Letters, Saturday, March 24th, 2012

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Get the country working again

I RECKON the only way to get this country back on its feet is to create a boost to employment, then people can spend money, pay taxes and once again have a bit of pride.

It would be a far better stratagem than degrading the unemployed by calling them scroungers and lazy individuals.

It is not a good idea to send work abroad when we are crying out for it at home. We all know what I’m on about. And where is the think-tank of this government to create jobs they say are there when they are not? Do these people live in a different world to the rest of us?

Some individuals who are staunch Con-Dems will say look at the employment being created in Sunderland. Most jobs are of a non-manufacturing nature and will be unreliable at times. The likes of Nissan and what this firm has achieved is wonderful and goes to show the hard work and skills of the workforce in the North East.

This city was brought up in engineering such as the shipbuilding and engine works, the pits, the pottery manufacture and the timber industry. All that is gone, but as I’ve said before can’t we reopen pits and use that resource in some way? Coal has the same basic ingredients as oil, but oil is liquid form. Is there knowledge out there to take advantage of this? We have abundant amounts of this commodity below our feet.

Another resource we have is the sea which surrounds our island home. Tides never stop, wind does. Can’t we take advantage of this? Tides are very powerful and under-sea generators need not be a blot on the landscape and it’s free once established.

All these are just ideas but if they could work just think of all the employment created throughout the country and the independence it would provide from unscrupulous fuel suppliers.

Do you reckon these are only pipe dreams or do you think they could be achievable?

C. S. Wasey, Zetland Square, Monkwearmouth

Restore our pride

I AM somewhat dismayed at certain comments about the validity of the Sunderland City of Adelaide Recovery Foundation (Scarf) campaign to bring back this historic, Sunderland-built last surviving clipper of its kind to her birthplace, the River Wear.

Yet, I am elated at the high level of support from the people of Sunderland following our petition drive in the city and also a great deal of Scottish people support this move back home to Sunderland.

It simply makes more sense than any other option. I see the potential in this work of art:

A programme of restoration which enables young people to gain valuable work experience and education.

Business generation and development.

A venue for celebrations, music, theatre, degree shows, heritage education, restaurants, hotel and training centre.

A centrepiece for our River Wear that would give our city the sense of pride and place we readily need.

We have no reminder of our great shipbuilding past. Some say the ship is the past and that it should stay there. I say think again.

What would be better than seeing a beautifully restored, fully rigged three-mast ship on our river? The ship would help people create better futures while they learn and appreciate our history.

We have the skills and mentors. We were the greatest shipbuilding region in the world.

We need to restore civic pride and give assistance to our young people who will benefit from such an enterprise.

Once this ship leaves the UK, her future would be limited. Here in Sunderland, where our ancestors toiled to make her sail, the climate is the perfect environment in which to preserve her.

And that preservation will be a permanent historic reminder that Sunderland became great once again.

Steve Langley, Scarf Events, Fulwell

Is this progress?

IN this day and age of supposedly change for the better/to be more efficient, I would like to relate the following:

On Sunday, March 18, going to Sunderland in the bus, an elderly lady travelling with her daughter had an accident on the bus and the driver rang 999 for an ambulance.

He was asked by the operator to pass the phone to the lady, saying the operator wanted to speak to her (the daughter took the phone and spoke) and asked her to see if her mother’s chest was warm. The conversation lasted a while longer, and seemingly more questions were being asked.

Twenty minutes later we were still waiting for the ambulance. Meanwhile, the lady was now in distress as her side started to hurt. The daughter rang 999 and asked where the ambulance was, to be told it would arrive within four to five minutes.

Twenty-five minutes after the original call from the driver, the ambulance arrived and we were told it had come from Chester-le-Street – we were in Silksworth, Sunderland.

How does that grab you? What would have happened if the lady had lost consciousness or had a heart attack?

Miss J. Thewliss, Herrington Burn

It’s so easy to quit

I CAN’T understand how people find it hard to pack in smoking. I think it’s easy – I’ve packed in loads of times.

Mrs P. Jackson, Nelson Court, Hendon