Letters, Thursday, June 21st, 2012

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Band’s song was inappropriate

I TOOK the family to Herrington Country Park to take part in the Olympic Torch relay and  support the “Sunderland in 2012” programme.

Local bands playing live music! Then as Martin Longstaff from the Sunderland-based band The Lake Poets was coming to close his set, he introduced his song “Small town” by saying: “Thanks to Sunderland Council for putting this event on. We really should have more of this. This next song is about coming from Sunderland, a place which is not up to much. It’s hard coming from a crap town but you have to make the most of a bad hand.”

He then went on to play “Small town” to the folk from Sunderland who came to watch:

“I come from a small town,

A place where I feel alone,

A down on its knees town.

A place that I call home ...

A town where is easy to give up and hang your head,

A town where its freezing, a town where you end up dead.”

Was I being a over sensitive? But I thought: what a nerve! Wasn’t Sunderland Council paying for this band to slag off Sunderland to local people?

The worst thing was, I can’t get the song out of my head.

Adrian Potts, Herrington

Sport on TV

MICK the Pen writes that there is not enough sport on TV (Letters, June 15). This is the most ridiculous statement I have read in a long time.

Sky Football completely dominates the screen. Football can be viewed almost every night. In the winter ITV shows all the Champions League games, while Channel 5 shows many more.

As for the soaps, many people are lonely and to them Coronation Street is a treat and people look forward to it.

The Pen should not be listening to other people’s conversations in the post office and should show a little more consideration to others instead of just wanting more sport on TV.

Mr K. Andrews, Cleveland Road, Sunderland

Torch visit

WHEN I heard that the Olympic torch was passing the bottom of my little street, I vowed to not miss this portion of history as you will have to be over 80 or under 10 to witness it more than once, unless you travel abroad.

While listening to the commentary on ye olde steam radio I heard that the torch bearer had entered Herrington Country Park, so I made my way to the main thoroughfare to be met by a multitude of people on both sides of the road.

After what seemed an eternity I was wondering if the chap had left via the Herrington exit when along came a cavalcade of police bikers, high-fiving spectators, various charabancs full of waving citizens and, finally, the torch-bearer, striding manfully, whereupon the clamour of the crowd with their whistles and tambourines and voices reached a fever-pitch as the torch passed by.

So I say congratulations to the council for the spectacle both outside and inside the park and also well done on saving nearly £100,000 by buying five cans of spray paint for the Olympic rings on the hillside rather than the plastic and metal effort up the road.

Alan “The Quill” Vincent, Old Penshaw

Great centre

I HAVE used Grindon Lane Primary Care Centre on a number of occasions and can’t speak highly enough of the excellent service it provides.

I, like many others, would be most upset at the thought of it closing down. It can’t be because of lack of attendance, because finding a parking spot can be a problem.

B. Conley

Monument to ego

AS a past voluntary official of a sporting club that produced two Olympic representatives in the winter games in Lillehammer, Norway, in 1948, and a world champion, and who with others knocked on colliery doors for two shillings towards the cost of sending them, I wonder that London’s Tory Mayor Boris Johnson decided he needed to make a monument to himself, a large and stupid one at that.

He enlisted steel baron Lakshmi Mittal, one of the world’s richest men, with artist Anish Kapoor and engineer Cecil Balmond, to create the 115 metre tall “Orbit” that dominates the skyline of East London.

Is it a multimillion-pound trinket to the egos of Boris and Mittal? Is the “Orbit”, other than being a viewing platform, fundamentally useless and just a personal advertisement? Will it help the area’s housing crisis?

I don’t think it was part of the original plan for the Olympics, so have funds been diverted from communities, culture, even local sport?

What a difference Sir Peter Vardy is making with a Christian outlook for his Jigsaw Foundation. Now that is well worth supporting.

Bill Craddock, Donvale Road, Washington