Letters to the editor (Including Pat on the back for fitting tributes)


A selection of letters from this week’s Gazette.

World War One

Pat on the back for fitting tributes

May I thank you for the brilliant current series of five pull-out supplements included with the Gazette to mark the upcoming centenary of World War One.

They have been graphic, informative, educational and a fitting tribute to the men and women who gave so much at that time so we could enjoy the freedom that we have in this country today.

I found them of particular interest as my own father fought in the World War One as a sergeant in the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) and was wounded , I believe, at Gallipoli and in those conditions, wounds were not properly treated in the trenches.

As a result gangrene ultimately set in and in 1950 it was so bad he was going to have to have his leg amputated.

The shock of having to face such a life-changing operation caused him to have a massive heart attack and regrettably he died.

I was 14 years old at the time and possibly because I was so young, he never told me anything about his wartime experiences but then most of those who served in wartime rarely talk to their families of any age about their experiences.

So as you can imagine I found your supplements very poignant but nonetheless very interesting to read.

It would be nice if you could produce these pull-out supplements in a bound together booklet form.

I would dearly love them to then be donated to all the schools in the area so that the children of today can always be aware of how their forefathers suffered in the war so that they can enjoy their lives today.

Stan Ball

Address supplied
but not for publication

Grass cutting

Thanks for giving us our field back

Further to my letter in last week’s Gazette about the dreadful cutting of my local field I would like to tell you that the Field was cut again on Thursday morning.

My thanks to the Dacorum Borough Council staff who moved so quickly to have the field recut properly and enable it to be used again, we will have to live with the clumps of cut grass but realize the expense that would be needed to pick it up. So thanks again for giving us back our field.

Doreen Coburn

Seymour Crescent


Do as I say not as I do is council motto

With reference to David O’Neill’s ‘Green belt plans suffer setback’ in last week’s Gazette, it would seem the leader of Dacorum Borough Council Andrew Williams has a voice and backs Dacorum’s Core Strategy when it comes to building houses on our Green Belt, even going to the lengths of taking developers to the high court to defend the honour of Dacorum’s Core Strategy.

But when it comes to golf courses and dumping landfill, well where is the esteemed leader of the council? Nowhere to be found, (copted a deaf one as they say in Peckham), who is standing up for Dacorum Core Strategy? No one, what happened to the NPPF? Got swept under the landfill, it would seem Cllr Andrew Williams Conservative would rather be parading around on top of landfill on his newly renovated golf course thinking about all the money the council has split with Sportspace.

Perhaps Grand Union Investments should have gone into partnership with Woodland Enviromental and laid tons of landfill down before building the houses, then the council would have to had ask Woodlands for their advice and would have given the plans their 
full backing.

Oh well at the end of the day you can always pitch tents on a golf course when we run out of housing.

Rachel Biggs

Bourne End

Food standards

Deal is a threat to how we are living

Following the food scandals of recent years, people are becoming much more aware of what goes into our food.

The last thing we need is lower legal standards, but a deal being negotiated between the EU and the US could result in exactly that.

The EU-US trade deal aims to ‘harmonise’ European and American rules in food safety and many other areas, which in practice may mean slashing European standards to match the much lower US levels.

So, products like hormone-treated beef and pork, and chicken washed in chlorine, sold by US companies but currently banned here, could appear on supermarket shelves in the UK.

Food is just one area in which this deal would give multinational companies much more influence in our lives.

Healthcare and education are among the others. The deal threatens our ability to run our society in the way we choose, and it must be stopped.

Simon Green

Hemel Hempstead


Will leader abide by own policies?

We were relieved to see Andrew William’s defence of the council’s core strategy in the high court (Hemel Gazette June 18).

As he writes, it is a ‘…. key tool in controlling new development in the public interest’.

Can we now assume that he will likewise defend the core strategy from landfill at Little Hay?

Even his own planning officers have told him that to allow such a development would be in breach of a number of core strategy policies.

To name but one, Policy 78 states quite clearly when referring to golf courses that …. ‘Proposals involving significant alterations to levels, either by the extraction or importation of large quantities of material, will not be permitted’.

A simple question Cllr Williams, will you abide by your own policies?

Gordon Rolfe

Bourne End Village Association


Articles bring back happy memories

I read with interest your articles on Bury Mill End and Bury Road schools recently.

I have now had the chance to read the Herts Memories website and can add the following for starters – needless to say it brought back happy memories of my childhood – I recently bumped into Martin Parr and gave him my card to pass onto Derek Jarrett after he told me they had lunch and was trying to get memories from ex pupils.

I was a year younger and left the school in 1959 to go on to Corner Hall—yes no school dinners on site but those partaking were walked to the “new” school at Southill where they had a canteen—we also played our football matched there when it was no called off due to rain (we changed under the big tree by the pitch).

Mrs Dean must have been my first teacher and I was in fact the youngest in the team in 1958 that won the 6 a side not 7 a side at Broadfield – the others in the team were those mentioned John Pike, Jeffrey Richardson (who lives round the corner from me) Jimmy Joyce plus Melvyn Evans (our goalkeeper ) who again now lives in Beechfield and one other whose name I cannot remember ( I still have a photograph somewhere of the team with the cup).

Yes Dick Holliday was our headmaster and from memory he was either on the West Herts FA or County FA and when he attended a match was very vocal and supportive to the boys—my earliest memory of the 6 a side was that we were a small school so a massive achievement in winning the cup-in our first game we kicked off and one of the boys who the ball was played to kicked for goal and scored.

The following year we were beaten by all except the school at Warners End (Martindale/Micklem?) where we won 1-0.

I do recall some of the team members including Robert Dick who lived in Gadebridge and arrived mid term.

I can also remember a trip to Southampton Docks on the train with some of the mums on board—the school had air raid shelters which I believe survived when the school was flattened.

I could go on and on was there when the Munich disaster struck and my team Luton Town (I am still a season ticket holder) reached the FA Cup final after a Wednesday afternoon semi-final replay—remember getting the result from one of the teachers in the playground.

If you require any further info please get in touch was only talking with Melvyn Evans’ wife last week and am due to meet up with Jeffrey Richardson for a beer in not too distant future.

John Dealey

Address supplied

Armed forces

Why we must not forget the families

Saturday was Armed Forces Day, an opportunity to thank our service personnel.

This is made more pertinent by the centenary of the start of World War One in August, when we will pause to remember all those who have played their part, including my own great uncle, Private Samuel Wakeham, who was killed during the Battle of the Somme in September 1916.

The British collective memory of The Great War recalls the death and destruction in the trenches of the Western Front. However, there is another story that should be remembered; the story of the home front and the families, the women and children left behind by those who went off to fight.

SSAFA (then the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Families Association) was the only charity in 1914 caring for the families of troops sent to the front line. Without a welfare system in place the government asked for help to fill the gap in support for the servicemen’s families.

Through two World Wars and every subsequent conflict involving Britain, SSAFA has been here for our servicemen and women and their families. Today we still support some 90,000 people each year.

The bottom line for us is providing support – for those who have done their bit for our country, and their families, making sure that when they are in need, we are there for them. They have made their selfless contribution and the least that we can do is be there for them in return.

David Murray

Air Vice-Marshal
Chief Executive of SSAFA

International affairs

Join the campaign against trade deal

Many people are involved in local campaigns to protect the NHS, oppose fracking, or tackle fuel poverty.

The EU is secretly negotiating a trade deal with the US which would affect all of these issues and more.

If the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is agreed, it will give big business the right to sue the UK government over legislation that they believe might reduce their profits.

This would mean a future UK government could be sued for trying to return the NHS to full public ownership.

It would make a freeze on energy prices, proposed by some politicians, difficult if not impossible to achieve. And it would lead to a fracking boom, as more and more ‘fracked’ gas is imported into Britain.

Awareness of the dangers of the deal is growing, and groups like the World Development Movement are coming together to oppose it. I hope readers will share my concerns and join the campaign.

Dominic Lane



We really need some lights relief

I was wondering if anyone could shed any light (boom boom) on the lights on Maylands Avenue at the crossroads with Wood Lane End?

It seems that it currently only allows three or four vehicles through at a time, which in turn is causing some major traffic backup on Maylands Avenue, especially in the morning and evening rush hours.

Is this a temporary measure while resurfacing or is this permanent?

It does seem to stop traffic flowing.

Kerry Kenny

Address supplied