A selection of readers’ letters from the Bury Free Press of Friday, February 27.
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JOBLESS TREATED VERY BADLY
I am writing to express my utter disgust at the way people are treated when they are unfortunate enough to be out of work for whatever reason.
Recently my husband became unemployed for the first time in over 40 years of working, which is not bad going considering the current climate.
He has been ‘trolling’ the internet and applying for jobs 20-30 at a time – downloading his CV and covering letter as asked, and then waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting for some sort of response or recognition to say it had been received and was being dealt with – but to no avail. The only occasion he was contacted was to offer him a position as an administrator for £16k a year. They obviously hadn’t even looked at his CV.
He calls the agency back two or three times after sending the CV and all he is told is that ‘we will be in touch’ and again he has waited and waited and waited and again, nothing.
I recently suggested that he visit three recruitment agencies in Bury St Edmunds (in person) to see what they had on offer. Off he went with his CV and vast knowledge to hand and visited the agencies as suggested. On arriving he asked about employment opportunities for his skill set (contract/project management, building services/renewables etc) and was told – by all three agencies: “Please send your CV in via email and we will see what we have.” He asked if he could sit down with a member of staff and chat about his job requirements and see what they had, but again he was told to send his CV in via email as they don’t do interviewing in branch.
The point of this letter is to express my disappointment and frustration that no-one could be bothered take the time to speak to him, one to one, or even seemed to have the time of day for a quick chat. It has come very hard to my husband as he is a very proud man but at the moment he feels like he has been thrown on the scrap heap with no way out.
It’s no wonder young people get despondent when applying for work if that is the attitude they receive. Our Job Centres tell us that to get benefits we need to be ‘actively seeking employment’ and to be able to prove this, but how can anyone when you don’t get any response from the people you are applying to.
There is something very wrong with this country and it is no wonder that we have such a high unemployment rate.
-- Pat McNamara, Great Barton
ROADSIDES STREWN WITH LITTER
‘A jewel in the crown of Suffolk’, I think not, certainly at this time of year. We do live in a beautiful part of our ‘litter-strewn’ country, but the amount of rubbish on the verges of our roads is terrible and so depressing.
The A134 Fornham bypass, along past the sugar beet factory towards Marlows, the road out to Great Barton, and again on the A134 towards Bradfield Combust, where there is newspaper strewn all along the side of the road, and this is the road that any visitors to Bury would take to visit Lavenham. And, worst of all, the exit roads to roundabouts and the roundabouts themselves.
It seems to me, though I may be wrong, litter collection is regularly done in our lovely town centre and the immediate precincts, but not further out of town.
Perhaps if a member of our local council reads this, they could let us know, via your letters page, if there are regular litter patrols or whether they need us, the public, to let them know of ‘litter hotspots’. And, if it is down to us, a number we can contact.
I still find it incredible that people just throw litter out of their vehicles expecting someone else will pick it up, at great risk because it is obviously a not insignificant health and safety issue walking along narrow verges. Also, it can’t just be vehicle drivers at fault – all types of refuse/skip lorries need to ensure that rubbish is covered and tightly tied down before embarking on a journey.
So please, let’s put the jewel back in the crown, and make it a joy to travel the highways and byways of this lovely part of Suffolk where we live.
-- L Bower, Bury St Edmunds
PLANS WILL IMPACT ON VILLAGE
I read with interest the article regarding the expansion of Lakenheath base (Bury Free Press, February 20) and I hope great consideration will be given by local government as to the impact this could have on the surrounding area, and especially Lakenheath village. It’s all very well announcing more squadrons and another 1,2oo personnel, but has anyone considered the amount of noise that these planes will cause – at the moment some days are intolerable – and more houses being rented to the Americans will again impact on local youngsters trying to rent –and the extra amount of traffic which, at the moment, makes it very difficult at Eriswell roundabout.
I doubt the local community will have any say on any decisions.
-- Joy Cooper, via email
SCHEME WOULD BE A TRAGEDY
The loss of the site of the Fornham Henge (Bury Free Press, February 13) would be a tragedy for the history, archaeology and heritage of Suffolk. The Fornham Henge was discovered as a result of aerial photography by Professor John Kenneth St Joseph, of Cambridge University, who published his discovery in Antiquity, a highly respected archaeological journal, in 1964. Thus it has now been known to the archaeological community for 40 years, and it would be impossible for anybody investigating the historical and archaeological potential of the Lark Valley to be unaware of this site. Bury achieved great fame and importance from the abbey where St Edmund was buried, but Bedereceworth (as the town was known before the saint was enshrined here) must have been a town of status and importance to be chosen as the burial place of a royal saint.
The Fornham Henge may therefore help to demonstrate that this area has been regarded as a focus of spiritual power for millennia, a location of great prestige.
Dr Duncan McAndrew’s researches now show that the site of the Fornham Henge was of importance in the Neolithic, Bronze Age and Roman periods.
There is now no doubt that this is a site which could throw new insights on the development of Suffolk. It should now be seen as a location worthy of intensive scientific archaeological investigation and analysis. The location should be spared development, but interpreted for a proper understanding of this area, and its importance should be fully publicised and interpreted for the benefit of the people of Suffolk.
-- Robert Halliday, Bury St Edmunds
WE SHOULD BE PROTECTING SITE
Archaeologists are right to be concerned about plans to put a Suffolk County Council road and 900 houses between Bury St Edmunds and Fornham All Saints.
As mentioned in the article, just 50 metres from the site is a huge ancient earthwork monument which stretches from Hengrave through Fornham All Saints. This mysterious earthwork, involving lines and ditches, often ruler straight, was probably once marked with timber or standing stones. This site is so large that that it can only be fully viewed from the air. The section along the River Lark already has Scheduled Ancient Monument status, the site being one of the largest of its kind in the UK, with parts dating back some 6,000 years. This makes it the oldest surviving man-made structure in East Anglia.
Its full extent and significance remains unknown, but evidence points to it extending over to the field behind the Howard Middle School and over to the Bury Golf Course and Tut Hill. Already hundreds of artefacts have been found on the proposed development site, including a Bronze Age cremation urn, human remains, fire pits and a palisaded enclosure. Earlier maps show burial mounds here.
Neither the Scheduling Map, nor details of finds were put before St Edmundsbury Council Development Control Committee, so the majority of councillors remain wholly ignorant of the site and its importance.
Plans were drawn up by Suffolk County Council Archaeology Service for a major dig at the site, and accompanying proposals for community involvement for schools and local people (as happens at equivalent sites around the UK) were being discussed in November, 2014. Suddenly, however, Suffolk County Council seems to have shelved these plans and details have been withdrawn from the public domain.
The UK is supposed to protect culture and heritage. Here is a prime opportunity on our own doorstep to do so. We should rise to the challenge.
-- Alan Murdie, Bury St Edmunds
NOT A GOOD ADVERT TO VISITORS
What is happening on Station Hill?
Having driven over Station Hill a couple of times recently from the Tesco side, I couldn’t help but notice (and I’m sure I’m not the only one) what a mess it looks. The abandoned nightclub with all weeds growing through the path at the entrance and litter just discarded outside Rollerbury (there is a lot) is disgraceful. Surely a couple of litter bins would solve this problem and 15 minutes of council workers weeding/spraying weedkiller would make Brazilias look slightly more respectable. This is not a very good advert or view of Bury for people visiting our lovely historic and interesting town for the first time once they’ve got off the train.
-- Andrew McSword, Bury Free Press
QUAKERS BACKING EQUALITY WEEK
Quaker Equality Week, an initiative of Manchester and Warrington Area Meeting, runs from 7-15 March. In the face of the huge and increasing differences in levels of income and wealth in the UK, Quakers across Britain will be working together to witness to our Testimony to equality.
Bury St Edmunds Quakers will be running several activities during this period:
- A silent vigil for equality on March 13 in Charter Square from 1-2pm. Friends will hand out leaflets and answer any questions from the public from 1.30pm and again after the vigil until 2.30pm.
- Films and discussion at the Meeting House on March 16 at 7.30pm. Three short films (about 10 minutes each) on inequality issues with discussion between the showings. Entry is free but we invite those attending to bring a donation for the food bank.
- A display in the foyer of Bury Library from March 9-15.
We will also be sending a copy of the leaflet Economic Inequality: a Quaker Concern to every General Election candidate standing in the constituencies of Bury St Edmunds and West Suffolk. Studies show that the most unequal societies are the most dysfunctional and it is our hope that these events will help to raise awareness among the general public about the damage done by inequality whilst also offering opportunities to find out more and take action for change.
-- Bury St Edmunds Quakers, St John’s Street, Bury St Edmunds
SOCIETY HAS PLAYED ITS PART
I read the article about the 50th anniversary of the re-opening of the Theatre Royal (Bury Free Press, February 20)with interest and also because I am archivist for Bury St Edmunds Amateur Operatic & Dramatic Society (BSEAODS). The society was the first to perform in the theatre following restoration. This was 1964 before all repairs had been completed. One of the photographs you published shows our chairman of the time, John Petch, a very accomplished actor, showing a group around at that time. He became the first house-manager at the theatre at re-opening. That first production was Noël Coward’s play Blithe Spirit. John took the leading role of Charles, and also in the cast was Air Vice Marshal Stanley Vincent, who had retired to Bury after distinguished service in both world wars. Stanley Vincent, as you note, headed the restoration fund appeal and with him also was the society’s musical director of the time, Wilfred Mothersole. Stanley appeared many times with the society – he was in the closing production at The Playhouse (a cinema with stage in Buttermarket, where the Argos store now is) where the society performed while the theatre was closed for 40 years. BSEAODS contributed the proceeds of the first play and subsequent productions, including two musicals, to the theatre restoration fund – a sum of several thousand pounds. We look forward to celebrating the 50th anniversary of this historic theatre, which we must not take for granted, and ask for community support for all it does to entertain us. BSEAODS are currently rehearsing our 113th musical, Lionel Bart’s Oliver! which will be at the Theatre Royal from May 12-16th. Booking is now open.
-- Joan Abbs, Archivist, BSEAODS