Letters, Thursday, November 1, 2012

Have your say

Keep Paralympic flame burning

IT’S now two months since the opening ceremony of the amazing London Paralympics.

 Two weeks ago the Prime Minister, in a moving reference to his son, said that he hoped the legacy of the Paralympics would be that “more people would see the boy and not the wheelchair.”

 I work for Vitalise, a charity that provides desperately-needed respite breaks for people with disabilities and carers, and we share the PM’s vision. But after the euphoria of the Games, has anything really changed?

 We did a survey of our guests and over half told us that they didn’t think the public had a better understanding of their lives as a result of the Paralympics.

 Wouldn’t it be awful if, after all the good work of the Paralympics, we allowed people with disabilities to fade from public view and become invisible to society once again? We must not let that happen.

 People with disabilities have enormous potential. They want to play a part in society, to make a contribution, but too often they are held back by the negative attitudes of others.

 The Paralympics have done an enormous amount of good, but until we start thinking in terms of what people with disabilities can do, not what they can’t, there is little prospect of any lasting change.

 I’d like to ask your readers to help us keep the Paralympic flame burning.

 Please join us in calling for a society where people with disabilities have the same opportunities to pursue their dreams and make a meaningful contribution to their communities as everybody else.

 For more information about our vital work or to support Vitalise, visit www.vitalise.org.uk or call 0303 303 0147.

Colin Brook, Vitalise


Marketing ploy

I WAS doing my week’s shopping the other day in Tesco’s (other supermarkets are available) and it slowly dawned on me that as you enter you are invariably confronted by fruit and vegetables, then yoghurts, pastries and meats, followed by baking items, flour and eggs and baked items such as bread and cakes.

 It is blindingly obvious to me that these are soft and therefore susceptable to squashing, could it be that they are in the wrong place, or are they?

 Because conversely, after you have placed these soft items into your basket/trolley, you then hit heavy items such as tins, bottles of spirits and cans or bottles of beer, cider etc and it is here that your problems commence in earnest, ie do you dump these afore-mentioned heavy items on top of your soft goods thereby damaging them or empty your trolley/basket to place the heavy goods on the bottom so as not to squash your delicate goods? Should you do so you will find that as you pay for these items your shopping trolley will take delivery of the soft goods first to be once again squashed by your heavy bottles, cans etc.

 It has led me to believe that the shop floor design is deliberate and that it makes you wander past the goods to get to the heavy items (sometimes buying as you pass) then after you have picked up your heavy goods you go back to the soft goods (once again buying more goods that catch your eye). This way you spend twice as much as you intended.It makes me speculate that this is intentionally done by the supermarkets to enhance profits or is it just me being a wee bit pedantic?

Alan Vincent,

Old Penshaw

Cash better spent

I just don’t see how the new bridge will generate 6,000 jobs.

 Yes, it will create jobs for the firms constructing it, but what’s the point?

  It will ease traffic only slightly.It may be so-called “iconic” but who wants a bridge because it looks nice?

 They’d far better put the money into dualling the A1 from Morpeth to Scotland that may attract jobs better.

John Watson,


Fly flag proudly

I AM glad SAFC has seen sense and allowed the flags to be flown at The Fort.

 As one of Sunderland’s greatest fans, I think that it was a load of nonsense their initial stance on the matter.

 There is surely no difference between someone wearing a replica top or bearing a flag, they are advertising the club in all ways and that can only be a good thing.

 However, I do not agree with old men with beer bellies wearing the strip. Not only does it look ridiculous, it gives the club a bad image. I would ban them without doubt. You see them all over the country driving vans, on holiday, out with the dog and walking about The Bridges.

 To me this is far more serious than flying a flag outside a pub near the stadium.

 These men are no doubt proud to be fans but to portray such an image is almost bringing the image of a footballer into disrepute.

 The last player I saw with a big stomach was Jim Baxter and he was nothing to shout home about.

 I always show off the red and white colours even to the point of painting the lawn mower and the garden shed.

 I would like to see more flags in the area to advertise the passion of the supporters. It would also put fear into the hearts of the opposition as they made their way to the ground.

Mick The Pen Brown

Firework fears

FIREWORK festivities are set to go off with a bang over the next few weeks.

 While this signals fun for people, a recent survey from Dogs Trust revealed that 72 per cent of pet dogs are frightened of fireworks.

 Ninety per cent of dog owners say they alter their routine during the November celebrations around Fireworks Night and during Diwali to try to minimise the trauma on their petrified pooches.

 If you’re organising a display please consider your neighbour’s pets.

 A bit of forward planning can go a long way to make life less stressful for pets at this time of year.

 For helpful advice on how to make the fireworks season less of an ordeal for your dog visit www.dogstrust.org.uk/az/f/fireworks/

Sue Embleton,

Rehoming Centre Manager,

Dogs Trust, Darlington

Cobbler’s reply

He’s a master cobbler there is no doubt,

And this retort we would like to shout!

Belt up your braces and fasten tight those laces,

Go back to the shop where we see the same faces!

As a celebrity cobbler he is world renowned.

For charity donations he should be crowned.

Although public relations may not be our forte,

Back in the day folks weren’t so haughte.

He keeps everyone equal, and that’s no mean feat,

But the queue from the street shows he cannot be beat,

Before your flabber becomes too gasted, remember his skill it has been – Mastered.

 A final note before we go, “please missus, don’t bring three pairs of boots to our door”.

Mr and Mrs Thubron,



A step too far

I AM not a politician, but Iain Duncan Smith’s Tory National Universal Credit idea seems a step too far.

 The Ministry of Work and Pensions “Fit for Work” tests seem to be putting the disabled through a tremendous ordeal.

 Stories abound of benefits being stopped and the disabled made to wait up to nine months to win an appeal.

 The civilised mind boggles at such treatment.

 Nick Clegg is said to be moderating the “nasty Tory Party”.

 He needs to put in more effort.

 Turn the screws on Tory Welfare reform excess.

 We don’t want to become known as a nation who bullies the disabled by trying to push them into non-existent jobs.

 David Cameron has been very kind to the rich. He must not be cruel to the poor. He should consult the caring charities.

Max Nottingham,

St Faith Street,


Holiday friends

JEFFERY Rodgers and Paul Lanceley, we met you both in Fuerteventura.

 We were there from October 3 to 10. We promised we would keep in touch but managed to lose our phone on the journey home and that meant we lost your number. We have tried calling every J Rodgers or P Lanceley in your area, but sadly no luck.

 We have even called all the Chinese restaurants in the hope that one of them would know you as you said you always had a Chinese on Saturday night.

 We have also contacted St George’s Church, Stockton Road, to see if they can help.

 It is our hope that you or someone that knows you will see this and we can speak to you both again soon.

 You can call us on 01792 894195 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Darren & Melanie Smith,


Save the bomber

AS Echo readers will know, Sunderland has its own “Bomber” based at the Aircraft Museum, Nissan. Its history and exploits are known throughout the world.

 There are many charities that need money to support them. Now we need one more, to keep this majesty of the skies high up on her throne of air.

 Aircraft like these need to be able to show all in England that “We are still the best”.

 It has been suggested we spend £50,000,000 to send a child from every school to see the First World War battlefields. A worthy cause, but any child worth his or her salt would rather be able to see this aircraft flying overhead for many years to come.

 Will America keep this spacecraft for all to see? I’m sure all Americans will be proud to pay to support this majesty of space.

 If the Vulcan Bomber – the last one – is to be grounded forever, how can we British hold our heads up again?

 We must strive to help the MSO Sky Trust and campaigner Graeme Miller, of Berks, and David Cundall. We need a continuous collection. We cannot have the Americans looking down on us.

Mr J Stott,



Magic is missing

ON September 12, I wrote to the Letters page, about my latest attempt to ask the bosses of The Bridges to bring a Magic Shop to the shopping mall.

 Well it did not come true.

 I thought I would try.

 My first attempt was in March and I didn’t have any luck then.

 That’s my second and last attempt – at least I’ve tried for my city. That’s how much I love my Sunderland by doing that.

 I thought I would bring a bit of cheer to my city with a Magic Shop, but no luck.

Edwin Robinson,

Zetland Square,