Letters, Tuesday, September 9, 2014

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Kind thanks to the staff on ward B21

ON Tuesday, September 2, my wife’s uncle, George U Elliott, was admitted to Sunderland General Hospital with kidney failure. He was taken to ward B21.

 In the past I have always told my wife that if anything happened to me, not to take me to there, but this latest experience has renewed my faith in the nursing profession.

 George’s family and friends kept a 24-hour vigil around his bed until he died in the early hours of the September 5, and were very impressed by the professional dedication of the nursing staff on that ward. To them it was not a job but a vocation. We have never seen such dedicated staff, nothing was too much trouble for them, they treated George with such respect and dignity, talking to him when they came in to check on him, even though he was sedated the majority of the time.

 If all the staff in the hospital were as dedicated as the ones on B21, Sunderland General Hospital would be the highest rated hospital for patient care in the UK.

 The family would also like to thank the hospital chaplain for her visit and kind words. Again, we cannot praise the staff of B21 highly enough – they are a credit to their profession.

B J Kennedy,

via email.

Fond memories of the Grand Hotel

BY a happy coincidence, I happened to acquire a copy of the Echo on Monday, August 25, which features the 40th anniversary of the demolition of the Grand Hotel. I remember the Grand Hotel and I have one abiding memory of it.

 In 1964 I was living at Seaburn and a girlfriend was working as a receptionist at the Grand.

 She was working the late shift and I would pop in during the evening to have a chat with her at reception. More often than not, she would tell me to go into the restaurant for dinner, which I did on several occasions. Funnily enough, the waiters never asked my room number and I was never approached by anyone for payment. On one such evening, also sitting on his own at a table, I recognised a singer who was that week appearing at the Empire.

 His name was Mike Sarne and he had a hit record around that time called Come Outside featuring himself and Wendy Richard, who later was in Are You Being Served.

 Although I was 22 years of age, I was much too shy to try to engage him in conversation. What do I remember about him? That he was very tall, blond haired with a very pale face. His face was whiter than some of the sheets I’ve slept on!

 So that’s my abiding memory of the Grand. I enjoyed your article mmensely.

Norman Clarke,


Transatlantic ties

SCOTTISH voters will face an independence referendum later this month. The question: remain a part of the United Kingdom or become an independent country.

 The New Jersey Legislature and British Parliament should both pass resolutions opposing Scottish independence, urging the people of Scotland to reject independence and maintain the union.

 As part of the UK, Scotland has strong business ties with New Jersey and the United States.

 A strong, united Britain is an invaluable partner for our nation’s economy and military defence.

Eric Hafner,

New Jersey, USA.