We deserve much better

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My wife and I booked a trip on the old, rebuilt Flying Scotsman Train from Manchester to Carlisle on the old Carlisle to Settle Line.

We stayed Friday night in Manchester, sadly, to find the next day that the brakes were not up to scratch on the train and she was cancelled.

We decided to have a look around Manchester so we jumped onto the orange bus which was free and it took us for a tour round the city, jumping on and off whenever we liked.

The architecture, old and new, was magnificent blending together with fine quality shops and a very vibrant and prosperous city with many cranes in the air – a good sign that things are on the up.

After lunch we headed back to the hotel and into the car. Setting the sat-nav for the LS Lowry Art Gallery we were on our way.

Reaching Trafford Park, I could see the new BBC building and headed for the art gallery just across the square. Looking at Lowry’s paintings, it was good to see pictures such as the ship leaving the piers at South Shields and other paintings of our area. But what caught my eye was a photograph of Lowry sitting on a bench outside the Seaburn Hotel looking north with Roker Pier and lighthouse in the background.

It made me think what would Lowry have thought of the view now – he would see the monstrosity of a new building on the seaside of the road at Seaburn.

I criticised not only the style of this building but also its sitting, which resulted in me being thrown out of the Sunderland Seafront Traders’ Association.

Chris Mullin questions why the population is declining in Sunderland, I ask him to look at Manchester and compare it with Sunderland and I think he will see why.

Manchester too has lost its old industries, textiles, mills, engineering, as has Sunderland, shipbuilding, coal mining, engineering. While I am sure there are still many deprived areas in Manchester, the difference is they seem to have people with thought and vision unlike in Sunderland.

I may be ridiculed for saying it but as much as I love where I come from, I am ashamed at the state of Sunderland with dereliction around every corner. The Vaux site is the prime example, when one thinks how much public money is tied up in this site?

The question is, how has it been allowed to happen and why is it still being allowed to happen?

Sunderland people and those who live near deserve better, I just hope there are others who feel like I do and think it is time we moved up the league, not move away.

Bob Latimer