Letters, Monday, October 20, 2014

Have your say

Plea to help trace Peter’s relatives

I AM trying to locate the descendants of a Peter Thompson who drowned when his ship, the SS Ottercaps, was wrecked off the coast of Brest in 1903.

 I have been doing research into that sad event as he was my great-grandfather.

 His place of rest was always a mystery, but I have finally located the crew and Peter’s graves in the towns of Ploggof and Esquibienne.

 I have been trying to find a photograph of Peter, and my only hope is to find his descendants and ask them.

 My first and only reference to him was a letter to the Echo on Wednesday, September 20, 1950, decrying the “good old days” from his only son, Peter.

 Peter’s mother Jane was left a widow with five children of school age and penniless.

 She did not receive any money from the shipping company or from the town appeal fund.

 She was also exempt from help from Peter’s Naval Reserve Unit. He had served more than 23 years in it but was short of the 25 years that was demanded to qualify for a pension.

 She had to take in laundry to survive and my grandmother had to go into service at the age of 14. Small wonder Peter Jnr poured scorn on those “good old days”.

 His children were my grandmother Jane and Ann, Mary, Sarah, Olive and his only son also called Peter.

 They all lived in West Wear Street, overlooking the river just inland of the town bridge.

 If anyone can help with information, you can get in touch with me on 5481430 or at d.m.nichol@btinternet.com

David M Nichol

Dogs should be kept on a lead

AT last our council is bringing a new law into place, meaning dog owners must keep their dogs on a lead while taking them on our fields and parks – this law is one I agree with 100 per cent.

 I have two boys, aged five and seven, who love to visit Hylton Road football field to have a kick around with their ball. I have noticed that there are lots of dogs running around there, some of them doing their business out of sight of their owners so it is not being cleaned up.

 Unfortunately, on our last visit, two dogs came charging towards us, barking in a threatening way.

 This not only frightened my two children, it also scared me as I had to protect them as they clung on behind me.

 After this incident, I confronted the owner and told him that he should keep his dogs on a lead to which he replied, there was no law to say his dogs should be kept on a lead.

 Since this incident, my children, even though they looked forward to going to the playing field in the past, now have no desire to go again as they are frightened of the dogs being there.

 To our council I say, make sure this law is carried out to its full potential and if these dog owners fail to obey, warn them the first time, then fine them after that and name and shame them.

 Enforce this law.

Mr L Baines,