Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Have your say

Heart group’s thanks for support

OVER the last few months the Sunderland branch of the British Heart Foundation has been very active with its fund-raising and promoting awareness of heart disease.

The following have been very supportive in allowing us to hold fund-raising collections: Sainsburys in The Galleries, Washington, where we raised, thanks to shoppers’ generosity, £325.64 in April.

In June, Asda in Grangetown very kindly welcomed us. Again shoppers and staff showed their support and kindness, helping us to raise £278.40.

Branch members held two days of collections at the Chester wing and the main concourse of Sunderland Royal Hospital. This was to highlight the Mending Broken Hearts Appeal, which was launched in February. Its goal is to raise £50million over five years to fund regenerative research which could begin to literally “mend broken hearts”.

The patients, staff and visitors to the hospital once again showed the care and genorosity that the North East is famous for, and the two days raised £400 and also gave people an insight into what the appeal is hoping to achieve.

BHF is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. To mark the anniversary, Sunderland City Services very kindly allocated an area to be planted up in Mowbray Park with the BHF logo and the dates 1961-2011. We would like to thank the council, especially Mr L. Clark, head of street scene, Norman Atkinson and his team of gardeners Ray Charlton, John Moor, John Tate, Ian Blakey and Lisa Daymond for the excellent display. Without their help and support this would not have been possible.

On Sunday, July 17, the annual walk will take place. This has been renamed the Jim Clark Memorial Walk in memory of Jim who we sadly lost last year. He was the last founder member of the branch.

On behalf of all the members of the Sunderland branch I would like to offer our sincere thanks and gratitude to you all for your support and generosity and hope it may continue.

If you feel that you may be interested in volunteering, we would like to hear from you, or if you would like to hold a coffee morning for the Mending Broken Hearts Appeal, contact me on 5342767 or email

Michael Roper, Branch secretary, Sunderland

Rubbish service

AFTER putting out my blue bin as usual, and having some large cardboard boxes to dispose of, I put these next to the bin, only to return home from work to find the cardboard still left in the street.

I phoned the council to complain, only to be told: “If it is not in the bin they will not take it”, so do you fill the bin with cardboard and put all other recyclable items in the green bin?

As I explained to the person at the council, it has never been a problem them taking extra boxes etc in the past, or is it just at Christmas that they seem to take everything?

So after keeping the boxes in the house to keep them dry, they are now a soggy mess by my back door waiting for the refuse collection next Monday (after having to use one of my three yearly collections).

Or maybe I should have just let them blow around the street or even take them and dump them somewhere like a lot of people seem to do.

Mrs J. Scott, Hetton

Amazing honesty

MY wife left her handbag on the bus and was really upset about it. After running about cancelling cards and trying to get in touch with Stagecoach (have you tried to find their phone number?), we came to terms with the prospect of writing it off as lost forever.

Three hours later there was a knock at the door and a lady gave my wife her bag back, entirely intact. She was absolutely amazed, so much so I don’t think she thanked the lady.

We are wondering if we can, through your paper, ask her to get in touch so we can thank her properly.

Acts like this gives one faith there is still a shred of decency around Sunderland still, and you never know it might rub off on to the rest of the world.

Mr and Mrs Steel, Sunderland

Crowtree decline

A REPORT and the Editorial in the Echo on July 1 refer to the continuing demise of the Crowtree Leisure Centre.

As stated, Crowtree was not brought to its current position because of the current budget cut. Crowtree has suffered a death by 1000 cuts at the hands of this inept Labour council.

The centre has been gradually starved of essential revenue over the years.

First the ice rink closed, then the family swimming pool and the gym. If the council is not careful the people may get the idea this demise was planned and not just incompetent handling by the Labour Cabinet.

After all, was not Crowtree Leisure Centre touted as an expansion site for the Bridges several years ago?

Terence Docherty, Zetland Square, Monkwearmouth, Sunderland

Year as Mayor

MAY I thank members for electing me as Mayor of the City of Sunderland in May 2010 and my chaplains Fr Dennis O’ Mahoney for the Civic Mass and Cannon Stephen Taylor for the Remembrance Day Service and for all their help.

The events staff put on an extremely successful Mayor’s Ball at Crowtree Leisure Centre last November. We were met with a huge Eiffel Tower, Moulin Rouge, Can Can dancers, singing and dancing waiters, and a crowd of guests who raised thousands of pounds for the Mayor’s charities that night.

Anthony Watson Chartered Architects sponsored my Mayor’s Golf Day at Washington Golf Club, which was successfully put on by Paul Elliott, Stuart Porterhouse and Les Scott despite flooding in the Newcastle area the night before and was won by Paul Park.

Sunderland Catholic Club was the venue of a very successful charity night. For this night I included the appeal for the DLI Memorial at the National Arboretum with my two main charities. My thanks to the artists Sara Fenwick, Vince Harris, Liam Mellings and the Dennis Rogers and Malcolm Campbell from the committee.

With other small events and donations I was able to hand over £9,040 to each of my main charities, Age UK Sunderland and the Sunderland Orphanage and Educational Fund, and at Durham Cathedral £600 to the Rifles for the DLI memorial at the National Arboretum.

I wish to thank everyone who helped – the Mayor’s Secretary, Catherine Davis, the secretaries, staff and drivers at the civic centre and my friends and fellow members who contributed and helped and especially my wife Maureen, the Mayoress.

After my time as Mayor, meeting a wide range of people, charities and attending a many events, I now wish to thank all who voted for me in the local election and look forward to being a councillor for Hendon Ward and representing and helping as far as I can all the people of that ward.

Coun Tom Martin, Mayor, City of Sunderland, 2010

Memorial plaque

I AM writing about the war memorial plaque which was taken from Grangetown. Two of the names on it were my grandad Edward Carter and his brother Septimus.

My grandad had nine children, one of which was my dad, Jimmy Carter, who, sadly, is no longer with us. He told me about Edward and how you could not imagine those days of the First World War. My grandad was wounded from a shell in the trenches and got killed in the Second World War, leaving a wife and nine children behind.

Edward’s wife, my nana, like everybody in those days had to carry on without the support of her husband and had to raise her children alone. Recently my partner Carole and I went to the cemetery to find my grandad’s grave and I was shocked to find that he never had a proper headstone. It was simply a rock with his name on.

I understand money was tight in those days, but it was hard to see that the grandad that I never knew didn’t have the headstone that a war hero deserves, which is why the war memorial plaque is a fitting tribute to him and many others.

The lads who were selfish enough to sell it for £124 need to think about people back than and now who have risked their lives for their country and whether they themselves would be mature enough and have the guts. Not likely.

Colin Carter, Broadmayne Avenue, High Barnes, Sunderland