Letters - September 4, 2018

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Nothing we can do to improve railways

On the accountability of rail chiefs, the problem is that we’re flogging a dead horse.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and the rail bosses appear to have got it all ‘stitched up’ and there’s nothing that we, as Northerners, can do about it.

And none of our elected representatives have the courage to take them to task.

Not an inch of HS2 rail has yet been laid, but the big four consultancies have hoovered up tens of millions.

Surprise, surprise, that a favourable report for the Government recommending HS2 was produced.

The whole of the Northern transport system (some would argue the UK transport system) is in disarray, but at least if you live in the South East or in London, taxpayers’ money is being thrown at the problem.

We in the North are being marginalised and there’s nothing at all we can do about it.

Peter Black

via email


Sound of silence can be wonderful

As a music lover, I have an eclectic taste, ranging from rock to chamber music.

However, I know I am not alone in hating having it foisted on me.

Why does it have to be inescapable in public places?

I first noticed my aversion at an ice hockey match, where the frequent pauses in play are filled with loud music.

This has now been extended to cricket (between overs and wickets), tennis (at every change-over) and many other sports. Football has so far been spared, though I dread the day when players have to wait for the music to subside before taking corners, goal-kicks etc.

Half-time entertainment is fine, in fact I loved the brass bands that played at early post-war matches.

At a recent T20 cricket match, the music was ‘enhanced’ by the appearance of scantily-clad cheerleaders.

Heavens above. As for the High Street, I love to hear buskers and sometimes pause to listen. That is my choice. But I don’t go into a department store to be greeted by the piped music of Black Lace or even Mozart.

I might go in to buy their records, though.

Brian H Sheridan

Address supplied


Delighted by Royal Military Tattoo

On Bank Holiday Monday, I watched the BBC highlights of the 2018 Edinburgh Royal Military Tattoo. It was superb in every way.

The commentator was first class, the colours, timing, discipline, skill, bravery, co-ordination, synchronisation and enthusiasm of all those taking part was a joy to see. There were folk from Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland, America, Switzerland, Oman, Mexico, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Bohemia – all very happy and enjoying themselves, with no hint of any trouble.

Music, even more than sport, does unite people. This can be seen, for example, at the wonderful concerts put on by the Dutch band leader Andre Rieu. This was a good news story from start to finish – how I wish we had more!

David Quarrie

Address supplied


Racheal’s a true winner in my eyes

Model Rachael Kin, 28, is hoping to become the first beauty pageant winner with a colostomy bag.

Rachael lost part of her intestines after getting ulcerative colitis, and spent six weeks in hospital.

As someone who went through a similar ordeal, I know what Rachael went through and how it affects your confidence and health.

She says she has faced discrimination due to her appearance, and suffered from isolation. Regardless of how Rachael does in her beauty pageant, she is already a winner in my eyes.

John C Fowler

Address supplied


Are we going to get help with prices?

Along with gas and electric, food prices are set to rise.

Will the government help pensioners on basic pensions? Of course not, the ‘rich’ pensioners on £127 will be expected to absorb them. Never mind, we can look forward to a £3 rise in April.

T Walker

via email