Letters, Monday, October 15, 2012

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Service is a load of old cobblers

I had a very unusual and unexpected experience on Thursday, which left me more than a little bit flabbergasted.

I try to use local small businesses where I can, so off I set to a cobblers with three pairs of boots in a bag. I wait my turn then ask politely to the man behind the counter if he is able to sort my down-at-heel wares, and was rudely, impolitely and a little angrily told that he would only do two pairs at a time.

I looked at him with absolute incredulity. I had obviously offended his mortal soul by wanting to use and pay for his services. I related back to him what he had just said to me “only two pairs at a time?”. “That’s right,” he replied. “Why?” I asked. “Everyone is coming in here with bags full of shoes to be done,” he said. “Fine, I’ll go elsewhere,” I replied as I hurriedly put the boots back into the bag and headed out of the shop, feeling embarrassed that I had made some major faux pas and totally upset some innocent man by taking more than the nominal amount of trade, thereby acting irresponsibly and irreverently in his sacred place of work.

I honestly came out of that shop feeling as though I had done something unspeakable. I have a lot to think about at the moment, as most people do in their lives (I’m not unique in that aspect), and cannot understand why this has bothered me so much that I feel I need to write to the Echo, but I think it comes down to this: I had made a conscious decision to go to that shop out of some misplaced loyalty. I had dropped my terminally ill husband off to see his parents (that’s not to make this story more dramatic, just an unfortunate fact of life), after that I would quickly take my trade to the cobblers and get back to him ASAP.

There was no need for this chap’s reaction. I was not impolite, I was not in any desperate hurry for the work to be done (not that the conversation got that far) and was not even rude back to him.

There was no written notice on his shop window that I had deliberately ignored to make this terrible an inexcusable request of him to heel three pairs of boots in one go.

My only mistake was to act with some loyalty towards a local small business and I don’t think I will be making that mistake with him again.

Tracey Oliver

West Moor Drive



Taking the Mick

I read Aziff’s and Mrs Ecklestone’s letters “praising” Mick Brown’s letters and they state that Mick must have been to a good school, that he is entertaining and that he has read the Encyclopedia Britannica, yet Mick himself disproves this by 
his lack of eloquence in letter-writing and he doesn’t use long words such as effervescently, facetious, grandiose and my favourite, Havelock, which is 
the name given to the flap of cloth on the back of a soldier’s helmet that protected his neck 
from the sun, incidentally invented by our very own 
General Henry Havelock of Sunderland in his letters to the Echo.

To me this shows a lack of good learning. Perhaps he could purchase a new set that I could 
let him have at a reasonable worth.

Another thing is that Mick Brown is always going on about being in a post office queue with ladies and their blue rinse hair or about ladies shopping in the supermarket in their nightwear while he is shopping.

Why does Mick want us to go to London to shop at Halfords while I’m sure there is still a Halfords in Sunderland somewhere?

In other letters Mr Brown has also gone on about the Olympics and football on television spoiling his enjoyment of soap operas which leads me to think that if it wasn’t for the fact that he and I went to the Bede – no 11-plus them days – that he is using the name Mick as a pseudonym and if it wasn’t for the fact I met him a few weeks ago, that Mr Brown is now actually a shy retiring lady and that we could have welcomed Mrs. Brown to the Echo’s letters page.

I’m being facetious there, 

Alan ‘The Quill’ Vincent,

Old Penshaw

Super Sunderland

COULD I offer a note of thanks to staff at the Stadium of Light at the Wigan match?

 I had the distressful experience of losing my wallet. Panic-stricken, I approached a policeman who was very sympathetic and calmed me down.

One of the stewards kindly took my daughter back into the stadium and lo and behold she found my wallet with nothing missing.

 Once again thanks the to the policeman, the steward and the people of Sunderland.

George Brown,

Cottonmill Lane,

St Albans,