Letters, Saturday, July 6, 2013

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Good to read tales of old village life

IT was good to read the letter (July 2) from my dad’s old mate Little Billy Craggs, who I believe was a fellow Old Bedan of his and whom he mentioned wanting to get in touch with.

 Unfortunately, Billy, my dad died five years ago aged 79, but I am aware that you and him were ‘good marras as young ‘uns’.

 I was very interested to read the old Herrington names and characters that you referred to in your letter and would be happy to read some more of your memories if you would care to share them in the Echo where maybe more people of the village (which East and Middle Herrington is still referred to as) can contribute too.

 Herrington has a rich heritage and numerous characters have formed its history. People like Stan Mason whose family building firm built many of the well made local housing stock and who flew on an RAF Second World War bombing raid over Germany on his 21st birthday – that was featured on the Daily Express front cover. Cec Norman senior and junior, well known local milkmen, along with South’s milk family, the farming families Hutchinson, Weightman and Wheldon (all farms in Herrington were originally owned by Lambton Estates), the McColl family who owned a lot of local land and buildings and many, many more before and after them.

 Anyone interested in the local area may enjoy the excellent www.herrington-heritage.org.uk website, which features West, East and Middle Herringtons.

 My dad did indeed live at the top of the Mile Bank in a house named Everest, the name a result of my grandfather Tommy’s humour with the house being placed on a high spot on the outskirts of Sunderland town centre (as it was then).

 The current owner has continued using the name and has added a Union Jack flag to highlight the name even more.

 Dad used to tell tales of the trams that used to turn round near the Board Inn and of all the Herrington lads piling over to Warden Law to see the USA military camped there in the war years, and of the wartime bombing of Sunderland where you could hear and see the town from Herrington vantage points getting hit by German bombers. He said often Sunderland would get a double dose of bombs meant for our shipyards and pits, but then also getting pelted with left over bombs from German missions on their way home from bombing the Clyde in Glasgow.

 Power to your writing, Little Billy, hope life in Cockfield’s okay marra.

Tom Lynn,

Son of Hughie

Credit to the city

I went to see a production of We Will Rock You performed by pupils of Thornhill School.

 I wasn’t sure what to expect.

 To my surprise, and delight, I found the production was really well done. The children were really good and the quality of singing and acting was first class.

 The audience gave a standing ovation and the children were obviously enjoying themselves.

 At a time when we tend to criticise our young ones, this shows that the vast majority are really talented, dedicated and a credit to our city.

 Well done to all concerned.

Eddie Wells

Active and healthy

THE British Heart Foundation (BHF) is urging schools, youth groups and nurseries in Sunderland to get active by signing up to one of our popular physical activity initiatives, which include Artie’s Olympics, Jump Rope For Heart and Ultimate Dodgeball.

 By taking part in any of these initiatives, Sunderland will be helping to raise vital funds to help BHF continue the fight against heart disease, the UK’s single biggest killer.

 The scheme also allows schools, youth groups and nurseries to keep 20 per cent of the money raised, which they can put towards new equipment and resources.

 These fun initiatives are a great way to get children active and for them to learn about the importance of having a healthy heart. Resources worth up to £100 are available free.

 To find out how to register and get kids active, visit bhf.org.uk/everyonewins

Beck Bayram,

Events Project Manager, British Heart Foundation