Letters, Thursday, October 20th, 2011

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City market left a lot to be desired

LIKE a true townsman of the town of Sunderland, I went forth to the town market, supposedly in Sunniside, hoping to buy provisions to last my wife and me till the end of the week.

I arrived at 10am and there were about 21 stalls, 16 of which were unoccupied. Of those that were there, they weren’t exactly drawing you in to splash your cash. No meat stall, no cheese stall, but there was a vegetable stall showing a squash, an onion and couple of spuds. Not what I would call exciting fare.

The pie and cake stall was very nice, but by this time we were disillusioned and on our way somewhere else – anywhere else.

Surely, if you want to sell things at a market with a 9.30am starting time you have the stall ready for blast-off at 9.15am at least?

Linda Colling said there were 14 stall stalls occupied and seven empty. Anyone who wants to sell their wares would have been up with the larks and raring to go. They wouldn’t last long in The Apprentice. Nil point for effort.

What is the matter with this council, sitting in the civic centre planning a path for the town to take to make it more attractive to townspeople so that they stay in the town and aren’t naughty and go off to one of the places just 12 miles away where they can spend their Sunderland money in shops or market stalls in exchange for goods we cannot get in the closed-down shops and charity shops that are taking over our town centre.

The traders have seen the way this town is going and are like rats off a sinking ship, leaving the rat-holes with the shutters, to greet the poor beings who for various reasons can’t get to Durham or the MetroCentre.

You can’t blame them. The town’s atmosphere has just got up and gone as well.

A bit of good news at last: I read in the Echo that the powers that be have condescended to allow us to have a farmers’ market on Friday, October 21. Now that’s worth going to. But is there an underlying reason why they are not keen on the idea? I hope it’s something uncomplicated like how far a donkey can walk in a day.

From an avid supporter of farmers’ market in Sunderland town.

A.E. Steel, Phoenix Road, Sunderland

Poor service

I AM a disabled driver and having been to Morrison’s supermarket at Doxford Park for some shopping, I thought I would put in some petrol in while there.

I discovered I had a flat tyre, having put £10 in the tank, and drew around to inflate the tyre.

I found a nice man who was putting air in his and said he would do mine while there, to which I was very grateful, but having done his tyres the machine switched itself off.

I therefore had to go back into the petrol station shop, and ask the man behind the counter for a ticket for the machine, only to be told I had to spend £15 on petrol first. End of story.

I drove home with a flat tyre, utterly annoyed and upset to say the least.

I try and do my best for myself and don’t ask for a lot of help. The customer service I received was very disappointing.

That one man has lost Morrison’s my custom.

Mrs S. Surtees, Norman Avenue, Silksworth

One-way madness

IN the town I look across the road and see where I want to be, but I’ve got to drive around Grangetown to get there!

Years ago I used to drive along Fawcett Street and make my way to a Hendon Cash and Carry with absolutely no problem.

You go towards Roker and pass the entrance to Roker Retail Park. No sign to tell you it is there. They miss out on loads of trade because of the stupid one-way system.

A long time ago I was told that Sunderland’s one-way system was devised by someone who could not drive. Surprise, surprise!

Marjorie Matthews, Aiskell Street, Sunderland

Market myth

WHEN are we going to get rid of the myth of a man and his donkey walking so far in a day means you can’t have a market?

Do we need one? We have a perfectly good, covered-in one, namely Jackie White’s, which has served the city of Sunderland for years.

We tried the German market – too expensive – then had a go at the farmers’ market, which left a lot to be desired. Now the council is trying to sell us a market in Sunniside.

Haven’t they spent more than enough on that area? It’s not central enough. Union Street is the place, central, lots of shops, and where do you find the shoppers? Among the shops.

If it isn’t broken, don’t mend it. Which get us back to Jackie White’s.

John Coates, Zetland Square, Monkwearmouth, Sunderland

Plea over pitman

IN partnership with the restoration of the 1928 Follonsby (Wardley) Lodge pit banner, a publication was written by former miner David Douglass about its Lodge secretary, George Harvey.

He was born in Beamish and worked at the Handon Hold Busty pit. He came to Wardley Colliery as the checkweighman and remained there until the pit temporarily closed in 1938. He found work at Harraton Colliery and moved to Castle Street, Fatfield, and remained there until he died at work on May 26, 1949, aged 63. Although he and his wife did not have children, there were family members living in the area.

It is possible that there are older miners, neighbours or family in the area who can remember Mr Harvey, where his funeral was held or where he is buried.

He is not in any local cemeteries, nor at the nearest crematorium, which in 1949 was on the West Road in Newcastle. Nor is there any obituary that we can locate in local newspapers, even though we were told it was a well-attended funeral.

If any Echo reader can help we can be contacted on 07581 404876 or at my address. It would be great to find the resting place of a man who had served his local community and complete the last chapter of his life.

Gordon Stridiron, 9 Buttermere, Heworth Grange Estate, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear NE10 0XE

Tom’s ‘obsession’

ALAN Jones (Letters, October 13) knows perfectly well the only reason for Tom Lynn’s “obsession” with Newcastle United is in response to the relentless anti-Sunderland letters (both club and city) sent in by Mackem-baiting Mags who can dish it out but cannot take it.

Of course we would like to win every game, just as I am sure the Toon Army would like to win a major trophy for the first time in decades.

Wouldn’t you, Alan?

Andrew Martin, Church Street North, Sunderland

Visit to city

MY name is Philip Amatt and I live in Crawshawbooth, Lancashire.

My mum was born in Sunderland but moved to Salford in 1946 after marrying my dad. Dad was a Salford lad (Lowry connection, eh?).

They met when my Dad was assigned with his regiment to protect the shores of the North East during the Second World War with The Liverpool Scottish Regiment.

As a child, I spent all my holidays on the beach at Seaburn with family. Very happy days.

I have some family still in Sunderland and I was up there recently. I stayed at Roker Lodge, where they allow dogs in the rooms.

I was out for a walk with my dog Mab one morning. As I walked along the beach towards the Cat and Dog Steps, I had a sad recollection of a summer day in 1968 (I think) where, with two cousins, I witnessed the death of a brave lifeguard trying to help a group of people who had got trapped at the end of the rocks, as the tide was coming in.

If any of his family read this, then I send you my very best wishes.

Philip Amatt, Crawshaw Grange, Crawshawbooth, Lancashire

I FEEL I must respond to Mick “The Pen” Brown’s disparaging comments about pantomimes (Letters, October 13). Boooo!

David Lowe, Chester Road, Sunderland

CRAFTY Knitters would like to thank everyone who bought goods from and donated to us over the past year.

We raised £1,200 which was donated to SSAFA (Siblings of soldiers killed in conflict). Also a big thank-you to the Echo for its supporting article.

Jean Moore

I WOULD like to thank Mr Boyd at Sunderland Eye Infirmary for his diligence and his overall calming manner while I was undergoing eye surgery.

He and all the staff at were really helpful and reassuring. Well done, all of you

Ena Martin, Castletown

I WOULD like to thank my two sons, Neil and Jeff, and daughter-in-law Carolyn for what they did for my 80th birthday. What a great surprise!

To all my friends and relations for presents and many beautiful cards, I thank you all so sincerely.

God bless you all.

Edna Ruffell, Eden Vale, Sunderland

IN reply to Mr Chalk, of Millfield, who used the Letters Page to defend striking teachers demonstrating on the streets of Newcastle, my comment is short and to the point: May the Lord save us from bleeding-heart liberals.

Ron Metcalfe, East Herrington