War Memorial Gary Trouton

Letters to the Editor

February 2003

Cats, Pump, Shipping, Broadband, Time

Dear Ray,

In response to Graham Forster's Letter "Beware of the Cats"

My next door neighbours are the proud and loving owners of 5 cats and I have a feral cat sleeping under my side entrance hedge. It's been sleeping there for sometime. The only time we know it's about is around 10pm some evenings when the dogs begin to bark. I never find any dead birds in my garden though they often knock themselves out when they try to fly through the patio doors.

I list herewith the following birds I have seen in my garden over the last couple of days, Mistle Thrushes, Song Thrushes, Starlings, Robins, Blue Tits, Coal Tits, Great Tits, Blackbirds, Chaffinches, Siskins, Sparrows, Dunnocks, Collared Doves and, last but not least, Joey the Parakeet (or whatever it is).

I love watching the Birds and can spend hours looking at them feed from the bird feeders or listening and digging for worms.

Cats are very playful creatures; it's their nature and perhaps nature's way of culling the birds. Man, the educated human being, takes his gun and goes out to "cull" the game birds; they call it sport, don't they?

Please Graham don't be too hard on our playful loving little pets. THEY know no better.


Lesley Turner

PS: I don't even have a cat

Dear Editor,

May I comment on the letters from Janet Stocking, Ray Garrett and Graham Forster in the January edition of the Village Pump? Never have I read such childish drivel; I feel like someone who is threatening to pinch a child's toy. If you try to take our Pump away we shall tell Mother; oh dear me. Why can't they be honest and just say they don't like my involvement with the Pump because I live outside the area?

Now what about this Constitution, which to me appears to be cast in stone? What happens if you, Mr. Editor, and what a darn good one you are, decides to go and live say in Northwold? Well it's outside the area, so you have to resign. Never mind about your ability or your loss to the Pump. You have committed an ultimate sin, moving some four miles up the road. Your correspondents, and I believe there are others, want to perpetuate this complete nonsense.

I have for some months been asking myself, 'Where is our Pump going?' The answer is quite clear, nowhere. I believe even our Management Committee are only interested in maintaining the Status Quo; increasing circulation, profits, it's a joke, nobody is interested.

Of course I enjoy writing for our Pump. But that's only one half of it. I want to belong to a winning team, to play my part to the full. If, however, our Pump can be successful without any contribution from me, so what, I'm not important, but our Pump certainly is.

Some people will say our Pump is successful and that's the problem. Can you say that when, after some 20 years, the circulation is only about 275 copies a month? We should be selling three times that number in Stoke Ferry alone. How many readers do we have even under the age of 30? How many contributors under that age? It's an old folks magazine! But why worry; let's keep everything as it. My God, what a progressive attitude.

You have suggested, Mr. Editor, that I discontinue my little piece of nonsense, 'The Story So Far'. Well so be it, but I am aware that a number of readers look forward to reading it, as indeed they do my other little bits. I have decided, until your Management Committee invites me to do otherwise, that further contributions from me should be put on hold. In the meantime I hope you will allow me to continue to distribute our Pump to 'my' existing readers. If I make a promise I like to honour it.

Finally, Mr. Editor, if I can see any evidence that our Pump wants to pursue a more expansive policy, and if I can assist in achieving that objective, then you have only to ask. Failing that I'm knocking my head against a brick wall and I don't see much future in that.

Yours sincerely,

Les Lawrence

Dear Ray,

Today we have the most sophisticated forms of communication -the Internet, mobile phones, land-line phones, teletext, radio, television, and so on. Why then, every time I turn my radio to Radio 4 long wave to catch up with the cricket commentary from Australia in the small hours of the morning, I hear that there are force 6 winds forecast for Biscay or that there is precipitation in sight at Viking? In other words, why in this modern age do fishermen still tune to the good old wireless for their weather forecasts? Or do they, or is the Beeb reluctant to kill off what is probably the oldest "programme" that they have broadcast?

Somebody tell me, please!

Graham Forster

Dear Ray,

At the beginning of the New Year, I love looking out for the unusual and original bets that bookmakers put forward in order to try and rid us of our money. This year, William Hill have really hit the jackpot, though. They offer 20,000,000 to 1 that Elvis will appear in 2003, riding to London on Shergar where he will play Lord Lucan at tennis. Must be worth a quid, surely?

Graham Forster

Dear Ray,

Can we get Stoke Ferry Connected?

Your readers may be aware that BT, Freeserve and other providers have been pushing Broadband through all of the channels the media have into our homes. Broadband as a technology is very good news as it is able to deliver comprehensive telecoms services to your home over the existing copper wire connection to your local exchange. There is an initial cost of about £80 for the ADSL modem etc. plus an installation fee of about £30 and then a monthly fee of £27 for all the benefits and services as advertised.

Having been sold on this package of goodies, I called BT and requested connection, only to be told that Broadband is not available on the Stoke Ferry exchange. "Why is this?" I asked. I am told that only 25 customers on our local exchange have registered an interest in Broadband. " Well isn't that enough?" No sorry, we need at least 100 customers registering an interest before Stoke Ferry appears on BT's horizon. I have no real idea how many customers are connected to our local Stoke Ferry exchange, but I am sure that it would not be difficult to find 100 potential customers for Broadband. At least every commercial enterprise in our area should seriously consider taking on Broadband, as it would maximise the utilization of their current BT connection.

I hurry to point out that I am in no way connected with BT, (apart from the pairs of copper wires) but I feel that if we are to encourage the way of life in rural communities like ours, the provision of modern services is a pre-requisite.

Help me put pressure on BT to implement their declared policy (see the December 2002 issue of BT's Update brochure delivered with your regular BT phone bill) and call 0800 800060 and register your interest now. Perhaps people power can make a difference.

Yours sincerely

Cliff Gardner

Dear Ray,

Twelve months on

Where has the time gone? Am I glad I moved into town? The answer is yes. I do miss my village but I am now starting to adapt to the town; knowing I can shop when I like, whatever the day, providing that I have the money. And I can join things such as the Cameo Club, which is run by the Salvation Army, and the Silver Threads, which is held in the town hall three Thursdays out of four. I can also visit the Downham Club where this is bingo and snooker tables and a very friendly atmosphere where you are made very welcome. Of course to visit this club you need money to spend and I haven't been able to go lately. I decided to do some decorating in my front room; earlier last year I took the wallpaper off so now I though I would spruce it up a bit; starting to brighten up my home.

I do miss the dog I used to walk (Penny). I never used to be an animal lover, but I found that animals would never let you down. Unlike some people!

I have shortly to go into hospital to have electric shock treatment to regulate my heartbeat. The only bit I'm worried about is will I be all right afterwards? I know I shouldn't worry but I guess I'm only human. Everyone worries at some stage and some people more than others.

I will tell you what I missed this year, the Christingle service. Still, to use an old saying, beggars can't be choosers. But I am glad that I can still write letters to the Village Pump to let my ex-neighbours know how old john is doing. That's not bad for an old 'un who is as old as his tongue and little bit older than his teeth; I think that's the right saying.

So to all at the Village Pump and those who contribute, a belated Happy New year.

From your friend, as always,

John Pointer

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