Letters, Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Have your say

Reinstate refuge at lighthouse

IN December about nine anglers were washed off their feet at the end of Roker north pier by a large wave, resulting in a broken leg and a RAF helicopter rescue at the lighthouse. Those who could walk evacuated via the pier’s internal passage.

 Long before the council took responsibility there were high gates across the pier, near where the new gates are. They were easy to climb and if you fell off you dropped about nine feet onto sand or shingle.

 The council opened up half the pier and moved the gates half way (quarter mile) out. I was looking down on the pier when I saw two police cars speeding along the pier and later discovered that someone had fallen off and drowned while trying to climb over. Had the pier been opened when it was safe to the lighthouse this might have been avoided.

 At the lighthouse were three concrete passageways protected by the concrete block that remains, two of these were torpedo tubes and storage, these offered refuge from unexpected high seas but were demolished by the council prior to fully opening the pier leaving modern day anglers unprotected.

 Councillor and Cabinet member John Kelly (Echo, December 18) said: “The council does everything it can reasonably do to protect the public but asks the public to show a degree of personal responsibility.”

 This being the case, I suggest the council reinstates the lighthouse refuge, display red and green warning lights and new security gates that can alert the public to changing sea conditions.

G White,


Put city on map

THIS month Sunderland will commemorate its Patron Saint and adopted son Benedict Biscop. He is somewhat overshadowed by his student the Venerable Bede, also remembered in this city.

 Although in some respects, Biscop, for the age, was a more impressive figure. If my schooling serves me right he became one of the first linguistic translators in Europe, rubbing shoulders with kings as a result.

 But collectively it was Biscop and then Bede who not only lived early British history but wrote it. They brought the now North East region into the British consciousness, placing St Peter’s and St Paul’s at Jarrow near the beginning of this nation’s recorded history.

 I don’t expect in these times for a “holy person” to make such a relevant contribution. However, it would be fantastic if someone from any walk of life could truly put the North East, and particularly Sunderland, on the map of Britain again.

 Are you listening, the visuals department at North East Tonight?

G Engel

High Barnes

Honours are farce

HATS off to Ken Smith for his Time to end this Honours farce.

 I’m in total agreement with Ken on this one, as representing your country must be special, but wining any medal is surely better than any Royal award. First why has Ken got a downer with these great athletes?

 Does Ken, like myself, want all the politicians to hand theirs back, especially the many jailed ones, and the buisnessmen to hand theirs back, especially the arms manufacturers whose bombs and guns are out there killing and maiming the innocent around the world, and yes, some of them British.

Ged Taylor

Be aware of 4Ts

I WOULD to thank Grahame Morris MP for publicly supporting our 4Ts campaign, which aims to highlight the main signs and symptoms of Type 1 diabetes: Toilet, Thirsty, Tired and Thinner.

 The reason we are campaigning on this is that nine out of 10 parents are unable to identify frequent urinating, excessive thirst, extreme tiredness, and unexplained weight loss as the main symptoms of Type 1 diabetes.

 This is one of the reasons why a quarter of children with Type 1 diabetes are only diagnosed once they are already seriously ill with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a life threatening condition that needs immediate treatment in hospital.

 It is only by raising awareness of the symptoms that we can bring this situation to an end, and this is why I am delighted Mr Morris has added his voice to the campaign by signing an Early Day Motion on this subject.

 I look forward to working closely with him to ensure children with diabetes in the Easington area and across the country get the care and support they need.

 Readers can find out more about the 4 Ts campaign at  www.diabetes.org.uk/The4Ts

Linda Wood,

Regional Manager, Diabetes UK Northern and Yorkshire

Salt of the earth

TO all the volunteers at St Mary’s Church, Maureen, Mollie, Patricia, Gertrude, Jen, Marie, Judith, Jackie, Hasel, Donna, Nora, Louise, Tony, Eddie, Carrol, Paddy and those that I may have missed, you are all the salt of the earth.

 And to all the other people that help the not so well off, you should all have a medal as big as a “dustbin lid” for all the hard work you do and time you give for free.

 God Bless You.

A satisfied pensioner