Letters, Friday, June 13, 2014

Have your say

Sell ‘insult to miners’ on seafront

IF Seaham Town Council needs money to buy the 1101 Tommy, I would suggest that it sells that insult to the miners that sits across the road from where the Vane Tempest pit used to be.

If ever there was an eyesore – that is.

As an ex-miner myself, I do not profess to know much about art, but I like to think that I am capable of recognising quality when I see it.

Tommy 1101 is quality.However, the so-cold tribute to the miners is an out and out carbuncle.

I do not think any ex-miner in Seaham, or anyone else, would object to the welded biscuit box being sold off to help pay for ‘wor’ Tommy to bide here in Seaham.

To those who disagree I would suggest that they contact Spec Savers.

R Tomlinson,


Priceless potential

THE 1101 artwork by South Hetton sculptor Ray Lonsdale on Seaham seafront is absolutely fantastic and there should be no doubt that it should be a permanent feature.

It is arguably better than the much feted Angel of the North by the widely-known Anthony Gormley and as a PR exercise to further put Seaham on the map it is potentially priceless.

What is beyond doubt is that if it is not kept in Seaham someone somewhere in another part of the country will pay good money to take to their area where it will be cherished and seen by many.

It is an emotional and outstanding sculpture that the North East should treasure.

The creator is a genius in his field and should be rewarded with it staying local.

Hopefully between them, Seaham Town Council and Durham County Council can make this happen.

Tom Lynn

Money better used

FAR be it for me to in any way shape or form to play down the sacrifice that our brave soldiers gave in both the First and Second World Wars.

Millions of lives were lost in both horrific conflicts, and indeed many casualties were suffered by our armed forces then and in the many conflicts throughout the world since.

They all deserved to be honoured. However, having recently visited the sculpture at Seaham Harbour portraying a british tommy, I would like to ask Ray Lonsdale how he can justify the price of £85,000?

Sure, it’s a great piece of work and I can see the sentiment behind it, but we hear so many stories of ex-servicemen who suffer from mental health issues or who find themselves living on the streets.

Surely that amount of money would be better off spent on these people?

Michael Mcardle,


Turned out of pub

ON Saturday, June 7, myself, my son and his girlfriend and my grandson, aged two, were shopping near the interchange in Sunderland.

We had a lot of bags in tow and it was a lovely day, then suddenly the heavens opened and we were dripping wet.

We decided to off-load and go for lunch in a pub. We got seated then spent 20 minutes having a look at the menu.

When we decided, my son and I went to the bar to order, only to be told by the manager ‘you can’t get served in here’ because my son had shorts on. I replied that there were no signs saying that. He replied ‘I am the manager, can you leave’.

Honestly, pubs are talking about slow business then we all get told to leave in a thunderstorm of heavy rain.

Mr J Smith,

Town End Farm

Not ingratitude

THE death of Churchill’s daughter, Lady Soames, reminded me of her appearance in The World At War.

She revealed how shocked the family were at Churchill’s defeat in the 1945 General Election, and accused the British people of ingratitude.

What an astonishing thing to say. Ingratitude? Even those of us too young to remember 1945 know why there was a Labour landslide.

British voters, including the armed forces, looked to the future and trusted Attlee to implement the social reforms of the Beveridge report.

Politicians may be disappointed at losing a vote, but must never accuse the electorate of ingratitude.

People usually choose Churchill as the greatest Englishman of all time. But he was a flawed character, and looking at his whole career there are serious questions about him.

The military disasters at Gallipoli and Narvik, his attitude towards striking miners, which revealed him as an enemy of the working class (‘Drive the rats back into their holes’), the way his powers waned after a near fatal bout of pneumonia, his bad temper at the way the Americans took over the running of the war, and how he clung on to power in the 1950s, despite old age and minor strokes.

While Churchill went gallivanting around the world during the war, it was Attlee who was running the country, a job he continued to do with distinction in the postwar period.

Henry Whipple,


Bye to referendum

TO wait four years to the end of 2017 for an in/out referendum on the EU is a giant no-no.

By then there would be another half a million immigrants here who would vote for the EU.

Is that what this Government wants? The answer is yes. There is no way the main parties want to come off the EU gravy train.

Free movement should be stopped immediately.

Our small island is already massively overcrowded and all services, NHS, schools, jobs and housing are badly damaged.

So the EU stops wars? Are we all too frightened to admit that the suggestion that Ukraine could join the EU prompted Russia to act the way it did, causing loss of life and damage to the structure of Ukraine?

The EU integration plan between 28 differing nations is a complete failure. You only have to look at the EU currency.

Everyone must think very carefully how we vote in next year’s General Election. If you let Labour in, say goodbye to a referendum.

Marjorie Matthews