Letters, Thursday, July 24, 2014

Have your say

Let us walk side by side at derby

WELL done to all of the Sunderland fans who, along with Newcastle fans, have donated money and sent their condolences, laid flowers, and shirts at St James’ Park.

 It is great that both sets of fans have come together to help the families of John Alder and Liam Sweeney, who were murdered, along with 296 other people when their plane was shot down over Ukraine by pro-Russian rebels last week on their way to New Zealand to support their team.

 Well done to Sunderland fan Gary Ferguson for deciding to start the fund-raising, which will be split between two cancer charities, The Marie Curie Hospice in Newcastle and The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

 It just goes to show how football fans, despite rivalries can come together in tragic times like this.

 It would be great to see in the forthcoming derby matches at both St James’ Park and the Stadium of Light, fans from both sides walk side by side and lay a floral wreath in tribute to John Alder and Liam Sweeney.

 Rest in peace, lads, you will always be remembered throughout the whole of the football world.

Clive Lee

The war was futile

I READ with incredulity the article Lights Out! Candlelit vigil in Seaham to commemorate the start of First World War”.

 If anything, the lights should all be turned on to highlight the futility of this pointless war, with its concomitant slaughter and carnage.

 A generation of young men were sacrificed so that the ruling class in Britain and France, among others, could maintain their monopoly on their colonial holdings, with the mineral wealth they included.

 I do not believe that anyone is delusional enough to still believe that the First World War was fought for freedom and democracy.

 Not all of those fighting had the vote, and lest we forget, this was not a totally voluntary participation on the part of large sections of the British armed forces. The punitive punishments meted out to those who decided “not to participate”, made a mockery of the claim to be “fighting for freedom”.

 Moreover, what was their reward? A land fit for heroes? A decent life and future? No, nothing but continued slums, grinding poverty and wasted lives for the majority.

I will make sure that at the appointed time, all the lights in my home will be turned on.

 The “war to end all war”?

 Not a day has passed since the end of that war, without warfare taking place somewhere on the planet. We live in a capitalist world, where war is as natural a consequence of this system as economic crisis, and the sooner we, the majority, grasp this fact, the sooner we will finally be on the path to consigning war and its cause, the competitive nature of capitalism, to the dustbin of history.

Steve Colborn,


Not picture perfect

LAST Monday, a lovely picture on the Letters page displayed Souter Lighthouse behind a foreground of beautiful wild flowers.

 A National Trust Ranger has since discovered a pretty, though poisonous addition to the plants and this is most exciting to nature lovers who must share our congratulations at the discovery.

 Move a mile or so south to the Whitburn Village cliff tops, which enable visitors to have a wonderful view of the Sunderland Airshow and one can now see the reasons for saving the planet.

 Never mind the Amazon jungle being hacked away, can the National Trust or South Tyneside Council employ some ‘hackers’ to do some work on our once lovely clifftops?

 The weeds are so high it is rumoured that dogs, and even people under 6ft tall, have become lost.

 The foreground to all this shows the once tidy beach huts (garages) are in need of paint and odd scrap cars removed.

 At one time South Tyneside people with gardens in a poor state, were sent threatening letters.

 So come on, South Tyneside, surely, it’s time to do something about the mess, before some realistic photographs are published.

Bernie Brown,


It means so much

MANY thanks to all who have supported me and gave generously to my local charity, Action on Dementia Sunderland.

 On Sunday, June 29, I completed my parachute skydive at Shotton Airfield. Donations not only came locally but from Dorset, Denbighshire, Hampshire, Nottingham, Edinburgh, Shropshire, Kenilworth and London.

 Forgive me if I have missed any from further afield.

 The amount raised was much more than my expectations – over £5,400 to date and donations still coming in.

 I have also received many kind words from people who I do not know – they gave me encouragement and I felt within me a wonderful feeling of happiness.

 This was for Norma, my wife for more than 60 years, who has had Alzheimer’s for seven years.

 She is unable to understand and say those two small words that mean so much, so I say them for both of us – thank you.

Jack and Norma Watson,


Ready to listen

IF the writer of the letter titled “Time for Action” (Friday, July 11) regarding Ryhope Village would like to discuss his concerns directly with local councillors, we would be happy to arrange a meeting.

 We can be contacted on the following telephone numbers:

Coun Alan Emerson 521 2660/ 07917 554209, Coun Ellen Ball 0191 908 5540/ 07917 554825 and Coun Anthony Farr 07714 645717.

 We are also available on the first Saturday of each month at Ryhope Community Centre at 10am.

Couns Alan Emerson, Ellen Ball and Anthony Farr,

Ryhope ward

Shocking waste

HOW utterly disgusting that in these days of savage cuts in public spending, increasing numbers of people having to depend on food banks, child poverty , unemployment, a privileged few think it acceptable to spend a mind- blowing £6billion plus on building a new warship.

 Am I alone in thinking that in these days, when we are constantly being told how fragile our economy is and the importance of reducing our deficit, this money could have been far better spent?

M Mcardle,


Fund-raising plea

I AM arranging a charity night in memory of our nana Lily Gilstin.

 I was wondering if any local businesses could help by donating prizes towards raffle?

 I have an official letter with a charity number on to prove what I am doing. Any help would be gratefully received. My contact number is 07855 622939.

Nicola Taylor