Letters, Tuesday, December 11

Have your say

Help boost work of Society for Blind

DURING 2012, Sunderland and North Durham Royal Society for the Blind celebrated its 135th anniversary.

 This gave us an opportunity to give thanks for all the wonderful work undertaken over so many years, and to plan for future developments within the Society.

 Almost two million people in the United Kingdom are living with sight loss and this figure is predicted to rise dramatically to nearly four million by 2050.

 Sight loss affects people of all ages and as we get older we are increasingly likely to experience sight loss. Every day 100 people in the UK start losing their sight. The sad fact is that over 50 per cent of slight loss can be avoided.

 Around 360,000 people in the UK are registered as blind or partially sighted and this figure includes many people living in Sunderland and throughout North Durham.

 It is recommended that we have an eye test at least once every two years – even if our vision appears to be fine. An eye test can detect problems we don’t know we have.

 Sunderland and North Durham Royal Society for the Blind caters for over 1,000 local people who suffer from sight loss. We offer a wide range of services that promote healthy lifestyles and opportunity to meet and socialise with others.

 In these days of austerity it is increasingly difficult to raise the funds needed to provide services that can literally become a lifeline to so many people.

 At this time of year, as we rush around preparing for Christmas, may I ask readers to spare a thought for people who are blind or partially sighted? If it is possible, would you consider giving an extra gift this Christmas to help pay for much needed services?

 Any amount you feel you can afford will be gratefully received and will go towards our work. Cheques and postal orders should be made payable to Sunderland and North Durham Royal Society for the Blind and sent to the address below.

 Thank you very much indeed.

Richard Wood,

Executive Officer,

Sunderland and North Durham Royal Society for the Blind,

8 Foyle Street,



Tonnage was right

FURTHER to the article in the Echo and the subsequent letter querying the tonnage quoted fort the “Lindenbank”, built by Doxfords in 1961.

 The figure quoted in the article is of the right order. The actual gross registered tonnage was 6,391 tons with a deadweight of 10,610 tons. The deadweight is the ship’s capacity, namely the number of tons of cargo, stores and bunkers that it can carry.

 Later in the life of the Lindenbank some modifications were carried out to enable it to sail at a deeper draught (the vertical distance between the waterline and the keel).

 The corresponding tonnages were increased to 8,541grt and 12,100tdw.

Adam Scott Coray,

Glenesk Road,

Parking robbery

HAS Newcastle Airport changed its name?

 The Midlands has the Robin Hood Airport now Newcastle is the Dick Turpin airport.

On November 27 my daughter picked up my wife and myself from the airport. The weather was really bad and many roads were flooded. So she came early.

 Our flight was late and our bags were last, as usual.

 When we got to the barrier to leave the car park it cost us £12. It turns out our daughter did not see the signs stating the costs. Airport parking staff would not help and said I should try to get a refund from the airline

 I was really ill on plane with Norovirus. The air crew were great, so I would rather lose the money than pursue them.

 I now intend to use Durham Tees Airport and if I have to use Newcastle I will not be buying anything in the airport.

 I have lost £12 but they will lose hundreds over the years.

Vince Lowery

Service not profit

I WOULD like to point out that a large number of people on the Racecourse and surrounding areas are unhappy with the new arrangements regarding the new 20 and 20x bus services.

 The service as it stands is confusing for older people and woefully inadequate. I have been gathering signatures for The Big Bus Campaign organised by the local MP Bridget Phillipson and in doing so I found people were concerned before the changes happened.

 The bus companies need to listen to the community and provide a decent service instead of focusing on their profits.

Mrs Owen,


Pets are for life

AS we hang up the tinsel and baubles for the festive season, the Dogs Trust would like to remind people to give lots of thought to adding a four legged friend to the family during this busy period.

 At the click of a mouse we can purchase gifts on the internet, but the online sale of pets and animals means that impulse buying has become an appealing option and attracts many unscrupulous breeders.

 Please remember the sentiment “A Dog is for Life, Not Just for Christmas”.

Clarissa Baldwin

CEO, Dogs Trust