Letters - December 7, 2019

When the North put on a lights display

Saturday, 7th December 2019, 6:00 am
Sonja Astbury and fellow aurora watchers see the spectacular green light display aboard the MS Nordnorge.

Regarding Sonja Astbury’s travel account to see the Northern Lights (The Gazette, November 30), I spent a month in Finland’s Tunturi (Arctic Circle) in February 1972 and didn’t see any

display - although one night the thin cloud had a purple hue while depositing its very fine snow-flakes.

It was on the ferry home from Europort to Hull that the evening sky turned red.

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A crew-man confirmed it was the aurora and not any glow from oil-rig burn-off.

However, the big one was on the evening of November 8, 1991, first visible above the sodium town lights of Kendal at 6.30pm.

I wrote an account for the Practical Wireless magazine then I motored out of town to Ratherheath after tea.

Between 9.30pm and 10.05pm, the whole display stretched from the Lakes to the Yorkshire Dales and was indeed south of the zenith.

What was so awesome was the feeling that there should have been some sort of noise accompaniment.

I’ve seen plenty from the United Kingdom since, but not of that magnitude.

Roger Phillips



Are you or your family better off?

When you come to cast your vote in the coming election, you should ask yourself two simple questions.

Are my family and I better off than in 2010?

Are the public services we rely on better than in 2010?

For most of us, the answer will be an emphatic NO to both questions.

The reason for this is the hard right dogmatic policies pursued by the same Tory Party in government since 2010, which is now asking you to give them another five years of power in this election. We hear waffle about 20,000 more police officers and 40 new hospitals from a party that has cut 41,000 police officers and support staff and left the NHS in crisis!?

The NHS is being privatised now. Under the Tory Health and Social Care Bill, all NHS community services have to go out to tender and so far 70 per cent of tendered services have been handed to the profiteers.

As a direct result of dogmatic Tory rule since 2010, pay has stagnated, poverty has skyrocketed, living standards have fallen, our transport networks are crumbling and all of our vital public services, including education, fire, local government services etc have got worse - got worse because of Tory policies enthusiastically supported by Boris Johnson.

If you want real and positive change vote Labour.

James Sorah

via email


I voted Remain for security

I voted Remain for one reason, and that was my country’s future security (take note, you young voters).

An unstable EU could quickly develop into an unstable Europe.

Going back to the Cold War, I have always been suspicious of the-then Soviet Union and now Russia, and I do not want to be solely dependent on America for the security of the UK.

One gets the impression that President Trump is not 100 per cent behind NATO and this is surely a cause for concern.

David Craggs

via email


Another day another bribe

Another day and another unfunded ‘election bribe’. There can’t be many people left who haven’t yet had a bribe with ‘other people’s money’.

The latest, of course, is to rail travellers.

Maybe Mr Corbyn should have asked the current Mayor of London about the effects of a simple freeze on fares.

There have been a few more users but massive cuts have had to be made to the tube investment programme. What would be the impact of the proposed massive cut in fares on the national network? The capacity problem in this area is being solved- no transformed- with the current introduction of new fleets of trains but all future investment would very quickly be threatened.

This is without the demands of empowered militant trade unions.

Who will benefit from the next bribe? There is a real danger that, before too long, Messrs Corbyn and McDonnell will have run out of ‘other people’s money’- if it is allowed to happen.

Neil Cartwright

via email