Letters, Saturday, July 14th, 2012

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City will never be a cultural capital

I HAD to laugh. In fact it was so funny I thought it was the joke of the year.

I refer to the claims by rock star Dave Stewart that Wearside could be the culture capital of the North East – even comparing it to Vienna.

I don’t know when Mr Stewart last visited the city and had a serious look around, but I hope he does in the not too distant future.The place really is in a terrible state.

Just take a look at the amount of run-down shops, the charity shops and the “we buy your old clothes”shops, and that’s just for starters.

The city is a disgrace. All that money wasted on Sunniside and it’s like a ghost town. Anyone who wants a night out heads off to Newcastle, the party capital of Britain. Many of the ones who remain behind would hardly be an inspiring site to encourage visitors to the city.

Dave Stewart has been away too long. It was a better place 30 years ago. There was less unemployment, street crime figures were down and we had stores such as Joeseph’s, Hills, Liverpool House and Palmers Arcade.

It wasn’t tremendous but it was a much better place than it is now, and in those days it was only a town.

Mick “The Pen” Brown

Club’s decline

GLASGOW Rangers came to Sunderland in 1993 for Gary Bennett’s testimonial. Their supporters took over the pub and laid on the pavement with their lager cans.

I was in town that afternoon. In Athenaeum Street I passed two of them lying in a shop doorway.

Picture the scene: a respected, well-dressed, middle-class Englishman with two hostile Scots. “Hey, Jimmy, tack a look at the stink o’ him”.

I beat a hasty retreat, angry and humiliated that I’d been forced to skulk around my home town.

Rangers have always been bad news for SAFC. They robbed us of Ally McCoist and magic Allan Johnston, and laughed all the way to the bank when they sold us wasters like Jim Baxter and Tore Andrew Flo.

They also gave us the worst manager SAFC had in my lifetime – Ian McColl (and in a list that included McMenemy and Wilkinson, that is some achievement).

So I am laughing my little cotton socks off now Rangers have had their comeuppance. For years this arrogant club wanted a place in our Premier League. Now who’ll give them a game?

Frank Seely, Cotswold Close, Washington

Port ban wrong

AS a member of the Hudson Dock Boating and Yachting Association, I feel disgruntled that the port has forbidden the members of this club to have access to the port for a full week during the Queen’s visit to the port.

I am sure the Queen will not be visiting the port for a full week.

I can understand the security aspect of a visit by Her Majesty, as I served for 10 years in the Coldstream Guards which entailed a lot of security for all the Royal Family, but to prevent boat owners from visiting their boats for a full week is ridiculous.

Also, for a port that has been losing thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money over the years, where has the port got all the money from to pay for the work that’s been carried out within the port for the Queen’s visit? Have they won the lottery?

Alan Bilton

More demolition

ENOUGH of my frivolities for I now have my serious hat on. Essentially, I was saddened to read of the impending demolition of Food Giant and car park, which was ideal for old folk coming from Park Lane wind-tunnel – sorry, Interchange – for shopping but mainly Turvey’s garage, or as it is now known, Independent.

Yet another piece of old Sunderland is to go and the destruction of the south side of Holmeside is said to be on again even though the business that proposed the tallest tower in the North East and it’s accompanying paraphernalia has ceased to be.

More so, I have heard that in order to provide access to Solar House’s new car park, the north end of what is left of old Crowtree Road is to go the journey.

That may possibly culminate in the loss of several bars, which would certainly solve the problem of not enough people visiting for drinks etc as mentioned in the Echo recently.

Now forgive my capriciousness, but wasn’t the Crown & Thistle purchased and sacrificed in 1966 initially to provide access to the old car park?

Alan “The Quill” Vincent, Old Penshaw

Jewellery found

IF the owner of a small item of jewellery found at the top of Farnham Terrace would care to contact me with a description, I would be glad to return it.

Mike Collins, Farnham Terrace, Sunderland, Tel. 565 5684

Thanks to hospital

ON July 4 I had an operation at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

I would just like to say a huge thank-you for the support given before and after my operation, especially on Ward 47.

You all do a fantastic job, which is at times unnoticed.

Mrs Lynne Rowe