Letters, Friday, February 8, 2013

Have your say

The high price of spending a penny

I HAVE just learned that Canada is to get rid of the penny.

 How wonderful, I thought, that a part of the old Empire is still using the old Sterling – £sd – that represented librae, solidi, denarii or pounds, shillings and pence, as opposed to the mother country that decimalised in 1971, until the newscaster mentioned that it was the pet-name for the Canadian cent and not a pre-decimal penny.

 I well remember the old £sd, with the pound having 240 pennies instead of 100 new pennies thus halving the value of the humble Sterling coins such as the penny, three-pence and sixpence which were affectionately nicknamed with evocative names such as “tanner, bob, half a dollar, half a nikker” and one I do not really recollect the “joey” for 3d. There was also the “florin”, which I believe was not a nickname but an old name for the 2/- coin and, of course, the quid, which has survived decimalisation.

 When decimalisation happened the old coins were made redundant.

 Buyers also suffered as pre-decimalisation prices would rise by 1d, but afterwards they went up the equivalent of 2.4d. At the time the government said prices would round up or down due to the discrepancy of the values, but it was mainly up.

 I have also noticed that to “spend a penny” can cost 20p these days – in the old days that would have been 48 visits.

 It reminds me of a tale my father would tell about The Bricklayer’s Arms and an old mate, Charley. Dad took him into the pub and said: “Have a proper pint.” The pint in question was Draught Bass and if after a few minutes the head was still present the barmaid would exclaim “that’s off” and promptly pour it away and pour a replacement until it remained flat.

 Charley proceeded to drink the proffered pint and said that it was alright, he being used to Scotch mainly. However, it was a bit too rich for his stomach whereupon it went straight through him.

 As some people will remember, the toilets were out through the pub door in the actual railway station, so off shuffled Charley toilet-bound, only to return in a few agonising minutes to ask my father: “Geordie, have you got a penny for two ha’pennies?

Alan ‘The Quill’ Vincent,

Old Penshaw

It is not right

THE Laser Yachting European Qualifying Round event took place over the weekend of September 21 to 25, 2012.

 This event caused the closure of Marine Walk and Harbour View car park, which is situated next to Sunderland Yacht Club, and the public road adjacent to the Sunderland Yacht Club up to the point of the mini roundabout, adjacent to RNLI gift shop and car park, and Sue’s Cafe. We also own public rights of way and were blocked in by the organisers of this event.

 We believe that this car park and road were closed without prior permission. We are consulting groups, associations, businesses and the public in our effort to prove this was against the Public Rights of Way Act and Highway Acts of Sunderland Council to make sure everyone has the right to park in the car park until prior legal consent is given. This would then allow the public time to object to the closure.

 Many groups, associations and individuals have brought their concerns to us at our cafe in the other car park at Marine Walk, Roker Foreshore, and are continuing to do so.

 We are therefore heading all of these groups and if any other members of the public feels aggrieved as to their rights of way being taken away by the actions, of others or have any information regarding this weekend and were affected over this, please contact us with your concerns and information.

 This will be treated in full confidence. You can contact us at our Cafe at Roker, Roker Car Park, Maine Walk, Roker Beach, or ring 07747 603592, or email: tomparkinparkin@btinternet.com.

Tom and Sue Parkin

Workers struggling

I NOTICE Gentoo housing group has started to install solar panels to their rented properties.

 They are asking tenants to pay an extra £1 a week in rent.

 The majority of these properties having these panels installed are rented by people on benefits.

 It is not much to pay an extra £1 a week when you are only paying £5 a week rent, and get cold weather payments to help with energy bills.

 However, when you are paying rent of nearly £400 per month and full council tax, and are expected to pay an extra £1 a week on top of that, it is too much.

 People who are paying full rent should have these panels fitted free as they pay enough, and are struggling as it is, especially as workers have to pay for everything – prescriptions, eye tests, glasses.

 Why should workers be penalised in this way?

 Most people haven’t had a payrise for years and have no spare money.

 It is so unfair of Gentoo to make workers pay for these panels.

Unhappy taxpayer