Hearing about the forthcoming building of even more modern carbuncles (to paraphrase Prince Charles) on the former Vaux site fills me with dread as it will definitely lead to the loss of increased tourism for the ailing town centre in the form of Roman remains to attract people here.
These come in the form of a mosaic that I have previously cited in letters to this page, found when the foundations for Vaux Brewery were being dug in the early 1800s as mentioned in an article in our very own Sunderland Echo.
Correspondingly a friend of mine let slip in a conversation over a beer or two that he had explored the brewery’s cellars and found remains of Roman streeting, building layouts etc and a tunnel that connected the brewery to a building in High Street West, the Rose & Crown, I believe, which incidentally was a public house belonging to Vaux.
All this is by the by though because after contacting Tyne and Wear archaeology people, I was rewarded with a retort that basically they did not truly believe me and all they wanted was the date of the afore-mentioned article, which the Sunderland Antiquarian Society, who incidentally now have the old archives of Sunderland Echo newspapers, are currently looking for.
Myself, I fear we may never find out who was the owner of the nine foot long index finger in the mosaic that was unearthed two centuries ago.
Alan ‘The Quill’ Vincent