Letters, Thursday, July 19th, 2012

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When the price is not always right

DO you remember when shops had to put the price of the item for sale on each item? Well, this did not suit the big retailers and so the Government of the day was kind to them and allowed them to put the price on the shelf instead.

This allowed retailers to quickly increase sale prices by changing shelf prices and automatic bar code cash tills. The Government brought in laws to protect the public and three should always be remembered: All items for sale must have a price displayed. The price displayed must be associated with the product. The customer must not be misled into thinking an item costs less than it should.

This means that the price charged at the till should not be higher than the price displayed, associated with the product (shelf price).

I shop with a basket and usually remember the shelf price of the goods and I am fed up with the major supermarkets which frequently charge a higher price at the till than displayed at the product location. Anyone who fills a trolley does not have a chance.

After repeated overcharging at one of the big four supermarkets, the senior manager assured me that all customers were filmed everywhere they went in store and Sunderland Trading Standards were happy with their price displays.

After being informed by a customer of overcharging, supermarkets must realise that up to then other customers have also been overcharged (ripped off comes to mind) on the same item. As most customers pay by card it is well within the ability of supermarkets to overcharge direct to their cards without the customer having to complain, but I bet they never do!

VAT is another pain. Until the Coalition Government’s infamous “pasty tax” and “pasty tax” U-turn, many customers did not realise they paid VAT at 20 per cent on hot takeaway food (chips).

When you buy food from a supermarket many everyday items have 20 per cent VAT added to the price, but you would never know unless you looked very hard at your receipt (tap water is VAT free but bottled water has VAT).

I think shop food prices should have VAT declared where applicable on them and each item has the VAT clearly marked on each item on the receipt not in some hidden code, as often is the case.

G. White, Sunderland

Group’s thanks

THE Sunderland Armed Forces Day Group would like to thank all who braved the weather to turn out at the weekend of June 29 to July 1. It was unfortunate that we had to move the venue (due to bad weather) at very short notice.

All volunteers pulled together so the event would still go ahead and we were pleased to see hundreds through the gates. We thank all the vendors and entertainers for being understanding and working through very tough conditions.

The parade element of the weekend celebrations was fantastic and the weather held until the end. The Durham ACF and the Air Cadets were exemplary and a credit to the parade. Many thanks to all veterans of all ages and conflicts – magnificent and resplendent marching to military music courtesy of the The Northern Band (TA) Signals.

Thanks to all our sponsors and Sunderland Council who were integral in the planning of this event.

We are busy planning next year’s event and look forward to the continuing support of our Wearside folk. If anyone would like to volunteer to help organise, take part or set up a stall/sideshow please contact Paul Jasper (event director) on 07710 690295.

Keith Powell

Book research

I’M researching new material for a future edition of my guide to legendary UK music locations, Rock Atlas.

So far Sunderland has only featured in a small way in the current book. The Sunderland Empire’s Beatles, Tommy Steele and Marty Wilde gigs get a mention, but I’m struggling to add to that for the second edition. Perhaps readers would like to nominate some historic Wearside rock stories.

The book contains plaques, venues, statues, album cover photo locations and even gravestones.

As there don’t appear to be too many of these we may have to concentrate on memorable appearances such as The Beatles’ visit in 1963.

Anyone witness their gig or even meet the Fab Four? I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to email me at poppublishing@gmail.com for anything you feel might be worthy of an entry or write to me at 25 Chelsea Gardens, Church Langley, Essex, CM17 9RX.

David Roberts

Charity help

THANK you to all who donated for Marie Curie and Grace House in memory of Brian Duffy.

The amount raised was £1,000, which will be shared between the two charities.

Margaret Duffy, Meadow Close, Coxhoe, Durham

What a show!

I WOULD like to take this opportunity to thank the staff and pupils of Year 6 at St Benet’s School for their fantastic presentation of their musical Benny Elliott – not forgetting parents for their support.

Staff and pupils alike worked very hard to excel on the two nights it was played.

All the children in their various roles were brilliant, a joy to see and a credit to their school.

It was funny and emotional, and the finale on Thursday brought the house down to tumultuous applause and cheers from the audience.

The stars of the show were Johnny, Benny and Micky. They should be proud of themselves.

Once again, well done to all.

L. Broadbent, Hylton Road, Pennywell

Search Party

I AM looking for any information on my great-grandfather.

Joseph Brunksill Robson senior was a headteacher at Quebec School, Durham, and then moved to Ford School in Sunderland in 1919.

He was married to Margaret and they had several children – Joseph Brunksill Robson Jnr, Robert and Evelyn. I believe they lived at 6 Roker Park Road, Roker.

Margaret died in 1925 at Roker.

Joseph Brunksill Robson Jnr was born on February 12, 1902, at Swalwell and, aged 17, went off to sea as a merchant seaman. He sailed with the Alfred Holt shipping company based in Liverpool and sailed across the world. He sailed on the SS Titan under Captain Yarwood.

I can’t find any more records of Joseph retiring or where he lived or is buried.

The last I head of Evelyn and her father Joseph their address was listed as 20 Dudley Road, Wimbledon SW20.

I also have a link to the Isle of Man. I heard that Robert and his family and father Joseph Snr all moved here in 1950s and Jospeh Jnr and families followed a few years later.

They might have lived at Port Jack in Onchan but left again after a few years and returned to the North East.

If anyone has any other information about this family it would be wonderful to hear from you.

Lynne Boon, Email: lynneboon@mac.com. Tel. 07976 846864 or 0208 659 0616

I AM trying to contact Alan Cameron (on behalf of my father Brian Beattie). Alan was evacuated to Wintringham, North Yorkshire, during the war from the Sunderland area (along with my dad).

Please contact me in the first instance and I will pass your details on to my dad.

We know that Alan recently visited Wintringham but didn’t leave his contact details.

Mrs Sue McMullen, Highfields, 4 North Mason Lodge, Dinnington, Newcastle NE13 7LH. Tel. 01661 821151

I AM trying to get in touch with the following people from the Class of 79 at Monkwearmouth School:

Gary Tsang, Pamela Smith, David Howarth, Michelle Lambing, Michael McKeever, Shelagh Nash, Martin Callan, Dawn McQuillan and Graeme and Tanya Doneathy.

We are planning another school reunion in November.

Please get in touch with any of the following:

Kay Brewerton, tel. 07745 704104, Janet Wilson, tel. 07785 514131, Garry Shewan, tel. 07909 756791, Gill Archbold, tel. 07763 242969.