Boughton Church Window Gary Trouton

Letters to the Editor

January 2003

Your views on the suggestion of a change of name for the Pump

Dear Ray,

Regarding Les Lawrence's letter in the December issue. It makes me wonder, reading between the lines, what is the true motive behind this missive.

Over the years it has been my experience that when somebody says that the rules, or in this case the Constitution of The Village Pump, need changing, then that person usually has aspirations of getting on the power base, or of taking over once the rules are changed in their favour.

Now as I understand it, the Constitution of the Pump says that only people resident in the six villages listed on the cover of the Pump can be on the committee. Thus, if the parameters were changed to include say Methwold, then of course Les would be eligible to be on the committee. The thing is Les, where do we stop? As you go further afield things become more impersonal. Does someone in Cambridge or London know, or care what happens in Boughton or Wretton, 'like what we do bor'?

Sometimes when reading the Pump nearly every other page is a Les Lawrence article. If the Constitution was changed would we then see even more of these articles? I for one would hope not. A little goes a long way, and besides there might not be room for other articles from people like Brian, Graham, Ron, Janet, RG, John, Elinor, Nigel, Frank, and many others. I would say it is precisely this varied mix of local stories, humour, life experiences, poetry, recipes, and local information which keeps the magazine interesting and gives the communities here a platform to air their views on matters which affect them in their locality. It is also a means of maintaining their local identity. If they want to get their message to a wider public they could go to the Lynn News, the Eastern Daily Press, or the National press. Each publication has its place in the scheme of things.

With regard to Les's suggestion to change the name, Why???? This is change for change sake, and expense!! I could give you a whole list of unnecessary changes, but to save space and boredom just one or three. West Norfolk District Council changed their logo a few years back at a cost, to council taxpayers, of thirty thousand pounds. The Post Office changed to Consignia and then back to The Post Office again at who knows what cost, (no wonder they don't make a profit), and I can't go into a shop now and ask for a Marathon bar because it has been renamed Snickers, which sounds a bit like either 'sniggers', or dare I say it, 'knickers', to me!!

So Les, if you want to rewrite the rules and change the name, perhaps it would be better if you started your own 'West Norfolk Gazette'. But please leave our Village Pump alone. It will grow and evolve as it has done over the years in its own natural way, especially if we continue to have as varied an input as possible and it is put together by an editor and team as good as we have at the moment.

Ray Garrett

Oh Mr. LawrenceWhat can I say?You want to change the name of our Pump,That'll be the day.

Why not start your own 'gazette',I'm sure you'd be able to fill it.The name you choose would be up to youAnd also what you put in it.

For many years we've had the 'Pump'It was started by a few,In those days it was jolly hard work,But look just how it grew.

Why don't you go back to your 'Ladies' Les,For they may be fair and trueOr even try writing a novel,It would give you something to do.

I'll finish nowAs I don't want to bore,But hands off our 'Pump' LesWe look forward to many more.

Janet Stocking

Dear Ray,

I felt that Les Lawrence's letter last month must not go unanswered. Our readership needs to know what the Pump's aims and objectives are and how muddled and ignorant Les's thinking is. Don't get me wrong, I know and like Les and thoroughly enjoy most of his articles.

Firstly, he says that he "was pleased to see that profits were up." The Pump is not a profit-making concern! In the Constitution it states that "it is a financially independent magazine" covering the six named Wissey villages. This means that the revenue obtained is used for essentials connected with the publishing and printing and any surplus goes into an account for when, for example, we have to renew the printing machine. Because everybody to do with the Pump gives freely of their time, the only increase in price in the last seven years has been five pence - and look at the increase in value!

Les' idea that we "have no choice" but to increase Pump sales is silly. Who would print and collate all of these extra copies? It would become a professional printers' job, and the price would reflect it. Also, to go further afield would require other churches, parish councils etc. to insist on the inclusion of their events. Before you know what's happened, we would be up to 100 pages, because the attendant advertisers would also require their space. Methinks that Les is intent on a larger readership for his work so that he can bask in his own self-gratification.

I certainly hope that the Pump's constitution is not "re-evaluated" as les puts it. It is as right today as when it was written and it's whole ethos is correct. Maybe Les can contact Lynn news - perhaps they could be persuaded to move into Norwich, Bedford and Peterborough! More seriously, keep the good work up, Les, but leave the Pump to continue on its current correct course.

Yours sincerely,

Graham Forster

Dear Editor

How does one cope with Christmas living on one's own? With difficulty! It is always nice to be in someone's company. Not quite so much time to think?

I always think that Christmas should be a happy time but often find tragedy has come to a family or someone close to us. I know we all go through that at some time in life, but why at Christmas time? Well I guess it could be that, through grief and bereavement, people in general are brought closer together. We normally go to their funeral and pay our last respects but if that person were alive you might get Hullo or Good Morning or even a Grunt?

The old saying used to be; there was someone for everyone. But that is not a true saying at all; it is just a matter of luck. You're either lucky in life or you are struggling. And you can be well off with money and be a miserable old so and so and be not very well off and of a pleasant nature. I spoke to a lady in our local post office. She had just won £800 on five numbers on the lottery. The last time she won was two years ago and she won over £2,000 that time and that was with a lucky dip! She regularly does £3 per week, Saturdays only. Now take me, for instance, I miss-manage money fortnight after fortnight and say I'll do better next time, then what happens next time? Same old muddle. So where are my brains? In my feet?

I tell you what if had a cheque in the post for £1,000 it would last me a fortnight and you know why? I am just a bad manager with money. I get something in my head and I will do it. Take last Saturday! I hired a Taxi to come to Stoke Ferry; somebody brought me home about an hour later. If I had thought about it, I could have used the Dial a Bus which comes to Stoke Ferry from Jim Russell's garage about 8.30 a.m. and comes back to Downham Market about 12 noon. Why couldn't I have waited? Well, because I get lonely and I get an idea and follow it through.

So does that make me a useless twit? No, I am just a bit unsure of myself and need to get a grip on life. Then someone will wish me a Happy Christmas and I think what have I got to be happy about? I am not in the best of health, but I can walk and talk. Some things I cannot do but nobody's perfect.


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