Archive for the ‘Letters to the Editor’ Category
The letters pages of local newspapers are renowned as bastions of logic and reason. However, perhaps things are going downhill a bit.
And the Nether Regions Award for Least Original and Imaginative Attack on Same-sex Marriage goes to Graham Wanstall in the Dover Express.
Alright, wise owl.
Meanwhile, this letter found its way into an issue of Northern Outlook, ‘north Canterbury’s best read community newspaper’. It can’t be criticised for lacking originality but can be criticised for fucking with your head.
Completely quackers. This homeschooled abomination is surely the greatest possible advert for secular state comprehensive education.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that any article or letter which dares to question the merits of a town or its people will quickly provoke a fierce rebuke from affronted natives in the local paper’s letters page.
In this case, timewarped and tiny north-eastern fishing village and depressing Sunday afternoon family outing hotspot of my youth, Staithes, bites back. And excitingly, it bites back in the form of a letter from Winifred Craig, who writes under a name designed for a 243 year-old while inexplicably claiming to be just 76.
An extra interesting fact about Staithes before you move on: the demented locals pronounce it as ‘Steers’. So there.
Whitby Gazette, 16 March 2011 (letter):
The people of Staithes DO care
I read with horror and consternation the article of 15 March headed ‘I drive by when I see village sign Staithes’.
It was then when I came to the paragraph – ‘you should resign yourself to the fact that Staithes does not care whether you visit or not’ – I became outraged.
How dare he. As an original of Staithes of some 76 years and having lived and travelled worldwide I have seen some horrendous sights and smells, he makes Staithes seem like the aftermath of Tsunami.
The people of Staithes do care. We have a very dedicated council employee who does a magnificent job of cleaning the village and if anything above his job is brought to his attention he will do his utmost to resolve it. But the writer puts the cap fairly and squarely on the right head when he mentions Scarborough Borough Council. They do not seem to care about these little villages and concentrate money, time and effort on Scarborough, as he duly notes.
And as for the polluted beach and water, this is because of the groin being in the wrong place and the cutting off of the tidal flow from the north and south sides of the piers, which has never been rectified. Please don’t blame the locals, blame bureaucracy and the indifference of the council who should care, but don’t.
This isn’t the first time a wrongly-placed groin will have cut off something’s flow. Right lads?
Oh, and by the way, my husband has a blue badge and as we live at the top of the bank and as he cannot walk more than a few feet after suffering a stroke, finds it impossible to visit our old home on the seafront, and know why, it’s because since the council laid the new cobblestones it shakes him up so much it makes him ill.
So writer, if you have any clout at all, get in touch with Scarborough Borough Council and justify your remarks. You never know, you may succeed where others have failed.
Winifred Craig, Cliff Road, Staithes
Surely these cobblestones are in contravention of disability legislation? If Staithes shakes up people in wheelchairs to the point of illness, then the original article probably made a fair recommendation about driving by drive by the village sign.
I’ve heard of newspapers hitting doormats, but have rarely heard of doormats becoming the content of newspapers themselves. Tuesday 25 January 2011 was the day when domestic carpet maintenance concerns finally exploded onto the news agenda in Huddersfield.
Huddersfield Examiner, 25 January 2011:
Please wipe your feet
I AM sure I am not on my own when I say how annoying it is when you have visitors to your house who refuse to wipe their shoes, although you have provided a door mat. I have a daily battle against trainers, shoes, boots etc.
If there is an inventor somewhere who could come up with a device that would ask people to politely wipe their feet on entering your house door, it would be a number one seller.
Until then I remain an annoyed, constant hall carpet cleaner.
Hmmm, if only a really clever inventor somewhere could come up with something like, you know, a doormat with words on or something.
Turns out this disconcertingly vaguely named ‘READER’ is not the only one prepared to speak out on this sorry mess:
Huddersfield Examiner, 8 February 2011:
Please wipe your feet
LIKE your Netherton reader (Mailbag, January 25) I also am annoyed when people do not wipe their feet on the door mat provided (back and front) of my house. I always do so at other people’s homes.
It must be second nature to me. I cannot remember being told when I was much younger. Perhaps telling the children will have the desired effect for the next generation.
Mrs E Taylor
Here come the bloody ‘better at wiping my feet than thou’ brigade…
The letters page of the Whitby Gazette is a reliably wonderful festival of misanthropy. Serving as a weekly noticeboard of human hatred, nearly every issue of the paper sees someone publicly attacking their fellow Whitby residents for crimes committed in the course of everyday life.
Whitby Gazette, 5 January 2011:
Joggers should have their own stretch of beach
I would like to open a debate about joggers having their own stretch of beach. Possibly, the area near to the west extension when the tide is in.
Not only do joggers expect all other human beings to either step aside, fall down, or jump over the cliff in order to clear their path, but they assume deafness to a happy ‘good morning’ and blindness to a smile, and at the risk of running out of sync, a kick in the ribs to the dog.
Oh yes dear reader, I am a dog owner and also, as it happens, like seagulls!
Miss P Smithson, Upgang Lane, Whitby
For those of you not intimately familiar with the geography of Whitby beach, the ‘area near to the West extension when the tide is in‘ would not be ideally suited for jogging, as this picture demonstrates. Hats off to Miss Smithson for publicly calling for the death of all joggers.
News just in: Dog owners have shit for brains!
Whitby Gazette, 12 January 2011:
Littering with dog mess
It never ceases to amaze me to see dog owners pick up their dog mess in a plastic bag and proceed to throw it up a tree or into the hedge back.
Not only littering with dog mess, but also with plastic. All I can say is the contents of the plastic bag is equal to what is keeping their ears apart.
Mal Greenley, the man with the white lurcher, Helredale Road, Whitby
More news just in: Dog owners deliberately make children go blind!
Whitby Gazette, 26 January 2011:
Clean up after your dogs
May I, through the Whitby Gazette, thank the person (and I know who you are), for allowing your dog to leave a large ‘deposit’ on the path outside my house this morning (Tuesday 25 Jan).
As a thank-you to you, I have informed the dog fouling authorities and you should be receiving a visit from the Dog Warden in due course.
The responsibility of looking after a dog is no different to looking after a young child. You have to feed it and clean up after it. If you are not willing or prepared to clean up its mess, then you shouldn’t have it in the first place. You are totally irresponsible and should be ashamed of yourself. Toxoplasmosis is a disease which is passed to humans via dog faeces and can cause blindness. It is extremely dangerous for children and pregnant women. Many children play on the two grassed play areas on Queen’s Drive and frequently go home with dog faeces either on their shoes or on their clothing. These are children’s play areas. If they were designated dog walking areas, they would have dog litter bins in situ.
On a final note. To those of you who fail to pick up your dog’s mess whilst walking it on or near the grass at the bottom of Queen’s Drive, I will not hesitate to report you. Enough said.
Mrs Ward, Queens Drive, Whitby
Local newspapers: truly the lifeblood of any community.
It seems the concept of dog ownership will always give rise to existential debate in the letters pages of regional newspapers.
This correspondent doesn’t take kindly to another reader’s jibe that not having a dog = not having a life. And he executes his rage with a wonderful level of passive aggression.
Whitby Gazette, 26 March 2008:
Dogs on the beach – the debate continues
May I, as someone who has not got a dog and therefore, according to a previous letter writer has not got a life, speak out for the thousands of people who do not want dogs and therefore also do not have lives.
May I first list the things a dog can offer to people with and without lives.
It can bark, eat, defecate (very often illegally but only where its idle or irresponsible owners allow it to), smell, put its nose in parts of our anatomy where its owners may like it (but those of us without a life definitely don’t), lick your face after it has explored the nether regions of fellow mutts with its tongue, bound up to us lifeless ones and our children and knock them over (he’s only playing you know), copulate with your leg (he really likes you), yap endlessly when left tethered outside shops (he misses his mummy) and chase livestock because it is illegally unleashed.
I offer the paved walk from Prospect Hill to Ruswarp as a regular example but mind where you put your feet.
It cannot smile, talk, think, frown, understand every word you say or use a toilet.
I would sometimes really love to have a life.
But if this involves daily walking around with a bag full of dog faeces in my hand then I think I would rather not have a life and if the only way Ms Barnett can make friends is by having a dog, perhaps she should seek help.
James Smith, Whitby
I must say, it’s too rare that the paved walk from Prospect Hill to Ruswarp is offered as a regular example of anything. Hats off.
From time to time, local newspapers attract people who are prepared to engage in Letters Page War with other correspondents.
In this case, narky oddball Nino Hoblyn of North Street, Caistor, drags the new editor of the Market Rasen Mail into the matter and criticises him for regularly printing the local Tory MP’s letters. He even finds time to squeeze in an accusation of a freemason conspiracy. Excellent work.
Market Rasen Mail, 14 July 2010:
Letter: Other matters do need addressing, starting with Caistor’s boxed tree
EDITOR – Am I the only regular reader of the Market Rasen Mail who is beginning to wonder if the “New Kid On The Block, Paul Fisher” hasn’t been doing some of those funny little deeds with Edward Leigh MP where certain very strange handshakes are done in secret?
Because if the answer to this is “Nay Mr Wilks”, then why may I ask is dear Eddy Leigh slotting his tuppence with each and every week in telling us the reader, things that should be kept to the likes of “Jackanory”.
For how many times does one have to shout before one goes blue in the face, that we have more concerning issues in our own lines of much greater importance, the “Offending tree in a box in Caistor Market Square”.
This man’s apparent fondness for using excessive quotation marks is highly intriguing, but still not quite as intriguing as this “offending tree in a box”. Pray tell, what is the story behind this myserious box-bound woody plant?
Thanks to the work of intrepid Lincolnshire native Anna Holden, we have what some may call a photograph:
Who’d have thought an innocuous white stick in a box could lead to this?:
Oh yes sir! This may seem a most trivial topic to those with no understanding of tree’s but let me please inform you that trees should be planted in the ground and not in a box.
Let’s not forget trees also have feelings and as a humans, a box is for those who no longer live, so why condemn the tree in a box while it still breaths and enjoys gods wonderful planet.
So come on let’s release the tree back into the wild where it will smile for each and everyday of its long life and thus growing leaves more greener and a trunk thicker, will then be saying to all of us “Thanks-you”.
North Street, Caistor
Oh dear. Yes, the man is a mentalist.
Mind you, you know you’ve done well when your letter manages to tease out an editorial response.
Editor’s Note: The Market Rasen Mail strives to be entirely independent in its coverage of all matters. As MP for our district I feel our readers are interested in Mr Leigh’s views and actions and so the newspaper regularly carries letters from Mr Leigh.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that there is nothing more satisfying than successfully filling up with petrol to a precise pound. However, a conspiracy is afoot (or is it a leg?). The people of Greater Manchester are being systemically deprived of this glorious consumer sensation and are not happy one bit.
And doesn’t the letters page of the Manchester Evening News just know it…
Yes, this idea of a global retail giant collecting income without specifically doing anything for it is really quite groundbreaking.
So much so that there has even been a follow-up letter:
Always great to end a letter with a truism: pennies really do add up, ladies and gentlemen.