Letters, Friday, May 11th, 2012

Have your say

Adelaide would be a money-spinner

J. YOUNG (Letters, May 4) asks if the ship the City of Adelaide is supposed to be a money-spinner, why do the people who have it seem keen to get rid of it? Well, it does not belong to them, but the space that it occupies does. He guesses that at least 99 per cent of Wearsiders have not made the trip to Scotland to see the ship. Well, I guess that 99 per cent of the Aussies have not made the trip either, but they still want it!

Now why would the people of Sunderland want to go all the way to Scotland to see an old-fashioned wooden sailing ship when they can just pop to Hartlepool and see the Trincomalee or even Whitby to see the Grand Turk?

Mr Young asks why does anyone think tourists from other places will come to Sunderland to see the City of Adelaide? Perhaps for the same reasons that they go to Hartlepool and Whitby to see their ships.

Yes the Fighting Temeraire was scrapped when it became obsolete, but isn’t Beamish full of obsolete artifacts? Should we bulldoze all our museums?

Sunderland’s museum has or had a stone-age dugout canoe. It looks more like a hollowed out tree trunk. Should that be dumped back in the Wear?

As for putting a plaque on the prom, or anywhere else for that matter, about the City of Adelaide, I think that would be a waste of time. Scientists suggest that sea levels will rise in the coming years. Back in the 1970s they predicted a new Ice Age. What happened? If God or Mother Nature decides to flood half of Sunderland then there is very little that man can do about it except get out of the way.

Once the City of Adelaide is brought back to Sunderland and renovated, all the money made by the ship could then be pumped into all the projects that Mr Young has mentioned.

R. Tomlinson, Seaham

Great reunion

MAY I say what a great and very emotional time we all had at the Whitburn Secondary Modern School Reunion of the pupils who left around 1959. It was held in the Grey Horse recently.

I would recommend such reunions to anyone who has recently retired or contemplating retirement, because it puts all your life in perspective and brings back all your happy memories.

I do, however, regret I didn’t take my 1959 and 1958 photos with me of the headmaster and his family, a couple of our teachers and lots of fellow pupils. In those days not many people had cameras so my pictures are a treasure. I would like a follow up reunion to show these pictures to my old pals who have never yet seen them. I also have several sketches and paintings, some of them in pencil, paint and school ink.

I’ve just been told we are meeting again for a coffee morning soon, where we can wind back the years of the greatest days of our life, looking at the pictures which have stood the test of time better than myself,

Jimmy Chambers, Durham Avenue, Donwell

Election coverage

I WAS disappointed that in your coverage of the recent local election you failed to consider the outstanding result of John Defty, the UKIP candidate in Hetton Ward worthy of a mention.

John polled 43 per cent of the vote, coming within 265 votes of winning the seat from Labour. John and his team fought a spirited campaign, forcing James Blackburn to take to the streets, with the help of MP Bridget Phillipson and pressing into service an open-topped double-decker bus.

Mr Blackburn now inherits the title of deputy leader and, in addition to his existing allowances, a further £25,111 per year – more than twice as much as Sunderland City Council pays it lowest-paid workers of £12,145 for a 37-hour week.

I look forward to seeing value for money.

Richard Elvin, Chairman, UKIP North East

Such generosity

AS Little Billy Craggs might say, “Ya knaa, missus, North East folk are getting even mair generous when they give donations to that geriatric clown who collects for Grace House.”

Yes, in the three weeks April 14 to May 5 you donated over £1,854 to the Grace House Appeal.

On April 14 over £340 was given at The Galleries, followed by a mind-blowing £602 at Asda in Boldon. Then on April 21, on my final monthly visit to Sainsbury’s at Fulwell, another £250 was collected. On April 28 over £241 was collected at Morrisons in Shildon. (I had to renew my passport for that collection!).

Finally on May 5 at Byron Place in Seaham, over £408 was given.

The sum of £1,854 in only three weeks is truly humbling and I thank you all.

May 18-25 is National Children’s Hospice Week. I and other volunteers will be collecting in the city centre every day of that week. If you are coming into town, please search down the backs of your sofas etc. and feel free to get rid of all your “shrapnel”. I will gladly take it by the bucketload.

Once again, thank you and God bless you all.

Jeff Coxon,



City is well off the pace

LAST weekend saw the first official Marathon of The North, in Sunderland. From the number of people who participated, it sounded as though it was a reasonable success. However, that’s despite the lack of real advertising of the event.

It was the first time it has been held and, just like The Great North Run, perhaps this will grow and grow. If that is the case, I’m sure Sunderland Council will be quick to take the credit even though their involvement may be minimal.

It is just the kind of scheme they like, with little financial outlay and no development in the surrounding area required – just like the airshow. They will probably adopt a stance that they are “forward thinking”. Nothing to do with being 30 years behind our neighbours in more than just fun runs.

On the council itself, I see around a third of Sunderland turned out to vote more Labour councillors into power. It is always the same, with Sunderland, reverting to type and voting for a council they’ve spent, give or take, 40 years complaining about.

I can only talk about the ward I’m in, Barnes, where Conservative Tony Morrissey lost his council seat. That was following all his efforts in seeing the successful redevelopment of Barnes Park, nearly 20 years after the issue was raised, and finally making the Royal Hospital do something about parking, not before time.

The public in some respects are fickle, but as one voter put it before the last General Election: ‘“The people of Sunderland would vote for anything with a red (Labour) flag in it”.

G. Engel, High Barnes, Sunderland

Never on a Sunday

WE may live to regret what one commentator referred to as “Steve Cram’s brainwave”, the recent tri-partite marathon. Not since Phidippides travelled (without rail card) from Athens to Sparta has so much confusion been caused, for so long, by so few.

My mobile phone, a gift from my closest friends, has the theme “Chariots of Fire” as its ring tone, a welcome reminder of Eric Liddell, the Olympic gold medallist who refused to compete on Sunday.

He honoured God who honoured him, in turn, with a gold medal.

Sunderland, the home of Bede (at Monkwearmouth), in its unwisdom provided generous support for Sunday runners, while forcing prominent local churches (Bethesda Free Church, St John’s Methodist Church et al) to close.

Not satisfied with that, the council of the city caused significant problems for the Sikh Community at Ryhope Road.

This far; no further! The religious communities – Sikh, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu and Christian – must now join forces to oppose this continued spread of secularism.

The breakdown of the family, the corrupting of politics and business, the proliferation of abortion, of alcohol and drugs, have all been nurtured in the fetid fertiliser of secularism which has engulfed our society for two decades.

We ignore that fact at our peril.

George E. Brown, Sanford Court, Sunderland

Thanks to voters

I WISH to thank all of those people in Fulwell who voted for me in the recent local election. Your votes ensured that Fuwell has three Conservative councillors who will continue to represent the views of all residents of the ward.

We do this through our ward surgeries held every Saturday morning in Fulwell Community Library, ward walks, street surgeries and attendance at neighbourhood public events.

Bob Francis, Conservative councillor, Fulwell Ward

I WOULD like to thank all the voters who voted for me at the recent council elections and all of those who supported me in my campaign with the result that you have elected me to serve you as your councillor in the Copt Hill Ward for a further four-year term.

I have worked hard for all of you in the last four years to get you what you want and I intend to work at least as hard in the next four years.

There is much left to do and I intend to work with whoever I need to get it done. Don’t forget I am here for you all, so do not hesitate to contact me if you want my help or to give me your opinions or to exchange views.

Coun Derrick Smith, Copt Hill Independent, Houghton

I WOULD like to take the opportunity to thank all of the electors who kindly voted for me in the local elections.

Although I did not win the seat, I was delighted with the number of votes I received, especially as it is the first time I have stood in an election. Once again, many thanks to all my voters.

Ann Owen

I WOULD like to thank all the residents of the Sandhill Ward for their continuous support in the May 2012 local elections. I pledge to continue working hard to improve the area we live in and address any issued promptly.

I am still currently fighting to keep our Minor Injury Unit open at Grindon Walk In Centre and will continue to do so.

If anyone has any issues or concerns they would like to discuss please do not hesitate to contact me on 07833 401276 or email cllr.debra.waller@sunderland.gov.uk.

It is by working together in partnership that we can make a difference in our ward. Once again thank you for the vote of confidence you have in me as your councillor.

Coun Debra Waller, Sandhill Ward

I AM writing to say thank you to everyone in the St Peters’ Ward who voted for me in the recent local elections. I was disappointed not to have been successful but I am extremely grateful to the people who made the effort to go out and vote with a cross next to my name.

Chris Henry, St Peter’s Ward candidate