Letters, Saturday, June 30th, 2012

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Real reason for the failure of Sunniside

IN a debate at the last council meeting on the demise of Sunniside, the council leader, Coun Paul Watson, said it was “the Coalition Government’s policies that were hitting the area”.

What utter tosh! If Coun Watson would consult his own council’s committees’ comments he would see what we all can. The running down and abandonment of Fawcett Street and John Street has broken the only link between the centre and Sunniside that may have helped it flourish. As it is, it is like a ghost town.

Like the rest of the city centre the decline here took place during the last Labour Government’s 13 years in power. We must also remember Labour have been in control of the declining city for 40 years.

The problems around Sunniside were predicted by many people who saw it as an isolated vanity development designed to give an illusion of the council doing something. However, it was, as usual, the wrong thing in the wrong place. Fragmented developments like this can only lead to grief.

One can only feel the deepest sympathy for the people who tried to make it work by establishing businesses there, but with this council in charge I’m afraid it turned out to be a lost cause.

Alan Wright, Barnes View, Sunderland

Shipping heritage

AS we celebrate 60 glorious years of the Queen’s reign, can we also celebrate 600 years of history in Sunderland, where ships were born and the thousands of men and women involved in the shipbuilding industry, and machinery fitted to ships?

From sail, steam and diesel vessels, many of these crafts were built, were manned and skills passed all over the world. Big names like Laings, Thompsons, Doxfords, Bartrams, Greenwells and many others. Famous ships like Torrens and City of Adelaide as well as cargo and tanker carriers were built here.

The River Wear is not as big as the Tyne or Clyde, but Sunderland is still known as once being the largest shipbuilding town in the world. There is a section in the museum devoted to shipping. No maritime centre anywhere, a few stalwarts in Church Street, a little in the Echo from Neil Mearns seems to be the only interest. Not just memories or nostalgia but history for a great town.

So come on, Sunderland, you have a great heritage to be proud of. Show it and maybe attract tourists as well.

W. Bains, Golf Course Road, Shiney Row

Wood flooring

I CAN totally agree with people who have the misfortune of living beneath a wood-floored property. I expect these folks don’t even notice the noise involved when going about their daily routine, bus for us its a nightmare.

My wife and I cringe every time an advert comes on television showing this product. Honestly, you need to experience this ordeal before you can fully understand. Any noise made in high rise flats can be assumed to be from upstairs, downstairs or the left to right properties, but there is no mistaking the upper floor noises with doors closed loudly and the constant thumping sound of loud music and basically every sound from a.m. to p.m.

To put it bluntly, there should be no wood flooring allowed in flats. It may look nice, but so does a nice carpet.

Mr and Mrs T. Craggs, Devonshire Tower, Wheatsheaf, Sunderland

Benefit-cut idea

WHAT a good idea! Once again the Tories think they have come across a popular subject to use to get them into power, on their own, at the next election.

Do away with the housing benefit for 18 to 25-year-olds. Most of the rest of the world already think we live in a military dictatorship, as every time they see the Royal Family they are all, except the Queen, dressed in military uniform. Although we can’t really blame them, because we are all where we are through the accident of birth.

But if the Tories get their way I can see Britain evicting single mothers from their homes to solve our economic problem while we pay millions to landowners who keep hounds and horses to go hunting and hold parades around the country as though we still rule the world.

Child poverty will get worse and the so-called Liberal Party will be partly to blame for keeping them in power. My grandmother, who was a strict Methodist and a staunch Liberal party activist, will be turning in her grave.

Joe Hall, Irene Avenue, Grangetown

Personal wish-list

I HAVE compiled a list of things I would like to witness before I die:

1. My football team to win a trophy.

2. England to win a major trophy at football.

3. A British tennis player to win Wimbledon.

4. Britain to have a red-hot, rain-free summer.

I think I stand a chance with at least two of them, assuming I live to be 186 – and that is being optimistic.

John “The Pun” Watson, Pensher View, Washington