Letters, Friday, September 23rd, 2011

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Quick action can beat cancer

I READ with great interest in the Echo (September 19) the article on cancer. This touched me personally, but still wonder why gastric cancer is never mentioned.

On the morning of Monday, August 12, 1991, after months of various tests, I was informed I had stomach cancer. Frightening, yes, more so when I was told I had only a five per cent chance of survival.

I was admitted to Shotley Bridge Hospital the same day and had my operation the following day, and 20 years later I am still here to talk about it.

The word cancer is very scary, but fortunately not absolutely final, if you accept the fact it can be beaten with your own self-will and confidence in the medical profession.

I am once again having problems and have put into motion more tests and examinations. It may be nothing serious, but I won’t know until the doctors find out.

In conclusion, I would like to say if you have any recurring pain or lump, see your GP. Don’t leave it to chance. It may be serious or it may be minor, but at the end of day you will know for definite. This will bring relief to you and your loved ones.

Some people say what you don’t know can’t hurt you. Wrong! Believe me, what you don’t know can kill you.

Alan Genther, Hylton Lane, Downhill, Sunderland

Service to be cut?

SINCE my letter last month in which I raised the point of mismanagement of Sunderland by our councillors, I have had a very good response from fellow taxpayers but nothing from the tax spenders.

May I ask our councillors to comment on just one point I raised? Is the Meals on Wheels service being cut?

Just before the local elections they released a press statement which denied such actions. Is this much-needed service being cut?

I tried to raise this point at the State of the City evening without any success, probably due to the fact that so many on the floor with questions ran out of time due to the few on the stage taking up the evening with their speeches. If the word “er” had been deleted from the aforementioned, we all might have had time for our questions.

It was nice on the evening to see our Lady Mayor delivered by the top-of-the-range Mercedes car. It would be a shame if the council cannot deliver meals to the Sunderland people in need of help in their homes, especially since the same council closed their care homes and made them dependent on this service, again to save our money. Good idea, but where has it gone?

We know that these cuts were brought about by an uncontrolled load of bankers. I am thinking our councillors may fall into this category.

Marshall Normington, Claxheugh Cottages, South Hylton, Sunderland

Support appeal

THE UK’s first Memorial Wall of its kind, for those who have paid the supreme sacrifice, has been unveiled. Teenagers from Thorney Close paid an excellent tribute for the Battle of Britain pilots. We have support for many veteran charities, ie Help for Heroes.

There was an excellent attendance at the Sage for the Salute Our Heroes annual concert for the RAF veterans’ charity.What a magnificent night of artists.

I now hope that all of Tyne and Wear will be covered with poppy collectors manning stalls for the Northern Royal British Legion 2011 appeal. It is one of the best national charities for welfare etc for serving and ex-service personnel, distributing about £1million a week.

With co-operation of volunteers, shoppers, supermarkets, events, ideas and the public, the record of the northern 2010 appeal of £995,000 can be broken. We in Washington will do our best. A public collection even took place at our successful community day on September 17 for the families of the South Wales mining tragedy.

Bill Craddock, Donvale Road, Donwell, Washington

Excellent response

RECENTLY I had a fall in my garden. I pressed my Telecare pendant, which is always round my neck, and in a short time two “angels” appeared (Christine Garland and Gillian Armstrong). They checked that I was all right, with, luckily, no bones broken.

Had I fallen indoors, they wouldn’t have access without breaking the door down because they said my door safe (containing a key) wasn’t working. They phoned their department to report it and just after they left their colleague arrived and fitted a new key safe. Wonderful!

The next morning, at 10am, I had a phone call from Telecare to check that I’d had no after-effects of the fall.

My family and friends from all over England are amazed at the service I get (I’m Scottish and, of course, the Scottish service is excellent!).

Many thanks to all concerned.

Anne Donnan, Buxton Gardens, Sunderland

Unfair criticism

LINDA Colling is the journalistic equivalent of Mick the Pen, always whinging, but at least Mick’s writing is tongue in cheek.

Her article on September 16 was yet another attack on an easy target – Sunderland town centre. Of course it does not compare to Newcastle, but it is no better and no worse than many town centres in these harsh economic times, and does she really think that an opinion poll taken at the Barnes Hotel gives a fair view of what the majority think?

Comparison with South Shields seafront defies belief. Does she really want a loud funfair and row upon row of slot machines with the attendant crowds and noise? Ask the residents whom she championed so loudly after the Sunderland Airshow.

The present seafront is more than adequate for both those who want to enjoy the seashore and others who want to socialise in the restaurants and bars. Perhaps she needs to look around the rest of South Shields. It makes Sunderland look like an overcrowded hot spot on a really busy night.

Isn’t it about time she mentioned some of the good things we have going for the city? What about the new Barnes Park, Mowbray Park, the ever-growing reputation of the university, the Sunniside development, the Glass Centre, the beautiful riverside walk, the thriving City of Sunderland College, the Stadium of Light, to mention but a few.

She demeans Sunderland in general because we do not have the busiest town centre in the North East, which is rather an unfair way of coming to a conclusion about the quality of a city. Not everybody lives to shop.

We have been struggling to recover ever since Thatcher tore the heart out of the city with the closure of shipyards and coalmines. The recent economic problems have only exacerbated the situation. Perhaps a properly researched article looking at Sunderland in a more positive light might be interesting, but then again it might be late-night shopping in Newcastle so you won’t have time .

Jim “The Pencil” Ewart, Sunderland

Dog licences

I AGREE with Scott Andrews’ letter about bringing dog licences back, but I would not build his hopes up that it will happen.

I wrote to the Prime Minister and suggested it, and received a reply with the most ridiculous excuse for not doing it.

It stated that they would not be able to get the licences from the yobs with dangerous dogs as they would refuse to pay, but surely they could prosecute them for breaking the law?

I am sure all dog lovers would not mind paying for a licence for their pet – we are inundated with dogs in this country – which could bring in a lot of revenue.

S. Sullivan, Sunderland

Search Party

I AM interested in contacting the descendants of my great-grandfather’s brother, Isaac Fulton (1847-1892), and his wife Annie Pickering (1850-1904).

Isaac and Annie were survived by four children: Isaac John (born 1878), James (b 1882), Isabella (b 1889), and Beatrice (b 1892).

If anyone can help with this query, I would appreciate a reply by email to fulton447@btinternet.com

Terry Fulton

I AM looking for Marina Henzell, who was my mam’s sister.

Her parents’ names were John Davison Henzell and Ellen Henzell (nee Macarthy).

Marina went to live with her aunt Alice when she was a little girl as the family were split up. Her date of birth would have been 1940 0r 1941.

If anyone has any infomation please contact me on 07850 055067 or email is sha-21@live.co.uk.

Sharon