Letters, Monday, October 14, 2013

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Many thanks for an ‘ox-cellent’ event!

PRESIDENT Graham McGrath and members of the Rotary Club thank the people of Houghton for their continued magnificent support, in ideal autumn weather, which produced another highly successful traditional ox-roasting at Houghton Feast and will provide further funds for our regular community service events for senior citizens, young people, schools and other groups in the town and national and international causes.

 The starting queue was, as usual, extremely long and more than 1,200 sandwiches were sold before we were cleared out.

 Thanks to Mayor Bob Heron, a local man and long-time supporter of the Feast, for ceremonially cutting the first slices given to the first child and adult in the queue.

 Thanks also to members of the Houghton Heritage Society who cleaned up and repainted the site.

 We are again indebted to our regular suppliers and sponsors Piper’s Quality Butchers, Edinburgh Bakery, George Vardy Haulage, Hetton Scaffolding Company, Whitfield Chemists and Alex Scullion Electrical and the invaluable help of the City Gas Crew, Events Administration Staff and co-operation of the Showmans’ Guild on the Fairground site, and not least the voluntary hard work of our club members throughout the weekend, which all combined to maintain this unique historic event. Long may it continue.

 We look forward to serving you all again on Monday, October 6, 2014.

Ron Young,

Ox-Roasting Coordinator,

Houghton-le-Spring Rotary Club.

A more traditional celebration ...

IT’S Halloween at the end of the month, and no doubt we’ll hear the Church and religious people whinging and moaning about how it encourages the ‘occult’ and such nonsense.

 The Church might pretend it’s becoming more modern, but this type of propaganda is no different to how it crushed the indigenous culture of our country (and plenty of others, for that matter) in the past. Of course, Halloween has become commercialised just like everything else, but at least it has its roots in ancient festivals of the British Isles, which is more than can be said for Christmas.

 Why exactly does our country celebrate the birth of a Jewish carpenter who was born in the Middle East? It makes no sense!

Charles Quinn,

Ashbrooke.

Your chance to help Barnardo’s

BARNARDO’S in the North East is asking people living on Wearside to lend a hand to boost its volunteer numbers as part of a region-wide campaign.  

 We are making the appeal as part of Make a Difference Month – every October – which provides hundreds of people across the North East with the opportunity to try out volunteering.

 This year’s Make a Difference Month will highlight how volunteering can tackle loneliness and isolation, although it is also ideal for those who want to learn new skills or generally keep busy.

 There are many great reasons to spare a little time to volunteer with Barnardo’s. Not only is it fun, sociable and challenging, but it gets you out of the house, equips you with new skills and helps to raise money to help vulnerable and disadvantaged children across the UK. We always welcome new volunteers to our friendly teams in shops, fundraising or children’s services. There are roles to suit all and you can do as much or as little as you can manage.

 If you have time on your hands and would like to get out and about, please get in touch for more information on 240 4800 or visit the Barnardo’s website at www.barnardos.org.uk/volunteering.

Steve Oversby,

Director, Barnardo’s North East

Soaps not real?

ARE there no such thing as NHS cutbacks or unemployment in soapland?

 Everyone who goes into hospital gets a private room and everyone who loses their job seems to find another one in 10 minutes. Also, does nobody on soaps have a kettle, as everyone walks about with takeaway coffees or sits in cafés/coffee shops drinking?

John Watson,

Washington.