It must have been like getting no further than pressing your nose against the window at the party.
I’m going back here to my note yesterday on the visit to Jarrow, in 1877, of General Ulysses S Grant, who was on a world tour after standing down as president of the United States.
It seems, from correspondence in the Shields Gazette at the time, that some in South Shields were a bit miffed that the town hadn’t issued a similar invitation to the General.
This, said one contributor, was on the basis of Shields having a history of distinguished visitors, before going on to list some of them.
A mention of one in particular intrigues me. This was William Gladstone, Prime Minister four times between the 1860s and the 1890s.
Gladstone was one of the great 19th century Liberals, of course, and Shields one of the great Liberal towns of the North so there is not surprise that he came here,
but I’m intrigued to know more.