in New Orleans. Complete disgrace. I hope they are slowly getting their homes and lives back together now. BTW completely and utterly love "Gone with the wind" both the book and the film. Maybe that's me being slushy but think they are fabulous....(Great Italian Title for the film "Via col vento"...)

Hadriana's Treasures said...

By heck, YP, I reckon you're right! Methinks you are speaking a teeny weeny bit from experience...