Letters - January 19, 2016

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Allergies unheard of in my schooldays

Growing up as a child in the 1950s and ’60s, allergies were never heard of (‘Don’t Let Them Eat Cake’, Gazette, January 15).

We never had the privilege of birthday cake brought into school to share, but I recall the annual Christmas party where we all took cakes, either bought from the shop or mostly baked by our mothers. I don’t ever recall any pupil coming down with any reaction from eating cake or from the long-awaited jelly dished out by teachers.

Did allergies exist back then, one wonders, when a pupil happened to be off school the following day reported as very poorly, with the advice to give plenty of Lucozade perhaps?

Or when we overheard a mother chatting to another over a particular child they defined as “always a sickly kid”, yet no one fully knowing why. Gluten-free, nut allergies, dairy intolerant, you name it, were maybe around back then, but never diagnosed, and if they had been, mothers from that era would have thrown their arms in the air exclaiming they’d never heard anything so ridiculous.

So have allergies only come to light over the past 30-40 years or so due to ingredients that didn’t exist in home cooking, or were just not recognised?

You have to sympathise with Norbreck Primary Academy headteacher with an abundance of such allergies lingering among pupils, not only the risks involved, but the lack of time to actually go through ingredients with a fine tooth comb for pupils.

You could say, we live in a ‘sickly society’ through no fault of our own, and teachers shouldn’t have that responsibility.

Clifford Chambers

Ashton Road



Don’t leave villages without a ‘lifeline’

Once again, it is the time of year when councils are planning to cut bus services.

I live in Elswick and our buses are once again under threat. Let me tell you what it would mean to me if we lost our transport.

If I have no bus I can’t get to work, if I can’t get to work I will lose my job, if I lose my job how can I find another, or sign on, when there is no bus service to Preston/Blackpool?

I am one of many who rely on these services for work/shopping/college etc. We who live in rural areas need these buses. Not everyone can drive and when cuts are needed, it always seems to be rural areas who draw the short straw.

There are a lot of elderly people in Elswick and surrounding villages who use this bus to get to doctors/hospital appointments. Are these people expected to walk over a mile to the post office in Great Eccleston to pick up their pensions?

I hope the local councils think carefully before making their decisions.

Sandra Oldham

Roseacre Drive



Concerned about ’quake impacts

A little publicised fact in the UK is the increase in earthquakes in North America caused by fracking for shale gas.

Oklahoma has now been given the accolade of being the earthquake capital of the world, while the energy regulator in the Canadian province of Alberta confirmed that a 4.6 magnitude earthquake is the largest fracking caused earthquake in the province to date. More significantly, it can be the largest manmade fracking caused earthquake in the world to date.

Geological seismologist John Cassidy of Canada is reported as stating “more and bigger earthquakes triggered by gas extraction could be on the horizon. The overall pattern shows that there is an increase in the number and magnitude of induced earthquakes”.

The scientific consensus is that the injection of large volumes of toxic wastewater left over from fracking operations into underground wells has triggered these earthquakes.

One wonders why our government is not concerned about this increase in seismic activity, or the toxic waste that can be dangerous when released through the drilling process. It must be deemed a lack of duty to care for its citizens and the earth, if any government fails to act to stop this dangerous activity.

To ignore the facts and risks inherent in shale gas extraction is a dereliction of government’s duty to protect its citizens!

Marjorie Nye

Knowle Ave



Thanks to all who helped ‘our Alison’

The Hayden and Bowdell families would like to give a huge thank-you to all the fantastically generous strangers, friends,colleagues, teachers and family who have donated to all the events held to raise money for “Our Alison’s” prosthetic leg.

Special thanks to Gilly, Lenny and the girls from Sweet and Sour sweet shop, on Highfield Road, Simon Pearce and his ice hockey teams, Hawes Side School and the 23rd Scouts.

All money collected has been banked for use as Alison learns to walk again. Hopefully, this will be later this year.

Once again, many thanks to all who have contributed.

Judith Hayden (Alison’s Nana)

South Shore