Letters - August 26, 2016

Growing up with a '˜mysterious' diet

Friday, 26th August 2016, 12:04 pm
Updated Friday, 26th August 2016, 1:09 pm
You do not need to eat expensively to eat gluten free, says former Blackpool councillor Douglas Green


Who had heard of gluten free back then?

There has been much said about gluten free diets, but who had heard of them 20 years ago?

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When I was diagnosed, after a lengthy fight by my parents, as celiac in the very early fifties, we were told that it was a very rare. The estimate was about one in 250,000.

The condition meant I missed school for months, so long that the Devonshire Road school’s truancy inspector became a family friend. After a series of mis-diagnosis by first our local GP and then Victoria hospital, we were instructed that I should have a strict gluten free diet. However, the local GP told my parents that such a diet could not be funded out of his medical budget, which would mean that other patients would not get much needed medicines. I went for years telling people, who had never heard of celiac that I couldn’t eat sandwiches, cakes, toast or even ice cream (because there was wheat in the wafers).

Now everybody has heard of gluten free, but do not know that celiac can kill, by gradually starving the body of vital nutrients. Before its identification in the 1930s and its recognition in the UK in the 1950s many must have died from the condition.

So I just stopped eating all forms of wheat and rye. It was a pretty boring diet of potatoes, vegetables and meat for dinner, bananas for sweets, eggs, beans and lots of bowls of cornflakes for other meals, as I remember.

The result is I am fit and well, maybe an unadventurous eater after years of being told I couldn’t eat this and that, but here to celebrate my 70th birthday this week.

The answer is you do not need to eat expensively to eat gluten free. Try potatoes, rice, corn cakes, cheese, spreads, salads, vegetables and fresh fruits etc. Just eat well. I never did learn to like fancy cakes or stodgy puddings so just think how much it did for my waist line.

Douglas Green

Stony Hill Avenue



Sitting in Spitfire a dream come true

Last Saturday I visited the Spitfire museum open day. Despite the atrocious weather the journey to Blackpool airport was well worth it.

Being a fan of the Spitfire since childhood I fulfilled a dream by actually sitting in the cockpit for my photograph. What an experience!

Well done to all the volunteers who are keeping this heritage alive for future generations to appreciate. All of the personnel were knowledgeable and prepared to answer any questions in depth.

Thank you again for a truly memorable experience. I will certainly pay another visit.

Tony Bond

Via email


Have a cuppa to help end loneliness

One in five older people in the UK are in contact with friends, family and neighbours less than once a week, while for one in 10, it’s less than once a month.

Here at Independent Age, the older people’s charity, we are trying to change that, and we need help from residents in the North West.

From 1 to 8 October 2016, we are inviting everyone in the North West to join us in hosting a Big Tea event, raising vital funds to help end loneliness and enabling us to provide even better information, advice and support for older people and their families.

A Big Tea event could be anything from a simple cake sale to a big tea party involving the whole community.

You could even bring treats into school or work and ask for a small donation.

Raising just £50 will help us provide a day’s training for a volunteer to support a lonely older person – every penny really does make a difference and you don’t need to raise a minimum amount to take part.

Independent Age offers regular contact, a strong campaigning voice and free, impartial advice on the issues that matter to older people: care and support, money and benefits, health and mobility. We are independent so older people can be too.

It’s really easy to take part in the Big Tea - just sign up at www.independentage.org/big-tea-press or call 020 7605 4288 to receive your free fundraising pack and help us make a difference to older people’s lives.

Gillian Claugher

Associate Director for Fundraising, Independent Age


Corbyn haters are at it again

And so the hate campaign continues against Jeremy Corbyn.

This time he is being accused of deliberately ignoring available train seats so he can make a point about overcrowded trains.

Those against Corbyn are jumping up and down with glee and self-righteousness and are choosing to ignore the message that he was trying to get across: that he believes trains are overcrowded and that renationalising the railways can solve the problem.

But let’s forget about that and hate on Corbyn some more shall we?

Steven Moss

Via email