Letters, Thursday, November 29, 2012

Have your say

Overshoes needed for district nurses

AS an OAP with numerous medical conditions I have visits by district nurses, and many of them, who do an absolutely first-class job, are to be admired greatly.

 It is a very long time since I retired from my work and had never even heard of health and safety. On the face of it it seems like a pretty good thing if it is carried out in a 100 per cent way for all concerned.

 As a young man with children my wife demanded that we all removed our street shoes before entering the house, obviously to stop any dirt etc picked up on street shoes. This was about 50 years ago.

 As it now is, I live alone, of course very old. I am now incapable of keeping the front of my property spotlessly clean and free of dog deposits in particular which come on front paths, council owned and my own driveway. I would like to know why these dog lovers allow their animals to do this without cleaning up after them.

 I live in the Copley Drive area and see it quite often, and we all have open-plan gardens and fronts. To avoid district nurses walking into these messes, especially in the dark nights, why aren’t they issued with overshoe covers when they are expected to go into people’s homes, thus avoiding many of the germs we are told about in hospitals?

 Health and safety organisations should get themselves organised properly in respect of my comments. This will save the NHS millions of pounds in claims from these nurses who may stand on scissors or needles etc lying about on our floors at times. Also help in stopping germs spreading further. Once again Sunderland’s councillors appear to have been sleeping on the job.

 I am old, but still on a “learning curve” in trying to live in these modern times. As an ex-seaman of over 40 years in various shipping companies, no engine room shoes were ever allowed in accommodation alleyways, obviously to allow stewards to keep them clean and polished, as many old seamen in Sunderland will know. This happens in both navies, dare I say perhaps for hundreds of years.

Name and address supplied

Miner’s tale

IN December 1968 I was transferred to Blackhall Colliery from Mainsforth Colliery, Ferryhill. Was there a better Colliery to work at than Blackhall Colliery? I doubt it.

 There was never a dull moment with the constant tall tales and gossip that had me in stitches. We were getting our lunch one day when a fellow miner told a story I will never forget.

 Two Blackhall miners were walking down Middle Street. We will call one Barry and the other Wilko. Wilko said to Barry: “I am out drinking every night and our lass has to sit in the house by herself and she gets lonely. I wouldn’t mind buying her a green parrot to keep her company.”

 Barry said: “Well, on Saturday morning their is a parrot auction at the Colliery Welfare. You will be sure to buy a lovely parrot at the auction.

 Wilko went to the auction and, sure enough, a nice green parrot was about to be auctioned. Wilko said: “I am going to have this lovely parrot, and I do not care how much it will cost to take it home to my wife.” He started bidding, but as soon as he bid £100, someone bid £200, then £300. Wiko got the shock of his life when the auctioneer dropped the gavel at £600.

 Wilko was pleased he got the parrot for the wife, but he wondered who had been bidding against him. Wiko asked the auctioneer: “Who was bidding against me for that lovely green Parrot?” The auctioneer said, laughing: “The parrot, the parrot, the parrot.”

Jimmy Taylor,


Live life to the full

I NOTICED an announcement about the reduction in university applications from the region of about 20 per cent, and my heart goes out to young people at this time. However, I recall 50 years ago and longer, students attending university were continually on the breadline. They shared among friends whatever food they had, and parents in those hard times helped as they could.

 Where, oh where, has the guts and bonhomie gone from today’s young? My advice is to forget fees they may have to pay someday, take a chance on life and live it. The hard part, I know, is surviving once you arrive at uni, but you will manage. As for the fees, don’t worry, if you have to pay it back when your income rises over £21,000, the maximum you will repay is about £100 per month, what some spend clubbing in a night.

 If you fail to rise to the challenge, remember, you never regret what you did with your life, but what you failed to do. Don’t listen to old fogies who never took a risk in their lives, prove everyone wrong and look back later and be proud of yourselves.

Allan Wilkinson

Awards night

I WOULD like to say thank you to the Echo for putting on a great awards night. I would also like to say congratulations to Liz Fraser for winning the local hero award.

 Both me and Sam were humbled by the people who won awards. I’ve never met such deserving people and I hope that the Sunderland people carry on supporting these great people with their fund-raising activities.

 Once again, thank you.

Scott Andrews,

Wilkinson Terrace,


Boat evictions

HUNDREDS of years of small craft working alongside large shipping in Sunderland’s South Dock came to an end on October 30 when every small boat owner received a cowardly letter from the council and Port Authority evicting them from the South Dock. This was done without any consultation and giving the boat owners just three months to comply. This is the worst three months of the year to have to move boats. Has any thought at all gone into this eviction? I don’t think so.

 The reasons the council and Port Authority have given for this action is some excuse about increase in shipping, health and safety and a marine act. I think there is an alternative reason, but the council and Port Authority have not got the backbone to admit to it and that’s the reason for no consultation, just a letter through the post. They have said they are willing to discuss the moving of craft out of the dock, but I cannot see where over a 100 boats can be moored with a safe haven for the boats and their owners within the Port’s domain.

 A lot of these boat owners are elderly and disabled and get a great deal of pleasure just working on their boats, doing repairs, painting or just the comradeship of going down to their boats and meeting like-minded people. It’s what helps some of these people to live for day in and day out and, of course, the odd trip to sea for some fishing.

 I really cannot understand this decision. Just take a look at the amount of shipping going in and out of the Tyne and Tees. It’s got to be double the amount of shipping on a daily basis compared to what Sunderland gets in a year, and yet the small boat owners in these two ports work hand in hand with their Port Authorities with no problems at all.

Alan Bilton,

Railway Terrace,

New Herrington

Getting help at last

I WOULD like to thank Graham Hall and the Sunderland Armed Forces Network for helping me in getting help for the injuries I received when I was in the Royal Air Force.

 Over the last three years many of the organisations that I thought would help me have failed and it is only since the network started to help that I have made progress. I am now making a claim for my injuries and getting help for me and my family for the other problems that we have because of the 18 years that I served.

 At last we have someone who is helping veterans and not just talking about it.

 Thank you.

Dennis Roberts,

Burn Park Road,