Letters, Saturday, May 5th, 2012

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Run road closures weren’t made clear

AS a fellow resident of South Bents, I wholeheartedly agree with Brian Young’s complaint. I’m sure much organisation has gone into the Marathon of the North, but it has been a huge mistake to not be more clear about all the road closures from the outset or at least much earlier than has been.

The Echo reported that the route was revealed many weeks ago. I remember seeing a very poor quality map printed in the Echo along with several paragraphs which still didn’t give the full outline of which roads were closed.

For those who do not have internet access or do not read the Echo, the only correspondence received was a very vague A5 sheet of paper posted through our doors around two weeks before the event, but I’ve bumped into several neighbours who have not even received them.

During previous organised runs, they have taken in the seafront, but only as far as the roundabout at the Marriott Hotel or, at worst, Morissons. Even the website and the leaflets regarding the run simply state A183 (a road which runs from the A1M/Chester Road to South Shields), Harbour View, Roker Terrace and Whitburn Road (which ends at Morissons roundabout), all of which are part of the A183. Would it not have been more mindful to explicitly remark that the run will take in Whitburn Bents Road, or say up to Latimer’s Fish Shop, where the signs end?

This might not be so much of a problem for estates further up the road, which have alternative entry and exit routes from their homes, but carrying the closures along Whitburn Bents Road has cut off the only access road (not roads!) for those living along Whitburn Bents Road and in the South Bents estate behind it. How about the many residents who have carers, district nurses and other urgent care services that make daily visits to ensure their welfare?

Many, if not all of these services do not have emergency service priorities, so are they simply expected to leave their vehicles wherever the marshals instruct them and proceed on foot with bags of equipment and medicines to make their calls?

I also feel that closing so many roads accessing the seafront on a bank holiday weekend is, frankly, ridiculous when our council is supposedly trying to re-establish Seaburn and Roker as a place for holiday makers and the people of Sunderland to spend their time.

Pauline Ma

Magnificent mill

I WAS appalled by Mick The Pen’s suggestion that the Newcastle Road windmill should be bulldozed because in his opinion it’s been there too long. He is not interested in local history and it does not work.

The mill has been a feature of Sunderland’s skyline for 200 years and is an important part of our history. It has been restored and looks immaculate.

Just who does Mick The Pen think he is? Everyone in the area seems to like the mill and all visitors want to know more about it. I hope folk do not back the views of Mick the Pen and that it remains for years to come.  

For years “The Pen” has tried to get public treasurers like Hylton Castle and Penshaw Monument knocked down, now he is at it again. Has he no respect for our heritage?

Joan Willis, Fulwell Road, Sunderland

Wrong decision

RE the decision on Councillor Florence Anderson, I’m sorry but this decison is wholly wrong. The council’s standards committee deemed she had been acting in a private capacity, but she is an elected council official and she of all people should have known that going on Facebook is not private. It’s “out there” for all to see.

She should have kept her thoughts to herself. I say again: if an elected offical goes on Facebook they must know this will get a reaction. She should be thrown off the council and out of the Labour Party.

Scott Andrews, Wilkinson Terrace, Ryhope

Fun at tattoo

RE: The tattoo held on Ashbrooke Cricket Ground to celebrate the Festival of Britain.

I was a member of the Seaham Harbour 12th Cadet Battalion Durham LI along with many other TA/ACF units. I have a programme of this event, price sixpence.

I am not sure which organisation the people belong to who took part in the Historical Leaders of Victory, but Diane Smart was chosen to play the role of Queen Elizabeth 1. Walter Barber was to play the part of the Bishop of Carlisle.

The castle scenery was painted by Ronald Hodgson of Ewesley Road. It was 300ft long and 30ft high. He also painted a Spanish galleon and the Golden Hind, which were mounted on canvas.

Motorcycle display team 5th Ack Ack Group (Gateshead) were there. It was the first time these men from the TA had put on this display and a good time was had.

The producer was Alfred Peel. Military assistant/producer was Captain G.H. Wilson MBE RA.

John T. Wilson, Caernarvon Drive, East Herrington, Sunderland

History group plea

RE: Seaburn History Fair on Saturday, June 2: Houghton and District Local History Group will be taking a sporting theme at this year’s fair so I am appealing to Echo readers for any information and/or photographs on cricket, cycling, football and golf in our area, namely the Coalfields.

Brenda Graham, Houghton Tel. 584 1943