Letters, Saturday, January 14, 2012

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Fate of village community centre

I READ the front page article in the Echo on December 30 about the closure of Newbottle CA. I can’t say I was surprised.

 As a long-time community activist, I have had contact with both Derek and Michael at various events. They have for the last 10 years complained about the state of the building but refused help from the city, preferring to go it alone.

 When reading Bill Angus’s letter of January 4, I was incensed and felt I needed to reply. Mr Angus, I have chaired voluntary organisations over the last two decades and more, and I object to your blase “for goodness’ sakes”.  

 Why should Newbottle get preferential treatment at the expense of organisations who have worked hard and are thriving? “For goodness’ sake”, Mr Angus, £50 for a pot hole in the car park is not much. Why has it not been

paid by the committee or out of subs collected from the many groups that use it or by you who have had regular use over 20 years (about £2.50 a year).

 Another “for goodness’ sake” was get the council electricians to mend the electrical faults. Why? Other organisations seek funding for repairs and don’t get council workmen to do it for nothing.

 Yet another “for goodness’ sake”: are we to close a building that has been safe over the last hundred years for the sake of a few roof tiles? Yes, if the roof is unsafe. From listening to Derek over the last decade, it’s more than a few tiles. Our children’s safety is paramount to the committee.

 As for your independent survey, perhaps we could have an independent audit on who uses it, when and how much they pay, so that financial – even retrospective – advice can be given.

 Community centres are not private clubs for members and friends only, paid for by the council taxpayers.

M.J. Eynon,

Sunderland

Goodwill message

THIS letter to your much esteemed newspaper was commenced on Christmas Day at a cosy Travelodge in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, and completed three days later at an equally pleasant Travelodge in Harrogate, Yorkshire.

 I heartily agree with one church leader who pleaded for a renewed sense of mutual obligation.  

 “Goodwill to all men” is a central aspect of the Christmas message which richly deserves to reverberate around our global village at the local, national and international level.

 It was immensely reassuring to receive a Christmas card from a nonagenarian church friend which included the following comment: “sadly the Philippines is having a rough time”.

 Clearly the commercialisation of Christmas had scant effect on this good lady who believes in her heart and practises in her life what she says with her lips each Sabbath.

 Contemporary lethal exposure to 24/7 news indicates that the constant nourishment of “hope” is a priority task for all folk of goodwill.

George Henry Hamilton,

Westfield Road,

Berwick

Rotarians’ thanks

AS President of the Rotary Club of Seaburn, I wish on behalf of the members to thank the management, staff and customer of Morrison’s supermarket at Seaburn, Clay’s Garden Centre, Washington, and the Bridges shopping centre, Sunderland, for their invaluable help in ensuring that our Christmas collections were a great success.

 I would also like to thank the residents of Fulwell, Roker and Seaburn in contributing to our Santa sleigh collection. Altogether the magnificent sum of £6,000 was raised and this will be used locally, nationally and internationally to help others that are not as fortunate as ourselves.

 The generosity of everyone, in this time of recession, never fails to amaze me and the charities, to whom this collection will be donated.

 We look forward to see you again in 2012.

Mr B. Franklin,

Club President,

Rotary Club of Seaburn

Association trip

FURTHER to the aricle by Marissa Carruthers re the DLI Memorial Statue, our DLI Association is attending the dedication ceremony at the National Arboretum Alrewas.

 The excursion consists of transport to and from Lichfield with one night’s hotel accommodation with breakfast, departing Saturday, July 21, and returning after the dedication ceremony on Sunday afternoon, July 22.

 Places for this trip are available to interested parties and partners. Please contact DLI secretary in the first instance on 0191 548 3356 or 07979 772077.

Norman McMahon,

Branch secretary,

Durham Light Infantry Association (the Rifles),

Southwick,

Sunderland

Top-class pupils

IN December some residents of Sycamore Care Centre were invited to Christmas lunch at Sandhill School. Considering other homes were also invited, it was quite a hard task cooking for 100-plus people.

 The food cooked by senior pupils was superb, good enough for any four-star hotel. The younger pupils served the food and were very polite, and they treated us like VIPs.

 The tables were beautifully set, prizes and entertainment excellent. With pupils like these, we don’t need to worry about the future.

Mrs D Middlemist,

Sycamore Care Centre,

Nookside