The Sunderland Echo aksed readers to name the new Sunderland Road bridge.
A nice evening’s topic of conversation around the fireside on a cold winter’s night. The choice is universal. A famous or not famous lady or gentleman of any background or lifestyle we can all look up to an emulate.
Ladies first: (1) All the wonderful mums who look after their families so wonderfully, only appreciated really by their families, close friends and neighbours.
(2) Wonderful Wearside ladies and mums who have hit the spotlight: (a) The wonderful explorer, Gertrude Bell, who went to Arabia in, I think, 1870 to 1920s; (b) Kate Adie, BBC broadcaster and Free Woman of Sunderland.
Now gentlemen: (1) All the shipyard workers, miners, bottle (glass) makers through the centuries, the sailors and fishermen. (2) Specific men: (a) Edison Swan – inventor of the electric light bulb; (b) Lewis Carol, author; (c) The inventor and naval architect who designed the SDIA utility freight ship of the Second World War; (d) Famous sportsmen like Len Shackleton, Bobbie Gurney, Willie Watson, Colin Milburn; (e) stars such as Bobby Thompson; (f) Past politicians and benefactors; (g) The Venerable Bede; (h) miners and sailors leaders; (i) the Wear frogman who worked in the Wear about 1900; (j) The seaman who nailed the Ensign flag to the Admiral’s ship’s damaged mast at he height of the battle, whose statue is in Backhouse Park; (k) General Havelock, a wonderful charismatic general in the Indian Army, about 1850, from Sunderland, who was idolised by the Indian Sepoys because he understood their language, their hard life and their customs and culture.
There must be many more, but I am just an ‘adopted’ Mackem of only 40 years standing. Good luck in the search for a worthy name.