Letters, Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

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Wrong site for wind turbine

THE proposed wind turbine site at Tunstall hills would be sited on the same escarpment that Ry-hope is named after, the “Hope”, adjacent to Tunstall Hills.

The turbine would tower over vast swathes of “Ry-hope”. We are talking about a windmill 455ft in height atop a 300ft hill – a combined height of around 755ft towering above Ryhope.

It is geographically speaking in the Silksworth ward, although at the extreme edge of it, in the bulge that embeds itself into the Ryhope Ward and subsequently far removed from any residences at Silksworth. The same cannot be said of Ryhope where it will be within 500 metres of the nearest residential areas.

If the ward councillors in Silksworth are so keen to have a wind turbine in their ward can I suggest a couple of alternative sites? Why not on the farmland between Elstob Farm and Newport, or on the high ground surrounding the lake adjacent to the the ski slope, or even atop the ski slope itself?

The proposed site at Ryhope would ruin an idyllic beauty spot where people can escape from the hub-bub of city life, sportsmen can play football and train, aeroplane-modellers can fly their models, families can picnic, hillwalkers and ramblers take in the air and beauty as I have for the last 50 years. Also the Easter pilgrimage with the crucifix ceremony atop Tunstall Hill would take on a whole new meaning dwarfed as it would be, by this 455ft monster towering over the ceremony!

The good folk of Sunderland should study the “data” which shows these monstrosities are not economically viable, that this heavily subsidised wind technology industry (by us the taxpayer) is permanently dependent on back up by conventional solid fuel, gas and nuclear power stations on days when there is no wind or too much wind. It is a “fallacy” to think wind technology could ever meet the demands of this country.

It’s time for people to stand up and be counted and raise their voices in opposition to these uneconomic, unviable, eyesores.

Remember Ed Miliband’s speech in 2009 when he said: “The Goverment needs to be saying ‘It is socially unacceptable to be against wind turbines in your area’.” And again: “The Government needed to be more robust in its efforts to face down local opposition to windfarms.”

Now, that’s what I call democracy!

Michael Hughes

Olympic Torch

I NOTE the Olympic Torch next year will travel 8,000 miles, so could I suggest a slight local diversion? Why not cross the Tyne Bridge and follow the route of the Great North Run to South Shields?

For this part of the journey, the torch could be carried by this year’s winners. From South Shields it could travel along the coast through Whitburn, on through Sunderland, and take the southern road link through Seaham. On to the A19 and down the coast to Middlesbrough.

Representatives from the armed forces could carry the torch for this section.

It would be guaranteed the route would be lined with many thousands of well-wishers. What a crowd pleaser, what a money raiser and what a spectacle for the people of the North East and the cameras.

Gordon Tomlinson, Seaham

Area is disgrace

I NOTED a while ago someone complained about the rusted vents on the walkway from St Mary’s car park and that the problem was attended to.

Did the people involved not look at the rest of the area? This is a main route into town for us and visitors and the dirt around the place is a disgrace. It sets a poor tone for the rest of the town.

The steps (both sides) are filthy. The rust-polished handrail down the steps to Green Street sits on railings, thick with dust. Yellow floor tape all over the place. Tired paintwork on pillars and walls. Some construction, inside, near the Echo seller point in Green Street has a duvet of dust.

Look into the elevator area – litter and more muck! The “foliage” on the pillars between M&S and BHS is a joke ... grey leaves? How difficult or expensive would it be to put all this right? A sight less than some wages.

Just when music visitors will be pouring into the city (and pouring out as soon as they get a look at it). Someone in a position of responsibility needs to get their finger out. No consultations or contracts or artist’s impressions required. Hire a local team of lads/lasses and do something about it ... then maintain it.

Ray Findlay, Chapelgarth, Sunderland

Charity thanks

THANK you to everyone who donated on Saturday, April 9, to Breast Cancer Care at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light.

We are delighted that in total we raised a staggering £1,059.06.

The permit was granted to Sarah Curgenven from the charity. Paul Ball was the facilitator in collecting the donations.

Sarah Curgenven, Overseas and UK Challenges Executive, Breast Cancer Care

Bus memories

FOR many year when I was a young boy, I used to travel on the Sunderland Corporation Transport on the way to school in the early 70s.

The type of buses were the famous Daimler Roadliners, Bristol RE’s, A.E.C. Swifts, Leyland Panthers for tokens, Daimler Motorbuses when the trams left the streets of Sunderland and the Daimler Fleetlines.

The bus drivers over the years included Jimmy Temple, Arthur Walker, Bill Smith, Stan Hepple, Dave Anderson, Aubrey Hood, Bob Dawson, Albert Whisker, George Hedley, Leslie Welch, Joe Matthews, Cyril Pace, Gordon Green, Bill Hardy, Arthur Priest and Nicky Carter.

Sunderland Transport Buses came to the end and became part of Tyne and Wear PTE. Thirteen years later, in 1986, it was renamed Sunderland Busways and is now with Stagecoach.

Happy days and great memories from the Sunderland Corporation Transport Buses.

Terry Christie, Woodside Terrace, East Herrington

Humps menace

AS a driver I have never seen so many speed humps in one place as in Seaham.

I do think they are too high and over time they inflict damage to your car.

As my wife has disabilities, going over these humps at the seafront upset her as it started pain in her lower back.

Cars these days are not meant to go at 10 miles per hour.

All blame lies on young drivers for them being put there in the first place due to speeding.

Steve Murch

Search Party

MY name is Michael Clarke. My parents, Joseph And Georgina, lived in The Perseverance Arms, Springwell Village, between 1938 and 1948. I was born there in 1940.

I am searching for the descendants of my father’s brothers, Thomas Clarke (born 1907) and John Reynolds Clarke (born 1910), possibly living in or near Springwell Village in the late 1940s, and a sister Nora Susannah Clarke (born 1903) who lived her whole life in Seaham Harbour, initially with her grandmother Susannah Cragg (nee Digney).

Thomas Clarke, I believe, married Jane Ann Grant c1932 and they had a son Thomas, born c1938. I have no details regarding John Reynolds Clarke other than he may have died either in 1944, aged 34, in the Newcastle district, or in 1965, aged 56 in the Durham South East district. Nora S. Clarke, I believ,e married William Davis c1928 and they had a daughter Denise born c1934. It is possible Denise married Felix Ward in 1952 and they had two daughters, Maria (1954) and Kathleen (1955).

If anyone can identify their family from this information, or has knowledge of the named people, I would be grateful if they could contact me on 023 9259 2489, or at genealogy@rnwarships.co.uk.

Michael Clarke, Hampshire

I AM searching for my birth sister who was adopted before I was born. The information I have been able to obtain is as follows:

Name at adoption: Susan Marie Nesbitt; Date of birth: 27.09.63. Adoption address: 27 Fordenbridge Road, Ford Estate, Sunderland. Adoption date: mid 1966.

I would be grateful for any information received.

Deborah Bell (nee Nesbitt), 115 Whitefield Crescent, Penshaw DH4 7QU Tel. 07834 612810

I AM looking for Robert (Bob) Thompson, formerly of Deptford and Farringdon, Sunderland. Bob and I served our apprenticeships together at William Doxford’s between 1951 and 1957, and went to sea as marine engineers, following completion of our training.

I would dearly like to make contact again with Bob, and would be grateful for any information relating to him.

Tom Martin, The Beeches, West Terrace, Stanhope, Co. Durham, DL13 2PD. Tel. 01388 526119