Letters, Monday, February 18, 2013

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Leaflets are waste of time and money

THE sound of the postman dropping a cheque, or more likely a bill, through your front door is music to the ears.

 No, it’s a handbill, offering you the delights of the local Chinese or the nearest bingo hall. What a disappointment!

 Just how many of these pesky things do we receive every week?

 Well, it’s at least 20 to 30 on a good week, or bad, according to your opinion.

 This cannot be right, can it?

 The receptacle attached to our front door is indeed a letter or postbox, made to accept post.

 Have you ever considered the rights and wrongs of the organisations dropping their adverts wherever they please?

 Do they, in law, have any legal right to issue anything they care to deliver to our property?

 Well, their rights defeat me as I wouldn’t know where to begin to look for the law covering the subject. But an Englishman’s home is supposed to be his castle, isn’t it?

 Is there any benefit to be gained from receiving this mountain of paper?

 The information gleaned may, on occasion, be just what you needed to know, but not often.

 Of course, many people are employed as deliverers. I often wonder if any of them are on “the lump”, as we used to say of casual workers on building sites, who had never heard of income tax.

 Disadvantages – where do I start?

 The delivers of rubbish, as it may be called, apparently have the right to walk across our gardens and look into our living rooms, if it takes their fancy – not having the time or inclination to walk around on the footpath.

 This, of course, sets off all the dogs in the neighbourhood howling.

 Older folks can be frightened when strangers pass across their front windows.

 When we return from holiday, it takes an age to gather it up and dispose of.

 The council must spend a fortune burning the stuff.

 Am I a miserable old “git” or do I have a point?

Allan Wilkinson

Ban elderly drivers

IT’S surely time the Government put a cap on the age when a person must stop driving.

 For many years letters have appeared in the Echo criticising young drivers when, in fact, the majority of accidents and careless driving problems comes from the elderly.

 I must stress that I am not being ageist and in most cases it’s not their fault, but the the fact is when drivers get older their eyesight fails and their reflexes are slower.

 The other issue is that many older drivers are set in their ways and take little notice of the drink-driving laws, wrongly assuming that the odd pint or glass of whisky does not matter.

 Just a few days ago, an elderly couple overtook me on the A690, passed Bede College in freezing conditions, at more than 40mph.

 They did not notice the speed camera or the 30mph sign.

 The male driver looked like he was sitting on a cushion staring straight ahead, through some national health-type glasses, while clasping onto the steering wheel, with what must have been leather driving gloves – probably a Christmas gift.

 The female passenger was wearing a headscarf and was totally oblivious to everything around her.

 The point is while this is probably a stereotypical image of the elderly motorist, there is no doubt in my mind that the roads would be safer if folk who were aged over 75 had their licences removed.

Mick The Pen Brown

It’s a Z-list event

I CAN’T believe the Stadium of Light is having a karaoke night.

 And I can’t believe they expect people to pay an entrance fee.

 Every two bob Z-list celebrity will be there, sounding like strangled cats, in the name of entertainment.

 They must be struggling to sell tickets as they announced the new karaoke king is going to headline – James Arthur, a local boy.

 I bet the crowds will be out for him.

 My mate Flash is a bit tasty on the karaoke. The women, and some men, swoon when he does his Elvis routine.

 That’s what karaoke is – it’s for the pubs.

 So let’s get these two bob celebrities back where they belong.

 Let’s get some entertainers who actually turn up with proper instruments.

 Since when has banality and mediocrity become good role models for our children.

Ged Taylor


Dragging city down

NEWCASTLE is about to spend millions on the Port of Tyne.

 South Shields is spending millions on its main street.

 Sunderland can’t even boast a main street.

 So this town, which we are told is in desperate need of another bridge, is spending £2.5million on a Glass Centre!

 To quote the Echo (Page 6, February 7) will this “further demonstrate Sunderland’s bold approach to economic regeneration?”

 This town is way out of date and its council spends its time dragging it further down.

Name and address supplied

Where is Sunderland?

IT makes my blood boil that £2.5million is to be spent on the seafront.

 That’s fine, but what about the surronding land?

 The closure of the leisure centre must warrant something like a wet and wild on the seafront.

 Will we get it – no.

 Why? Because the land is going to be flattened and sold maybe, or are we going to get massive plant pots again?

 When will anyone come on record and state exactly what is going on down there.

 I picked two guys up in my taxi who were visiting Sunderland for the match.

 They used to live here but they asked: “Where is Sunderland? It used to be bouncing.”

 My reply: “Exactly, where is Sunderland?”

Kevin Stoker

Such a disappointment

I AM surprised, and disappointed, that Sunderland-born Terry Deary, pictured, who has made his fortune by, basically, re-writing history books is now supporting the threatened closure of libraries in the city, claiming that e-books are the future.

 I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that Mr Deary’s income will increase if people have to buy his books online to read on electronic devices, instead of being able to borrow them from the library as they can now?

 Some readers, particularly the elderly, who might have trouble with their eyesight, prefer to read paper books – bought or borrowed – and are able cherish their favourites to peruse time and again.

 E-books just don’t seem to have the same physical attraction and are certainly not as aesthetically appealing.

 I would have thought that Mr Deary, for all he owes to the printed word, would have championed the retention of all libraries in the city to be used by young and old alike – and even dip into his pockets to make a modest, but welcome, financial donation.

 I just hope he’s never marooned on a desert island and finds there is nowhere to charge up his Kindle.

Frank Johnson

Wrong to close libraries

SO the council is considering cutting library services.

 Without doubt, this is the wrong thing to do.

 Libraries are a barometer of a civilised society.

 Yes, you can buy a book, be it printed or online. But before potential readers spend money on reading matter they almost always want to know what it is they’re buying first.

 One of the beauties of libraries is that you are able to go in and browse through the books to see what you can discover.

 Try doing that for long in a bookshop and you will soon feel eyes burning into you expecting you to buy.

 We want people to read, especially young people.

 Libraries are the places that nurture this.

 Anyone can go into a library and open their eyes to new horizons. Even more marvellously, having discovered them you can take them home with you – free.

 In a world where profit and price are prioritised, closing libraries would illustrate that the council knows the price of everything but the value of nothing.

 Apparently, this new vision will see “the library service become a beacon of excellence in the community for reading, learning and information”.

 Should anyone be taken in by such complete guff, I suggest you get down to your local library as quickly as possible and borrow 1984 while you still can.

 No doubt some people will think this is all very well but it needs paying for.

 Absolutely and it’s worth every penny and more.

 Cuts? How about a bridge for less than £118m, or fewer planes at the airshow for starters?

Rob Mason,


Crowtree was brilliant

IT is an absolute shame to hear the sad news that the Crowtree Leisure Centre is to finally close its doors, after giving thousands of folk (from all over the North East) years of pleasure.

 At its height, the leisure centre had brilliant swimming facilities, a great wave machine, a fabulous skating rink, ideal five-a-side pitches and many other sporting opportunities for all age groups.

 But, that was all back in the good old days. So let’s all now look forward to our thoughtful Sunderland City Council spending the next six years deciding what to do with the site?

 As a fully paid up member of the council tax brigade, can I kindly offer a few suggestions: Let’s build a car park in the centre (you can never have enough parking spaces) or what about a supermarket (one more of the big five would do), maybe a shopping precinct with charity or betting shops, or a nice bridge in the city centre to match the new one currently being built over the River Wear – sorry, my mistake – or can we just have a new square with traffic lights situated every 320 yards (just like the the 12 sets we motorist have to endure every time we travel from Southwick Road to Gillbridge via Roker Avenue).

 Just a few thoughts for council chiefs to consider.

Phil Robson,


Stop curb advertising

AS I drive around this city of ours, I begin to notice the increase in motor vehicles for sale parked on curb ways, bits of spare land, in fact, anywhere a vehicle can catch the passer-bys’ attention.

 Is this legal and is it even acceptable in an ordered society where people carry on proper business practices, pay their taxes and abide by the rules.

 As I write this letter we have a car for sale parked on land beside the Hastings Hill pub roundabout. Does the landlord approve of this?

 Does the owner of the car pay for this service? Is the car owner running a business and informing the tax man of any profits he makes from this transaction?

 We even have a situation where at the bottom of Chester Road, opposite The Precinct student accommodation, a pizza advertisement trailer parks itself for a number of days taking up two very valuable parking spaces.

 This is preventing ordinary citizens o from parking there and going into work.

 It is free advertising space at the general public’s inconvenience. The proliferation of these motor cowboys is a blight on the cities appearance and should be stamped out.

 if this city is to progress and flourish these types of practices need to be monitored and traffic wardens take action against them. This way we will keep the streets of Sunderland tidy .

Keep Sunderland respectable