Letters, Monday, August 6th, 2012

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Happy memories of Summer School

IN the summertime, the birds are singing, the sun is shining and it’s time for Summer School.

 Off we went from Hudson Road School to the far distant parts of Seaburn Camp. The masters in charge of Little Billy and a lot of his reprobate pals were Bill Eastern and Arthur Ledger. Harvey Philips was also in the background and our headmaster was Mr Kirby.

 We as children were billeted in those huts and naturally the boys were separated from the girls. The girls’ teachers were their chaperones. Many of these teachers were only in their early 30s. Many of the men had taken up the profession after being demobbed.

 It was great because we were away from the blackboard jungle and out and about eating together and thrown together for a fortnight. We would walk along the beach and collect shells and crabs from Seaburn to Whitburn. We played games and ran races. This wasn’t “school”, it was “fun”.

 Other kids thought Little Billy was a millionaire because we had a sweety shop. My pals at that time were Charlie Carr, Billy White and Tony Morton.

 We were taken to the beautiful gardens of the Nelson family in Whitburn and then told to draw what we had seen. I couldn’t draw for toffee, but Billy Blenkinsop drew a magnificent picture of these gardens, capturing the trees and flowers.

 I was fortunate and born with a silver spoon whereas some bairns belonged to large families where the first up was the best dressed. They didn’t have enough money for clothes. Hugh Mitchell, a Rotarian with a shoe shop, vowed that no child in Sunderland would go without boots.

 Lambton Street Boys’ Club was for the “waifs and strays”, such as the “Echo Boy” statue.

 During the war, some children went to Middleton Camp and got a love for the fresh air and countryside. These folk are now the nanas and grandas of this new generation.

 I believe Summer Schools are great places even for “poor rich kids”. Love and friendships blossom between boys and girls, male teachers and female teachers.

 God is good in tough times. That’s why Sunderland has a motto “Nil Desperandum Auspice Deo” which is Latin and can be understood by people throughout this Olympic year. It means “Never despair, trust God”.

Bill Craggs (Little Billy)

Killing animals

I UNDERSTAND the reason Richard Ord wrote what he did in his column and I pretty much agree with what he said. Even though the BNP have allowed non-white people to join their party, they still have that reputation.

 But on the subject of killing animals I think the BNP are right: it is cruel and it should be stopped.

 I am not very religious so I don’t really care what they have to say about their so-called God. There are many religions in the world and yet no God has even been proven.

 The first time I ever voted I did so for the Green Party, because they care about animals and our beautiful countryside.

If the law allows us to kill and eat animals everything should be done to prevent animals suffering. After all, given the choice, which way would you choose to go – quickly, or slowly in terrible pain?

P. Thompson,


Right to mosque

THERE are 10 different buildings used for Christian worship in Millfield. There is one mosque, housed in a former corner shop, which all agree is unsuitable and that another building must be found.

 If there are 10 buildings used by Christians, Muslims have the right to request one mosque.

John Watson,

Granville Street,


It was a done deal

WELL, we got it from the Echo first, before the planning meeting. The proposed mosque at the large garage building next to Aldi would be voted for by Sunderland Council Planning Committee. This was regardless of the vast majority of Millfield and indeed Sunderland being against it. It is the wrong place for various reasons.

 The people who came to the meeting and those who spoke to protest and give their views were completely wasting their time.

I think this was a done deal behind closed doors, and our council does not care about Sunderland residents’ concerns.

 However, the people of Sunderland will vote these people in again, election after election, won’t they?

 A Pakistani person at the meeting said the mosque would be for Millfield only.

This despite the present illegal mosque being used by all surrounding regions, witness the many cars and minibus at prayer times.

 And why the need for such a large building?

 This was already a done deal. Say goodbye to democracy.

Marjorie Matthews,

Aiskell Street,