Readers’ letters, July 19

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animal welfare


The redevelopment of Station Hill, in Bury St Edmunds, gives the town an opportunity to create something it badly needs – a large, secure, affordable station car park!

Travel by train will become more and more important in our crowded island. For example, Great Anglia already has plans to introduce an hourly Peterborough-Ipswich service once NetWork Rail hasrestored our route to double-track.

So, as part of the housing plan, please build a good station car park. If we miss this chance, we won’t get another one!

-- Roger Dix, via email


Suffolk Preservation Society was delighted that Hopkins Homes has firm plans to develop this sad, grotty area of the town. It is sad, however, that they are not able to co-operate with the owners of the equally squalid Tayfen Road site to produce a comprehensive vision for this important corner of Bury. They are to be congratulated on their choice of excellent architects with a great national reputation, but the society is very concerned that there is no provision for affordable housing. This is against government policy and advice – surely St Edmundsbury can enforce this requirement– it is without doubt a significantly pressing need in the borough.

-- David Rees, vice-chairman SPS


Why do some dog owners think their dog will be happier boiling to death in a hot car, than alone at home in the cool? I walked past a car on Sunday which had a poor, helpless, heavily panting dog sitting in the back in full sun. He had been there for at least an hour and didn’t even have the energy to bark at me when I put my hand through the window to feel how hot it was inside. When I approached the owner (who was not sitting in the car), he shrugged and said, ‘He’s all right, I’ve left the window open a bit’.

I tried to explain that he could die if left, but my pleas fell on deaf ears. I did not have a phone on me, but if I had, I would have called the police. The RSPCA suggests it is a finable offence to leave any animal in this situation. In the end I just had to leave the scene and the dog to its fate, feeling totally helpless. When I got home 10 minutes later, I put a thermometer in my own car, which also had the windows open. Within a minute or two it hit 38C. Can you imagine what it must be like to sit in a car that hot, wearing a thick fur coat, only able to breathe through your mouth? The selfish stupidity of some dog owners baffles me.

-- Paula Harber, Lawshall


The latest example of residents not being consulted is No 7 The Traverse (Cupola House), largely destroyed by fire last year.

Councillors have granted planning permission for a look-alike late Tudor front on the rebuild. The plan is to erect an open steel box and on the front hang those pieces saved from the fire, even though the windows and entrance are not the originals.

The rest of the building was virtually destroyed and will need a ‘new build’.

Sadly, the application for Mrs Dawn French (O.M.C. Investments, London) the owners, the tenant (Strada restaurants), the architects (Purcell, Colchester), councillors and council officials, are determined to put the kitchens in the basement of the new build with no natural daylight or ventilation, believing this is quite acceptable and knowing they will have no trouble recruiting staff.

Yes, maybe they do have us over a barrel arguing that this issue is not a material planning condition. Would they work in such conditions? I very much doubt it, but they are determined to put financial gain first. This is the 21st not the 19th century.

In addition, no figures are given for the numbers of people allowed on the seven floors at any one time, with no secondary means of escape, so similar to the Apex.

Just as every blade of grass, tree and hedgerow cannot always be saved, the same applies to old buildings – no matter how sad it may be.

-- Simon Harding, Bury St Edmunds


In 1956 to 1958, I had the pleasure of working with ‘Bob’ Hopwood and his family at his shop and business in St John’s Street, Bury StEdmunds.

His wife Jonni, was, I believe, Austrian. Her parents, Oma and Opa, lived with them in the house.

Bob’s son, Peter, was my age, now 78. Peter had three sisters – Emily, the oldest, Bridget, who we knew as Gitta, and a young one, Joanne.

Emily, I believe, had a child, who would now be in his or her mid-fifties. Gitta, I am told, married a Mr Dann; and Joanne a Mr Richard Young.

I would very much like to know what happened to this family after I lost touch. Do any of the children or relatives still live in Bury or nearby? The meat delivery round covered a wide surrounding area.

Mr Hopwood worked very hard as a butcher. His only relaxations while I wasthere were TV horse-racing and his racing greyhounds. Does this jog any memories?

Should anyone have any information, I may be contacted at 9 Foxgrove Lane, Felixstowe, Suffolk IP11 7JS, on 01394 276 886 or via

-- John M Gates, via email


Currently, because of mismanagement by successive governments,Britain is suffering severe economic restraint.

In view of this, it is very surprising that the Department forTransport has granted Suffolk County Council £1.5 million and the council has allocated £500,000 to construct a cycle and pedestrian bridge over the A14 road between Northgate Avenue and Thingoe Hill and extending into a newly surfaced Malthouse Lane. This will have the total effect of reducing the distance cyclists have to negotiate Fornam Road by about 200 metres. There will be no other benefits of this developement over existing ways. This seems to be an extremely excessive amount.

The plans for this extravagance can be inspected at West Suffolk House and Bury St Edmunds Central Library

until tomorrow.

-- John Land, via email


Great news on the Westley Middle School Ofsted report (Bury Free Press, July 12).

Bury St Edmunds Academy Trust:

Barrow Primary School –Outstanding

County Upper School – Outstanding (again and again)

Horringer Court Middle School – Good

Westley Middle School – Good with Outstanding features.

Best results in the county.

A failing system, Suffolk County Council?

King Edwards speaks for the whole of Bury?

I think not.

-- Pat Blake, Barrow


Are silver surfers being regarded as golden geese whose nest eggs are there to be plucked by conmen?

In this area an elderly lady was persuaded by a cold calling cowboy to place a large deposit for work which he claimed needed to be done at her property. Trustworthy local tradesmen assured her that the work was totally unnecessary but the seven days allowed in small print for cancellation had passed and the sub-contractors insisted on going ahead, even though they expressed shock at the cost of the work. The large balance was then paid.

Always obtain more than one estimate and only for work that needs to be done.

-- B Perrett, Bury St Edmunds


After reading your article about the town’s blend of historical areas and modern shops (Bury Free Press, July 12),I was surprised to read that this has had no effect on St John’s Street.

Before the arc opened in 2009, every shop was occupied – now there are at least six empty shops, so how can any report say that there has been no impact on those traders. This report must have been done without consulting them.

Also, if you speak to many of the traders who were there before the arc, they would say footfall is very much down since the arc opened.

I think that it is not just the arc that brings people to Bury, but much more, of which the Abbey Gardens and the twice- weekly market are just two.

Visitors to the town ask me on a weekly basis ‘can you tell when the Abbey Gardens are?’ or ‘which way to the cathedral?’, not ‘which way to the arc?’.

Bury St Edmunds is a success story because we are not a cloned town.

-- Darren Old, Executive board member of the National Market Traders’ Federation and local market trader


Last week, as the retired headteacher, I was invited to the Westgate School’s summer show and I must say congratulations to all the children who took part. The singing was amazing and the dancing was wonderful.

-- Brian Cash, Bury St Edmunds