Letters, Monday, December 17, 2012

Have your say

We deserve better than the Crowtree

AS an avid user of Crowtree Leisure Centre I feel I must write regarding the following.

 Since the opening of the above I have played in the bowls section. In those early days much was available, such as the bar, ice rink, baths etc. In recent years drastic changes have occurred, unfortunately, not for the better.

 Gone is the bar, the ice rink, the baths and many of the sports that graced our centre. Now, our authority has all but washed its hands of our centre. My sport, bowling, is now wholly run by a few members of our committee, albeit somewhat restricted, but without their voluntary assistance our sport may well have gone the way of the dodo.

 Over recent months the centre staff have been relocated. The building itself is deteriorating fast. Water being a major problem. Upon entering our centre one is faced with a number of buckets attempting to catch water, including one precariously placed on the desk of the reception. The first landing is similar, while the upper floor is presenting a major problem.

 Not only does it also have a number of buckets but the presence of an industrial “aquavac” confirms that the water coming in is most certainly not being stemmed. Looking through the glass door of the bar, you can see a fallen ceiling and rubble. Finally, the bowling green itself often has a number of buckets strategically placed to collect water.

 The forum and bar, which at one time were most impressive now have a foisty smell to the point of stinking. The carpets are sodden and squidgy to walk on, and it’s fast becoming a health hazard and should be addressed. Had the same conditions exist in a place of work it would be condemned and closed immediately.

 As current conditions are being allowed to continue one can only assume the above problems have not been brought to the attention of our authority.

 It is alleged that a new leisure complex is to be erected in the vicinity of the Stadium of Light. As no official statement has been made one would assume this to be inaccurate. The latest rumour allegedly places the old ice rink area as the venue for a new indoor bowling green. If this is true then there is someone in the planning department with the ability to plan ahead.

 Re-using the ice rink is a stroke of genius, it is readily accessible, ideal size, a large flat prepared base. Building costs, being what they are, re-using the ice rink area will be a gigantic cash saving.

 We, the inhabitants of Sunderland and surrounding areas deserve better.

L J Todd,


My humble thanks

IN June, I acknowledged that your donations came to be just over £3,200 for the month of May. I also said that, that total could not be beaten.

 Well, you have done just that. In the four weeks Saturday, November 3 to Saturday, December 1, you gave more than £3,400.

 Magnificent and on behalf of everyone at Grace House I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

 The month began with £412 given to that geriatric clown at Sainsbury’s Washington. Then I received a cheque for £50 from a Mrs Cassidy, from Ryhope. On November 12 the clown was off to Asda Leechmere and raised £336. A collection of over £191 at Sainsbury’s Gilesgate was followed by a fantastic sum of £709 at Clays on November 17 and 18. November 24 saw a heart-warming sum of £343 at Lidl on Durham Road, then on November 29 and 30 the 35-mile trips to Tesco in Newton Aycliffe were rewarded with the sum of £802 over the two days.

 A collection of an estimated £200 was made at Sainsbury’s Fulwell on December 1.

 The clown collected there from 9am to 6pm, then went to Mill View Club to sell tickets for the car raffle to be made on December 21. Thanks must be extended to Billy Angus, who organised the visit, and the members bought nearly 250 tickets at £1 in just two-and-a-half hours.

 The hospitality and generosity was very humbling. The clown also sold 100 tickets elsewhere during November.

 I would like to mention a lovely evening at the Stadium of Light on November 21 for the Pride of Wearside awards. I had been nominated by Karen MacLennan, senior fund-raiser at Grace House, for the Fund-raiser of the Year award. Four nominees were short-listed and I honestly feel that at least two deserved the award before me.

 I truly accepted it on behalf of all the volunteers at Grace House as well as every fund-raiser at every other NE charity. You are all special people.

 The final category was the Children of Courage award. Eight children were shortlisted. There was not a dry eye in the house as the details of each child were given and, quite rightly, they were all presented with an award. I felt a fraud, sitting there with the same trophy as those eight fantastic children.

 Finally may I wish everyone a lovely Christmas and a Happy New Year. I thank you all for donating an amazing projected total of nearly £25,000 to the clown during 2012.

 God bless you all.

Jeff Coxon,


Bulldoze town

I SYMPATHISE with the Margaret Jones (a lack of respect, November 30).

 As a relief manager I was forced to work in the Gamecock pub in the centre of Peterlee, and worst of all the Royal Arms before it went to tenancy, November 1985 to march 1986.

 The people I associated with had no respect for anyone or anything – needless to say, I often told people if I ever won the lottery I’d hire 100 bulldozers to surround Peterlee and bulldoze it flat. That’s my respect.

John Stott,