‘Do as you would be done by’

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RE Brian Davies’ letter ‘Parents should set an example (Bury Free Press, February 8). Here in Stowmarket I see ample evidence of good modern manners, more relaxed, perhaps, than those he cites.

My father used to walk on the outside of the pavement when with my mother or me, presumably so that he could draw his sword, if needed (or to protect us from the splashes from the road?): touching, but from another era.

Here, drivers routinely acknowledge with a wave of the hand or smile when you pull in to let them pass; in shops, people of all ages hold the door for you and say ‘cheers’ or some such when you do the same for them. We smile at each other and stand aside for an elderly or disabled person – or a young mother with a buggy – to pass on the narrow pavement.

Like Mr Davies, I regret litter dropping, as I do the mobile phone obsession on the streets, but really, I don’t need to have someone stand up whenever I enter a room and, if it’s dry outside, foot-wiping/shoe removal seems unnecessary. Manners, like so much else, change; sadly some of the more churlish strangers I encounter are elderly. ‘Do as you would be done by’ seems a good adage to live by – and, agreed, let’s not drop litter.

Jill Mortiboys