Letters, Thursday, April 2, 2014

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Excellent way to remember fallen

RECENTLY I went to see a film entitled ‘Wad Thou Gan?’ which is a DVD produced by the Wessington University of the Third Age War memorials Project.

 It is about the menfolk of Washington, Harraton and Usworth, who went to the Great War and did not come back.

 It was quite a fascinating film with lots of old photographs and films interspersed with footage of ‘soldiers’ at Beamish Museum to give it a local feel and there was quite a crowd attending.

 I did enjoy it and, in fact, I used it to try to spot my late grandda in the films or indeed photographs, who incidentally joined up for both World Wars.

 For people who were unable to catch this show, I believe it may be purchased from the Wessington U3A War memorials Project for £5 of which £1 goes to Re.Org Trust and is available from Peter, Pen and Sword, Docherty the butcher and Rita the hairdresser in Front Street and also Harraton Paper Shop according to the site.

 The group is currently marking the houses of the fallen of Washington by placing a bronze resin poppy on the wall of the home where the soldier that was killed used to live at the time of his death.

 I think that it would make an excellent tribute to extend this accolade to the fallen of Sunderland should any pre-Great War houses in Sunderland still exist that is.

Alan ‘The Quill’ Vincent,

Old Penshaw

I am running out of my nine lives

IT’S a common belief that cats have nine lives.

 The other day it inspired me to believe I may have some cat blood in me.

 Off the Washington Highway A182, about three years ago a young girl crashed into the back of my car writing it off.

 I got whiplash, the effects of which I still suffer from.

  In November last year, while on holiday in Benidorm, I slipped on a newly painted non-slip path. It was raining lightly so I was ‘very’ careful. Nature being tricky still managed to lay me on my back with a split head.

 On Friday, February 27, at about 11.30am on the same highway – the A182 – I pulled into the side of the road to answer my phone.

 While talking I glanced in my rear view mirror only to see a white blur heading towards me, on my side of the road. The driver must have been preoccupied because as they neared me, they suddenly swung to the right missing me by, what must have been, inches.

 There was no time for any of my life to pass before me.

 I am 73 next month but for an instant I expected to remain at 72.

 The car veered over, bouncing off the central reservation curb and carried on at speed down the highway.

 I hope the driver was more shocked than me.

 Looking at where I was parked, I saw I was on a bridge over another road. Had the vehicle hit me, I am sure I would have landed 30 to 50 feet on the road below. To survive would have needed more than the other six lives left.

 Tonight at least one driver is thanking his nine lives.

John Stott,


Unjust treatment of rat in bistro

I WAS astounded by the Echo report (March 23) that stated that a pest control company said it would release a pet rat into the wild, miles away from Sunderland after its owner used it to try to avoid paying for a bistro meal.

 Even if it found food, it could be at risk from dogs and people who though it was wild rat.

 Why should the rat be punished? Surely, it should have been handed over to an animal charity.