Letters, Friday, July 22nd, 2011

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SAFC fans mustn’t get carried away

IN reply to Tom Lynn and Clive Lee, while we all hope that Sunderland have a great season I would ask the supporters to at least be realistic.

Over the years too much pressure has been placed on Sunderland managers and many supporters expect too much too soon. This season will be harder than ever. A new team takes time to gel, and with so many new players being drafted in we might not see any improvement until the end of the year or longer.

Everyone goes on about SAFC fans as the best in Britain. I don’t know about that, but certainly they are extremely fickle and will turn on players and manager after a few mistakes. So much so that when the team are on a downward spiral they often perform better away from home. I do not agree with fans who boo their own players.

Yes they pay their money and are entitled to complain, but what does this achieve? At the very worst more changes then another new manager and an attempt to build another new team begins, and so it goes on.

Successful teams are built on stability and while Bruce as been at the helm for a couple of years this is a complete new side he has built. Who was to blame for Bent, Jones and Henderson leaving we will never know, but Bruce was their manager so he must accept some of the blame.

I think it’s wrong fans expecting too much too soon. They are living in dreamland. The trouble is many Sunderland fans these days have not had to watch a really poor team. I have seen all this super-optimism many times, only to be brought down to earth.

There are a few changes I would like to see with our own club, such as one part of the ground as a standing terrace. This would create a much better atmosphere. Some fans would love to bring back the sound of the Fulwell End. I don’t care what anyone says, Roker Park was a more intimidating ground than SoL.

I would also like to see the away supporters moved to a different section. It looks terrible on TV when behind one goal there are row upon row of empty seats when we play the likes of Wigan and Fulham.

So while I look forward to the new season I remain a realist. I have seen it all before.

Mick “The Pen” Brown

Why no toilets?

WHAT a pity that the travellers who set up an illegal camp in Commercial Road, Hendon, (Echo, July 12) did not set up camp outside Sunderland’s “up-to-date” railway station.

They would have done all of us a favour. How? Because there are no loos in the station. If the camp had been set up outside the station, perhaps the council would have had to supply toilets as they did at Hendon.

The travellers had promised to leave after only two days but the council still managed to go to all the trouble of supplying toilets for such a short time. As it turned out, they were there for about two weeks.

How long has Sunderland had a railway station in the centre of town? Considerably longer than two days. How long has it been without public toilets? Considerably longer than two weeks. How often do travellers set up camp in Hendon? Regularly? Once a year? Once in a blue moon? How often is Sunderland’s station used by two million travellers/passengers/commuters? Round the clock? But no loos. Shame on the council.

Robert Tomlinson, The Avenue, Deneside

Charity event

MAY I inform your readers of a charity event being held on Sunday, August 14, in aid of Sunderland and North Durham Royal Society for the blind.

The event is a charity burlesque show entitled Three Little Maids and will be held at Destination Bar, 1 High Street, Sunderland, starting at 9pm.

Top North East burlesque performer Havannah Wildtime presents this show, which includes some of the North East’s finest burlesque and cabaret performers.

Tickets for the show cost £7 each in advance and are available at Sunderland Tourist Information Centre, City Library, Fawcett Street, Sunderland, or from Skiddle.com. They can also be purchased at the door on the night for £8.50.

All proceeds raised will go to Sunderland and North Durham Royal Society for the Blind, the local charity for local people who suffer from sight loss.

The event promises to be great fun and anyone wanting further details can telephone the society on 0191 567 3939 for more information.

Richard Wood, Executive officer, Sunderland and North Durham Royal Society for the Blind, Foyle Street, Sunderland

Birthday thanks

THANK you, thank you to my wonderful family, friends and neighbours, for helping to make my 90th birthday such a success – especially to everyone who donated money to the M.S. Society rather than give me presents.

I was able to send off a cheque to the society for £650. Wonderful.

Dorrie Holey, Mount Close, South Hylton

Nudge and shove

IF it is serious about improving public health, the Government cannot ignore the findings by the House of Lords inquiry into behavioural change.

The inquiry found that the Coalition’s favoured “nudge” approach, or changing behaviour through incentives or social cues, does not work unless used alongside regulation and fiscal measures.

Nowhere is this more true than when it comes to dealing with alcohol misuse. Legislation on price, promotion and availability is key to reducing excessive consumption – which is ruining our health, wealth and safety.

In the North East, a third of people drink above the Government’s recommended limits and just under a fifth drink to get drunk on a weekly basis, while we have the highest rate of alcohol-related hospital admissions in the UK.

Along with many colleagues in public health across the UK, we will be closely monitoring Government’s response to the inquiry.

In a week when the word “responsibility” is on everyone’s lips, now is the time for the Government to show leadership by taking responsibility for turning back the tide of alcohol harm. It should turn “nudge” into “shove” by using the forthcoming national alcohol strategy to regulate to outlaw alcohol which is too readily available, too heavily promoted and is sold at pocket money prices.

Colin Shevills, Director, Balance, the North East Alcohol Office

Garden thefts

THIS year I decided to raise some tomatoes in the garden. I bought the plants. My son bought me a mini plastic growhouse, and I bought a slightly larger grow house. The plants flourished.

On Thursday, July 14, someone stole the larger growhouse, leaving the plants in the garden. On Friday night, July 15, thieves stole the smaller growhouse. (This growhouse had 30w painted in white on the top and front).

Someone must know who stole these two items. Why not do the right thing and inform the police?

J. Elliot, Webb Avenue, Murton

60s singing star

JOHNNY Kidd, with his famous eye patch, was an icon of the 60s, and had bestselling hits with I’ll Get Over You and Shakin’ All Over.

Signed to EMI Records in 1959-66 he had other hits such as Hurry On Back To Love, I Want That, Jealous Girl, Magic Of Love, The Fool, Please Don’t Bring Me Down, Steady Date and Doctor Feelgood.

He appeared on TV and radio shows including Wham, Disc A Go Go, East Beat, Saturday Club, Ready Steady Go, Thank Your Lucky Stars, The Beat Room, The Five O’Clock Club and for Teenagers Only.

He mixed with chart stars from the 60s such as Gene Vincent, The Who, Cliff Richard and the Shadows, Shane Fenton and Adam Faith.

Sadly on Friday October 7, 1966, he was tragically killed in a car crash in Bury, Lancashire, alongside the bass player of the Pirates, Nick Simper.

I won’t forget the British rock ‘n’ roller singer Johnny Kidd and the immortal Shakin’ All Over.

Terry Christie, Woodside Terrace, East Herrington, Sunderland