Letters, Thursday, December 6, 2012

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Not a ‘wonderful’ time for everyone

WE have come to the annual rituals of madness, joy, happiness and sadness.

 Trick or treat has lost its momentum along with our modern idea of Guy Fawkes.

 In my youth many communities used to have their own fireworks, bonfires, roast “tatties” and carry-on around the fire. Someone always found extra to burn to keep the fire going, music, pop, food and all enjoyed a short distance from their houses. The poorly and very young could watch safely. Some idiots would try a bit of “bravado” and get hurt. It happens. That magic has gone, thanks to foolish do-gooders, council, police and firemen. Now it must be arranged and properly organised.

 I didn’t see any kids asking for a “penny for the guy, mister” – all gone.

 Next we had “Remembrance Day”; First World War 1914-18, long gone and 1939-45 passed. Many lost friends and enemies, disablement – a reminder of modern wars, and so it goes on.

 Too soon we look to Christmas. A time of much happiness and some sadness. Children looking at Santa displays in shop windows with so much joy on their faces, repeated Christmas morning. Others look to what new items they want and will probably get.

 My parents gave with what they could afford. Now we have “plastic cards”. Buy anything and everything, live now – pay later – much later – maybe. Many will struggle to pay for Christmas. Some will pray away their blues, others drink it away. Many will find a bed in a hospital, some in a cell. The old at home trying to keep warm.

 Goodwill arrives, but many never experience it. Families celebrate this time of year, but many do not either know, remember, or care why.

 Old age bothers me, not because I am at the wrong end of life, but because so many will never live to see my age – the life, health, family, joy. I am sad for my/ours/your future.

 Merry Christmas and, if possible, a Happy New Year.

John A Stott,


Parking warning

THIS is a warning to other users of Sunderland Royal Hospital car park which is managed by Parking Eye.

 We are in the unfortunate position of having my mother in hospital.

 On Wednesday, October 31, we were called into the hospital early that morning until late afternoon. I paid £6 to cover a period a 24-hour stay in the car park.

 A week later I received a parking charge notice for the said date for £40, rising to £70 if I didn’t pay it within 14 days.

 I contested this parking charge and sent photocopies of my parking receipts as proof of payment, which I had fortunately not thrown away.

 A week later I received a letter saying the notice had been cancelled with no explanation. But what if I hadn’t kept my receipts as proof of payment?

 Is Parking Eye operating an unreliable service or is it deliberately trying to catch people out, hoping that they have thrown their receipts away, therefore having no proof of payment, to generate more income?

 I wonder!

Stuart Maddison,

Bishops Way

Donna Claire cash

FURTHER to your article on Saturday, November 24 – Respite Centre Assets Dispute.

  I feel that the money from the sale of the Donna Claire Venture should not be used for building log cabins. The money was raised in Sunderland and should stay in Sunderland. St Benedict’s Hospice is a worthy cause.

 The decision of where the money should go should be the decision of Geraldine and Audrey and should not involve Councillor Ed Bell, the so-called chairman.

 If he was chairman for Donna Claire why did he and his trustees not help to save it before it was forced to close last December?

 The money was raised for Donna Claire, not the North East Disability Resource Centre.

 Why should the Trustees get this money? The money should be used to provide respite care in Sunderland and not fund other areas of the NDRC.

 I think the thousands of people who raised the money want Geraldine and Audrey to have the last say.

 Every time Geraldine made a suggestion as to where the money should go it was turned down, so how can they blame Geraldine for the delays?

 The four trustees should be asked to provide documented reasons as to why they have made the decisions they have, and, in particular, why this is not being used for charities in Sunderland?

Sid Braithwaite,

Caernarvon Drive

Sad way to carry on

I COULD not agree more with Ed Hunter (November 26) about the footballer James McClean not wearing the poppy logo on his shirt, disgraceful.

 I also wonder whether Harry Patch and his mates would have been more saddened by this incident than the actions of Mick the Pen’s “victim”– the inappropriately dressed woman (November 24).

 Could the Pen not have offered the woman a lift home? She cannot have lived far away being dressed the way she was.

 Sometimes just one little act of kindness can turn a person around.

Mr R Tomlinson,