"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!