I heard and saw on television (March 10) that Question Time was to be transmitted from Sunderland at 10.45pm. So I refrained from going to bed at 10pm in order to watch the programme.
The reason for my interest is that I was born in Sunderland on May 17, 1929. I went to Barnes School, then Bede Grammar School and then to Kings College, Newcastle, where I got an LLB (2 1) in 1949.
I was deferred from doing National Service until I finished my Articles of Clerkship with Messrs Robinson Todd Hope Wood at 35 West Sunniside for four years. I was attached to Mr Fred Wood but spent all my time with Robert Telfer, Chief Clerk, who taught me conveyancing, probate work and county court work. He was one of the best Chief Clerks in the town and I got the best training that any Articled Clark could wish for.
After military service in the RAF, I returned to my old firm as assistant solicitor and in 1953 I became partner, which lasted 46 years.
I had hoped to recognise at least one Sunderland person on Question Time but this was not to be. As I watched I noticed that the panel did not contain either of the Sunderland MPs or any person from the Business World of Sunderland ie Nissan and the university. One of the panel members was a Scottish MP, who had been rushed down from Edinburgh, a Labour MP and a Conservative MP from the London area.
I began to wonder how do the BBC organise “Q T”? Do they ask the Sunderland Corporation for permission to come to the city, or do they just arrive? How did the BBC invite members of the Sunderland public?
Many of the audience seemed to be students from the university. Were they specially picked? Were the members of the public of Sunderland asked if they would like to attend? How was that done? I was of the impression that out of maybe 300 to 400 audience very few spoke with a Wearside accent.
What is the point of announcing the next venue of “Q T” ie Bognor Regis on the south coast of England if no one from Bognor Regis is going to be in the audience.
Has Question Time ever been televised from Sunderland before?
Stanley Keith Harding,