Letters, Monday, January 6, 2014

Have your say

RSPCA isn’t best for helping horses

ON Thursday, January 2, C Hutchinson wrote expressing concern about the RSPCA’s negative response about a distressed and apparently abandoned horse at Bunny Hill, Washington Road.

 Over the years, I have had frequent uncaring responses from The RSPCA about abandoned or neglected animals (unlike 25 years ago, when they had a caring and very active branch in Sunderland, which I believe still exists, independent of the main charity, on a small scale).

 I recently drove along St Luke’s Road and was upset at seeing a horse tethered in the middle of a wide-open field with no access to even a tree to dull the extreme weather conditions.

 I have also seen sad, dirty tethered horses in similar conditions off the junction of European Way and Pallion Way.

 I have always had much better responses from voluntary animal organisations, and I would refer C Hutchinson to Redwings, one of several animal charities which I support and the largest one of its kind in the UK.

 It is based in the south and east of England, but has 100 volunteers investigating cruelty and neglect of horses and donkeys nationwide.

 It provides care for rescued animals and I would recommend the letter-writer does an internet search for this worthy organisation. Its welfare number for people reporting concerns is 01508 481008, or email externalwelfare@redwings.co.uk.

 Another remarkable charity is Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Norfolk, which investigates and rescues suffering animals, mainly farm, but also horses. The number is 01603 736200, or email contact@hillside.org.uk.

 I hope C Hutchinson responds and writes with an update on this very sad situation, unfortunately, not uncommon.

 The RSPCA should respond to the Animal Welfare Act which is designed to protect animals suffering from a lack of physical and emotional care, safety and wellbeing, and provision of ordinary needs, comfort, warmth and attention, but it may be reluctant to act if it cannot trace the owner, a justification which I cannot support.

Name and address supplied.

Bring a TV crew if animal needs aid

THE quick answer to C Hutchinson’s letter about the horse on Bunny Hill – get a TV crew and camera up there and they will appear like genies out of a bottle.

 When I worked on the South Dock we phoned them about different animals in distress and 35 years later we are still

waiting. No cameras, no RSPCA.

A Steel,


Memories of St Hilda’s school days

ON Tuesday, December 31, there was a write-up in the Echo about the choir at St Hilda’s RC Church, Beaumont Street, Southwick.

 It’s nice to read about St Hilda’s RC Church, because when I was a little boy I used to live up that neck of the woods.In fact, I was born up there in Knox Square.

 Next door to the Church was St Hilda’s School, my school.

 I was in Mr Blackburn’s class. Father Kennedy and Father Smith are just two of the teachers I remember, along with the other Fathers of St Hilda’s Church.

 I don’t know if the school is still standing, it might have been pulled down by now.  

 I was in another class with the teacher Mrs Brown. She was a young teacher, with a ponytail hairstyle. That’s all I can remember of her.

 I am talking about the 1950s – I’m 63, so that will tell how long ago it was. I was born on April 15, 1950.

Edwin Robinson,

Zetland Square,