Letters, Thursday, February 21, 2013

Have your say

We never seem to learn from the past

HOLOCAUST Memorial Day is a day that should be remembered by all, for always.

 In the evening of Sunday, January 27, a documentary was shown on BBC1 at 10.30pm, no doubt watched by many.

 Henia Bryer, A26188, spoke of her terrible memories as a survivor. She spoke as though it had happened just recently, not 67 years ago, because her memories will never go away.

 I watched this film, not out of morbidness, but to make sure I, for one, do not forget – as no one should.

 During my time in the Army, I visited her last camp of Bergen/Belsen several times.

 The first time was in 1963, when I was stationed about seven miles away in a town called Celle. I was told by other soldiers to watch out for any animals or birds in the area of the camp.

 During my first, and other visits, I have never seen any animals of any kind in the camp area – not even a bird flying overhead – uncanny but true.

 My last visit was with my son Christopher. I saw it has a proper museum outside the gates, visited by many, including German Army troops.

 The First World War lasted four years, the second lasted six years. World War three will last many more years, as nations never seem to learn from the past – insanity rules the world.

 I would like to live to the day of world peace – then I would be as old as the Bible says Noah was.

 As fiction depicts – if aliens visit earth in peace, they will fly past.

John Stott,


Still in denial

AFTER the article regarding the seafront in the Sunderland Echo on February 15, it was interesting to read the comments from the Labour MP for Sunderland Central.

 He claimed the £5million investment, £2.3m from the Government, will attract investment of £78million and create 1,000 jobs, half of which will be in construction industry.

 Well, that sounds good, but the attraction to the public sector did not materialise in the case of the Vaux site which has, after 12 years of vacillation by the Labour Council, achieved the dizzy status of a car park.

 Equally, the £9million investment in the Software complex has after four months attracted just one tenant.

 Rumours circulating the city suggest that the council may, or even has already, transferred civic center staff to help prolong the illusion that things are picking up in the city. However, a stroll down Holmeside, once a bustling retail street, no longer attracts shoppers because there are no decent shops around any more.

 There are plenty of takeaways but where are Defty’s, Hodgesons, Saxons and the other popular shops?

 Take a walk along the once popular Fawcett Street, now reduced to the longest, roofless bus station in the region. As for the demise of Joplings, look for no further than Sunderland Council for the creation of another bus station.

 The newly-elected Sunderland Central MP seems to have forgotten that it was her Labour Government that left the country with the greatest debt within the whole EU. The majority of people believe it a bit rich for the Labour MP to blame the Conservative-led Coalition for the cuts that were a direct result of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown’s policies, not only in the financial handling of the British economy but one which opened the door to unrestricted migration into the UK – the cost of which is ruining our NHS and lowering the standard of living of the people.

 To their undying shame they are still in denial about their disgraceful 13 years of governance.

Councillor George Howe,

Fulwell Ward

Runners wanted

HEART Research UK is a Yorkshire-based national charity that funds pioneering research into heart disease as well as encouraging people to live a heart-healthy lifestyle.

 Each year we’re lucky enough to have a few guaranteed places in the world’s biggest half marathon, the BUPA Great North Run.

 If you weren’t able to get a place in the Official Great Run Ballot, and still want to run – why not run and support us in our fight against heart disease?

 This year’s Great North Run is on Sunday, September 15, and the entry fee is £49 and we ask runners to commit to raising a minimum of £300. Heart Research UK will support you along the way with plenty of fund-raising ideas and tools such as balloons and posters, t-shirts and handy hints and tips and even meet you at the finishing line.

 Over 2.6million people in the UK live with heart disease – many cases are potentially preventable.

 Treatments for heart disease continue to develop but mortality rates are still too high and that’s why we need help from supporters like you to continue our work in helping hearts across the country.

 If you want to do the Great North Run this year for Heart Research UK you can apply online by downloading and completing the application form from our website – www.heartresearch.org.uk/events/gnr.

 For further details contact our fund-raiser, Lynne, on 0113 297 6202. For more information about the BUPA Great North Run go to www.greatrun.org

Faye Keatley,

PR Officer Heart Research

Check GPs too

IT’S not just hospitals that need to be looked into, have a listen to some of the patients who see a GP.

 Some of them talk to you as if you were a dog – look into these doctors.

Mr J Watson,


An addiction

I WAS really amazed by the remarks of our two, supposedly educated MPs blaming such inanimate objects as betting machines for encouraging people to throw away their money.

 Gambling, just like drinking, is an illness. It is not a compulsory activity.

A Pollitt,


Search plea

I WOULD greatly appreciate hearing from anyone who has news of my sister-in-law Brenda and her husband John Cooper.

 The last time I heard from them was more then 10 years ago, and at that time they were living in Scotland.

 John came from East Boldon and has two sisters, Elsie and Joyce.

 Brenda comes from Fulwell and has only one sister, my wife Mary.

 Brenda and John have two children, Helen and David.

 If anyone knows of their whereabouts my email address is waleedajjawad@yahoo.co.uk.

Waleed Jawad

Special delivery

THE Echo’s recent celebrations of the 50th anniversary of The Beatles first playing in Sunderland put me in mind of a story I once read about a very devoted Wearside music fan.

 Apparently, a girl from Sunderland was so mad about The Beatles she actually tried to post herself off to America in about 1964, where the boys were playing at the time.

 She wrapped herself up in a cardboard box, but I don’t think she got much further than the post office.

 I read this story in an official book about The Beatles, so I presume the story is true.

 It would be great if the Echo could track her down and see if she is still a fan of the Mop Tops – or if she ever got to meet any of the boys!

Sidney Bristow,

Plains Farm

Missed chance

WITH reference to the Beatles article in the Echo. I saw The Beatles at The Rink in 1963 when I was 17.

 It was a day we’d been looking forward to and were very excited. My friend and I left the office in West Sunniside at 5.30pm to stand in queue at The Rink, as no tickets could be purchased before-hand with it being the normal dance night.

 As we walked up Holmeside towards The Rink we went to cross the road and a red Renault Dauphne stopped to let us across.

 When we realised the four boys in the car were The Beatles, we just stood and screamed at them like idiots, instead of getting their autographs.

 They just laughed, waved to us and drove off.

 We had a great night but never heard a word they sang because everyone was screaming.

Ann Findlay (nee Cole),


Beatle regret

I, like Carole Robertson, also saw the Beatles 50 years ago at The Empire.

 I wasn’t fortunate enough to be interviewing them, but I also passed up the chance of getting their autograph.

 As my friend and I stood queuing for Helen Shapiro’s autograph, all of the Fab Four “walked on by”.

 I went on to see them at The Rink and then back at The Empire in the November.

 In November, things had changed.

 Their shot to fame meant there was absolutely no way of getting anywhere near any member of The Beatles.

 So, yes, I have regretted that night in February to this day and will as long as I live.

Beatles fan,


Massive thanks

I WOULD just like to say a massive thank you to the lady and her mother who picked me up on Valentine’s Day when I had run out of petrol.

 They took me to the garage and waited while I got some petrol and took me back to my car.

 It was very much appreciated.

Paul Henderson,