Letters, Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

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Some observations from Epping

I WAS interested in the remark by Doctor Mick Thurlbeck (“Judges’ decision leaves me fuming”) that “Someone, somewhere, probably a sandal-wearing do-gooder from Epping, will be able to explain the logic behind these dreadful decisions of judges”.

I have lived in Epping, with my Mackem wife of 34 years. I do not wear sandals, and leave it for others to judge whether I have ever done any good.

I have been regularly staying in Sunderland since 1975 – normally one weekend in four or five, as well as the odd full week here and there. I follow the Black Cats and am proud of my associations with the town, which is definitely my second home.

Some observations: It’s generally colder here than in Epping.

When people talk about “the match” in Sunderland, they all mean the same one. People talk readily to each other in Sunderland.I have never experienced standing in a takeaway in Epping and had a fellow customer – a total stranger – start to talk to me like his long-lost friend about the match. I have in Sunderland.

Unlike Sunderland, there is no history of working-class socialism in Epping. Tory areas such as Epping are unlikely to produce the “trendy leftie” type hinted at by the remark in the Echo article.

Epping is a long way from the nearest seaside.

People from Epping (those who have never visited the North East) seem to think that Sunderland and Newcastle pronunciation is the same.

People from Sunderland (those who have not visited the South East) seem to think that Essex and London pronunciation his the same.

On a more serious point, denigrating people because they originate from any place – whether it be Epping, Bangladesh or France – has dangers which should seem obvious to anyone. One only has to look at some current conflicts in the world to see (admittedly taken to the extreme) consequences of such an attitude.

You have every reason to be proud of your town – a sense of pride in which I am privileged to share.

By all means comment on the seemingly inexplicable attitudes demonstrated by some members of the judiciary, but don’t blame me because I come from Epping.

Peter Pleydell

Roman remains

I WAS recently reminded about a letter regarding the council’s promise to excavate the site of the much missed Vaux Brewery to look for previously uncovered Roman remains and the like, which is obviously falling by the wayside as I write, nay, type.

This small reminiscing reminded me of an Echo article, which may have been an episode of “Wearside Echoes” back in the 80s or 90s, which celebrated the finding of a Roman mosaic of a male figure and that the index finger was measured at an incredible nine feet long while digging the foundations for Vaux Brewery, in fact, in and around the same area as the Hat & Feather pub (Greens) stood Bell’s Cycle Shop on the corner of Low Row and High Street West.

Major road construction took place in this area in the 1980s and, in the cellar of the shop, the remains of a Roman mosaic were discovered, possibly part of the Vaux Brewery mosaic.

There are also Roman remains over at Foxcover Lane, which splits the remains. However, the two fields are owned by different farmers who could not agree on a joint excavation by any association at the time. This evidence should prompt our council to start on proper excavations as promised, not just a “minor” scraping of four feet (A Roman wall was found 12 feet down in Low Row).

Imagine the number of people that would flock to see these amazing sites should the excavations go ahead as promised, or are we somehow ashamed of our Roman heritage?

Alan “The Quill” Vincent, Old Penshaw

We’re here for all

I’VE carefully read Mr M. Brown’s concerns (September 19) and would like to inform him that Unity Multicultural Centre is an organisation which serves all regardless of colour or creed.  

Therefore I take this opportunity to urge Mr Brown not to feel deprived or ignored as Unity Multicultural Centre is here to provide help for all – so be part of it. We all have the right to freedom of speech in a respectful manner.

Tahir Khan, Chairman, Unity Organisation

Priory memories

I ENJOYED reading (September 18) about Washington Heritage Festival and seeing their banner with Conishead Priory. I lived in the grounds of Conishead until I was 18.

When all the pits closed it was longer needed as a Durham Miners’ convalescent home and stood for empty seven years until the Buddhists bought it. It is now one of the largest Buddhist communities in the country.

Eileen Cartmell, c/o Southmayne Road, High Barnes