Letters Monday, March 28th, 2011

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You can be a Tory and an EU sceptic

I DO not usually reply to letters accusing me of political duplicity. However, on this occasion I will.

Wesley Crossland does not seem to realise that as a member of the Conservative Party who is against Britain’s continued membership of the EU I do not feel any guilt for my Euro-sceptic stance. Way back in the days of Ted Heath and the referendum of 1975, I voted against Britain being in EU. I believe the vote was two to one in favour. I cannot believe that all those who voted for were Conservatives.

Mr Crossland goes on to to question why I continue to support the Conservative Party or indeed any other major party, having the viewpoint that I hold. The answer is, of course, that the party is not a spent force as he suggests. It is still the party that only narrowly missed forming a majority government in the General Election of 2010 when it received over 10.7million votes.

Why is he so immature or naive to think that by doing as he suggests it would enhance my efforts to see this country withdraw from an organisation that has stripped away the sovereignty of our country?

Which party would he recommend I join? The clapped-out Lib/Dems, the Greens or perhaps UKIP? On second thoughts they do promise a referendum, but little else. And while Mr Crossland tells us that we must not assume that he is Labour supporter, one wonders why he berates those who have the courage to stand up and be counted and, at the same time, leaves a question as to where his political affinities lie.

I, among millions of others, am of the opinion that the concept of the EU was never to be anything but a trading area – not being hog-tied by the expansion of European Union laws passed by unelected commissioners. Yes it is true that successive governments have denied the British people the right to have a referendum, allowing them the opportunity to reconsider continuing membership of a union that, according to many, is corrupt and is out to extinguish the national identity of this country among others.

It was in 1975 that the British people were last asked to vote on continued membership of the European Union. Since then Gordon Brown promised he would hold a referendum, as did David Cameron. They both reneged on that promise, but does that mean those under the age of 37 should not be given the chance to decide whether or not Britain remains in the EU?

As Dante wrote in the Inferno: “Half way along our life’s path, I found myself in a dark wood,

For I had lost the road that was true.”

Those prophetic words resonate today as they undoubtedly did all those cenuries ago.

Coun George Howe

Thanks for votes

WE would like to thank all of our customers who voted in the recent Sunderland City Centre Retail Awards.

At the awards ceremony in the Bridges, we won the fantastic award of Jeweller of the Year. We also won the silver award for National Retailer and bronze for Service with a Smile.

The voting helped us achieve these fantastic awards, and we were overwhelmed by the support and success.

We have them proudly displayed in our window, and once again we thank everyone who voted for us for your greatly appreciated time and effort.

Linsey, Claire, Dean, Leighanne, Yvonne, Louise, Lynn and Carole,Beaverbrooks the Jewellers

Path danger

THE footpath which has recently been completed across the green area opposite Fulwell Library must surely present a potential safety hazard.

You can now see parents using the path and crossing Dene Lane, which is a busy road, in order to access Fulwell Infant School instead of walking the short distance to the traffic lights and waiting for the green man.

The point where these parents cross is particularly dangerous when a bus is starting to pull away from the stop outside the library. If money had to be spent in this area it would have been better to have installed a barrier along the edge of the green area to prevent people crossing on to the road at this point.

B.Y., South Bents

Great memories

REGARDING the article about Deptford (Echo, March 17), I was one of those who grew up with the author of the story, Larry Lamb. In fact we lived next door at No. 38 Church Street.

First can I say how much I enjoyed it. Brilliant. How Larry remembered all that detail was amazing. I must admit I cannot remember too much about Larry, but I was a good mate of his elder brother Joby during the years he mentions.

Besides all the detail referred to by Larry, there were a couple of other things that came to mind from those days. There was the air raid shelter at the bottom of Church Street. When the siren went off we were all tossed out of our beds and ran down Church Street to the shelter.

Larry mentioned that on a Saturday morning we would wait and raid the Mayfair wagon. After that on a Saturday morning most of us would go to the Millie (Millfield cinema) to watch the likes of The Three Stooges, Gene Autrey, Roy Rogers etc. (a tanner to get in upstairs). If I recall rightly Larry’s dad, John, used to be the “Chucker-Out” when there were any problems from us kids.

I would think the article would bring back a lot of good memories for us old ’uns.

Happy Days

Save the Bowl

I WRITE in support of the letter from M. Snow (Echo, March 16) regarding Sunderland tenpin bowling centre. M. Snow rightly says Sunderland Bowl has served the Wearside public since the 1960s. In tenpin bowling terms it is an international centre, drawing bowlers and visitors from far and wide to play in and support international and national tournaments.

Many regular, long-standing leagues are well supported with fixtures almost every night of the week. Tenpin bowling is not just a fun game for a good night out – although it is for some, and this is how many dedicated bowlers take up the sport.

Bowling is a serious sport worldwide, with a massive following. Our Sunderland Bowl has produced world champion bowlers over the years, most recently Adam Cairns of Fulwell who was featured in the Echo last year after he won the world youth championship in Helsinki. We have county bowlers who compete at all age levels in inter-county championships. Sunderland Bowl is still highly regarded far and wide.

The building in Newcastle Road has seen better days and is now in an area ultimately due for redevelopment by Tesco. Contrary to some rumours of imminent closure it is currently continuing to thrive as normal and is expected to do so for some considerable time.

However, in order to secure alternative premises in preparation for when the time comes to face closure, the owner wishes to relocate Sunderland Bowl in to a new, suitable unit. He has made numerous applications to Sunderland Council to move into alternative premises but he is continually being pushed down. He is prepared to relocate at his own cost with no expense to Sunderland Council. He would, of course, continue to pay rates to our council and save employment of staff members.

Unfortunately Sunderland Council repeatedly turn his applications down with reasons something to do with problems of change of use for a leisure facility. It beggars belief why this should be such a major stumbling block when all he wants to do is continue to provide the people of Sunderland with a facility which is much wanted and has huge support from members of the public across all age groups.

A Sunderland businessman, who runs a bowling centre which has been established for 48 years, providing employment to many people and untold enjoyment to generations, because of some local bureaucracy could fall into oblivion.

With the local elections due in May I would like you to give some thought to policies such as these made by Sunderland City Council before you decide where your vote goes. Long may the Sunderland Bowl continue.

R. Betts, Whitburn

Check charity IDs

THE generosity shown by the people of Sunderland supporting all the various armed forces charities is second to none.

Many have benefited from donations large and small, events organised by ordinary people have been a monumental success and the proceeds from such events have made a real difference to those individuals who have been terribly injured during the course of their duties, and the families of those who did not make it back.

I am always proud to wear my veteran’s badge but I am more proud to be a Mackem.

However, with all charity collections there will always be those less desirable elements who deliberately set out to despicably defraud the system. I would urge all those wanting to make a donation to thoroughly check the credentials of those collecting. Check ID cards, ask them for the contact phone number of the person running the charity and, if you suspect someone, report them promptly. I must stress that this element of impostors is small, but I would urge caution.

K. Powell, Vice-chairman, Coldstream Guards Association,

Sunderland branch

Bullied by teacher

I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agreed with W. E. Higson (Echo, March 17). I too was bullied by the PE teacher. I have always had trouble catching anything, such as a ball, or even heading one, and this particular teacher took great delight in throwing a ball at me so hard that even the best sportsman in the school couldn’t catch it and, when the inevitable happened and I dropped it, he would ridicule me in front of the whole class.

Because of this I grew to hate sport, which I still do, even though I’m almost a pensioner. My daughters also have this trouble but in these enlightened days it has been diagnosed as dyspraxia and sufferers can get help. How I wish it had been diagnosed then.

I also had a bad stammer and another teacher would get me to stand up and read to the whole class and he would smirk at my efforts to get my words out. Yes, I agree, it’s not only pupils who are bullies.

M. Hutchinson, Musgrave Terrace, Washington Village

Special visitors

WITH reference to your feature on March 17 about Bob Duff and the future events he is arranging on the Lambton estates: I was privileged to be invited by Family Heritage International to accompany Mark and Meagan Lambton from the United States to a private tour by Mr Duff on March 19.

Though the renovation work on the castle is a few months away from completion, we were impressed with Biddick Hall, which houses the original portraits of the First Earl of Durham, his wife Louisa and their son Charles the famous “Red Boy” among others. We also visited other Lambton-related sites.

Mark is the general manager of an offshore company in Boston, Massachusetts, which is linked with Cornell University in protecting the Atlantic right whale.

He thought it rather humorous when I mentioned how the family had come the full circle in that his company was helping to preserve an endangered species while the family are more famous for contributing to the extinction of a rare species of worm that devoured bairns and cows and sheep.

Michael Bute, Sunderland Antiquarian Society