Letters, Saturday, July 28th, 2012

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Narrow-minded attack on Gala

I AM writing in response to the letter from John “The Pun” Watson as regards scrapping Durham Miners’ Gala.

I think he is being very narrow minded and totally out of touch with reality. Has he every worked down the mine or been part of the mining community?

He says it is just an expensive nostalgia trip – what nonsense. The whole idea is to bring the community together for one day of the year to show their comradeship and the solidarity shown for each other.

Not only is it for ex-miners, it is the biggest Labour rally in the country and draws all aspects from all the unions and attracts people from not just this country but throughout the world. Yes there are a few who just go for binge drinking, but they are in the minority.

He says grown men dressed in miners’ clobber are an embarrassment. I saw only one and good luck to him. It shows the younger generation how they dressed for work and is all part of our heritage.

He says most banners are now being made by school kids. What a load of tosh! There were actually four new lodge banners this year – as there was last year and the previous year – which cost up to £12,000 each to make with monies raised by communities. The Gala is really a victim of its own success with more banners coming each year. Long may it continue.

He says keep the streets of Durham clear for shoppers. Ask the shopkeepers how much they make on that day. If he wants to go shopping he could always go to Sunderland or the MetroCentre.

On a final note as regards getting visitors to the cathedral, has he been there on Gala day? You just can’t get in, with the atmosphere being phenomenal.

Get real!

Mr J. Pearson, South Hetton

Proud of Gala

I WAS upset and disgusted by the comments made by John “The Pun” Watson.

I am 78 years of age and was a miner for most of my working life. I also survived a pit disaster at Easington Colliery in 1958 when 83 miners lost their lives.

I am proud to be part of the Miners’ Gala, and I regularly work in schools to educate children on our history.

I hope the Gala continues for many years to come.

Norman Rain, Lambourne Close, Bournmoor

Show shambles

WHAT a show that the Sunderland City Council put on for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. It was a diabolical sham. We were asked to give to the council mementoes over the six decades that the Queen has reigned and what do we get? Tents and a 50s street party. Two plates I picked up were 1958. Someone forgot to check it was 1953. Most of it was television archives and nothing of what they asked for.

I have dedicated 61 years to the Royal Family and was asked to let the council have some of my books and pictures for this grand show, but it was all about visuals and a change in Sunderland. What a load of tommyrot!

What has this council done for Sunderland in 60 years? Brought us nothing but destruction and the ruin of a once lovely town we were all proud of during the back end of the war. What did we lose? The Grand Hotel, Central Station, the town hall, lovely old buildings with style and grandeur, just to mention a few. And what have the council gained? More money than sense.

I never thought I would say this about my home town.

I put on a small display here in Newcastle at the Grainger Market and the response was hundreds came to see what the Queen has done during her reign, where she has been – which is what the Jubilee was all about.

Mr R. T. Duncan, Mill Lane, Newcastle

Right of protest

IF unknown to them, Sunderland Muslims were fed non-halal meat in schools, hotels, hospitals and other food outlets, they would be extremely upset and offended and there would be an uproar about it.

Not so long ago the Labour Party campaigned against the cruelty of fox hunting. Why can’t the BNP campaign against ritual slaughter where there is no stunning of animals that are turned upside down or hung by their back legs and have their throats cut and bleed to death. It’s something I have campaigned against for 40 years.

Surely members of the general public have the same right to know what they are eating and where it came from. That’s only fair.

Your editorial should be more concerned with what’s wrong with the world created by present day politicians. When people want to watch a sporting event in London have to have 14,000 soldiers, a warship in the Thames, surface to air missiles, patrol boats and helicopters, and other numerous security personnel equipped as though they are in the front line in Afghanistan to do so, there is something seriously wrong in the way Britain is governed – and that’s nothing to do with BNP.

John Richardson, Nelson Street, Hetton