Let me lend my weight to the city’s bid for the city of culture with a few points that will surely get us the nod.
For instance we have some of the oldest glass in the UK at St Peter’s Church, in fact it was the first church in England to have glass windows, built in 674. In Britain, there is evidence of a glass industry around Jarrow and Wearmouth dating back to 680 AD, in fact, up until late last century Sunderland was the only place where you could get stained glass at Hartley Wood.
Pottery can also come into the equation with Sunderland Lustreware famed in the pottery world and let’s not forget 600+ years of ship building that we can look back on.
We also have culture –the Sunderland Empire, the Royalty Theatre but the most important theatre, although not a theatre now, is where England’s greatest actor Sir Henry Irving had his first engagement the Lyceum in 1856. He was 18 and his acting teacher helped find the appointment that set him on his mighty. Visitors will flock in their hundreds to view this important cultural building that will surely be the cherry on our cultural cake for City of Culture 2021.
Alan ‘The Quill’ Vincent