Sunderland has become a giant slum
I had cause to walk the length of Blandford Street on my way to the railway station and returned from there across the paved area to and through The Bridges.
I am an old man and remember Sunderland in the forties after the war and since.
I was thoroughly depressed by the time I reached the station.
Blandford Street is a filthy shadow or what it once was.
It is now a scruffy path between cheap shops and pathetic charity stores where, underfoot, the ground is littered and uneven.
Even the people there were shuffling along looking depressed with little thought to their appearance.
Inhabitants of Sunderland they must be as people in Newcastle or Durham or Seaham or Gateshead would never look so hopeless or so neglecting of their clothing or grooming.
I walked back through the market square listening to loud conversations sprinkled liberally with the worst swear words.
Such obscenities would not have been tolerated by passers by at one time.
There was much litter there too.
I tried to imagine a new visitor arriving by train and walking through the market square or, much worse, up Blandford Street.
All I felt was shame.
What, in God’s name, has happened to Sunderland?
Has the concept of self respect become so alien to the people and the city fathers that we have become a giant slum, peopled by shambling fools who cannot see we are all to blame.
I would like to think there is enough left to reverse this disaster but I fear that I may never see it.