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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

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Thanks to the volunteers who battle on

SIR – WRVS volunteers have been battling through the snow and ice to continue to deliver services to older people and check that they are safe, warm and well.

Fear of slipping on icy paths and treacherous road conditions mean that older people often cannot get out and about and without our volunteers they may not see anyone else for days at a time.

I’d like to say a massive thank you to our volunteers across the region who have continued to deliver vital services like Meals on Wheels to the housebound, despite the bad weather.

Many volunteers have gone beyond the call of duty and have carried on when other services have stopped.

Thank you and keep up the good work!


WRVS head of operations for the North East & Cumbria

SIR – I am a regular visitor to Whitehaven for holidays, but I was saddened by all the empty shops, all there seemed to be are charity shops, pound shops and buying gold. Your beautiful harbour had litter everywhere.

The roads were full of potholes and in the two weeks I was there I didn’t see one policeman on the beat and not one road sweeper.

Could someone please tell me were the market has gone? On a Saturday I saw five stalls. What is happening?

The Dusty Miller pub is going to be demolished to make way for a car park! What is that big building not two minutes down from there? A multi-storey car park!

I also heard from a shopkeeper they are going to build more shops. Why, when you cannot fill the empty ones you have already? Would it not be better to drop the rental cost of the empty shops to get people in them?

The people of Whitehaven are always polite and helpful. Where is poor Whitehaven going? Slowly down the pan by the looks of things. Such a shame, it’s a beautiful part of the country with great people.

I hate to think what it will look like in the next 12 months if things keep going the way they are.

What about a cinema? Come on, Copeland Council, the people of Whitehaven deserve more.

A visitor from Suffolk

SIR – I wonder how the Home Group housing association can justify ripping carpets and laminate flooring out of homes before reassignment to another tenant.

Why can’t they set up a system where the new tenant can decide whether or not they’d like to keep them instead of using health and safety as a reason to remove perfectly good items?

Surely it would save money, even if the tenant had to sign something to accept the quality of what’s left.

Namd and address supplied

HOME Group replies: “We’re happy to leave carpets and laminate flooring in homes and allow new customers to decide if they want to keep them or replace them with something which better suits their taste. However, on occasion we do need to remove them for health and safety reasons.

“Typically for carpets this is if we fear they may be infested or in the case of laminate flooring if we need to inspect electric cables as part of our duty of care before we hand over a property.”

SIR – I was particularly interested in an item in The Whitehaven News about an air crash in Wastwater Screes in January 1945.

While I cannot be of any help regarding the unfortunate crew members, I can perhaps enlighten you about the nature of the exercise, having experienced a similar situation as a telegraphist (wireless operator) airgunner, in a Grumman Avenger, based at Inskip, Lancs, during November-December, 1944.

Pilots and observers (navigators) received their initial training in Virginia, USA or Ontario, Canada. While telegraphist airgunners (Tags) were trained in RCAF Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, before being brought together as Grumman Avenger (3-man aircrews) in Jewston Maine, USA. They would then be posted to Inskip for final operational training before selection as replacements on aircraft of the Far Eastern or Pacific fleets.

Whilst at Inskip, because I was considered to be a ‘local’ lad, I was given the privilege (?) to plan a suitable day-time navigation exercise which would include simulated high glide and low level torpedo bombing over Western Lake District, ending in a ‘visit’ to Distington, before returning to Inskip.

In hindsight, I see now that I should be grateful that I was not responsible for the planning of night-time navigation exercises!

My planned route was starting at Mockerkin, down very low along Lowseswater, Crummock, Buttermere, over Honister Pass into Borrowdale and not too low over Derwentwater and Keswick before letting loose along Bassenthwaite and so to Distington for a flying visit.

On December 7, 1944, my best friend was killed in a night exercise north-west of Fleetwood in which his aircraft crashed into a merchant ship instead of an ill-identified target ship. The ship was carrying empty petrol cans from Iceland to Preston.

As I have scrapped my flying log book I don’t know if I ever shared the same aircraft as the Wasdale crew, which were probably at Inskip at the same time as me.



SIR – I think the Obama and the USA administration statement is more than 100 per cent right, when they say that we in this country would be in isolation if we opt out of the European union.

Yes, we do invest lots of money in the EU, but we also get lots out by way of trade with Europe.

Besides this, since the EU was formed it has achieved peace within Europe, and better relations all round in Europe.

So I think a referendum to decide whether to opt out or otherwise could be a certain disaster for us. And as the old saying goes, “Leave well alone.”


Mid Town Close, Distington

SIR – Once upon a time we joined a single market, which grew and grew. It became very, very large, and from within arose a huge bureaucratic monster which gobbled up and wasted the people’s wealth.

The monster’s powers became so great, the people could only watch, helpless, as their resources drained away.

Just when all seemed lost, a Prince arose, promising to listen to their cries. The people placed all their trust in him and lifted him up. But the monster, fattened with greed, cohorted with the Prince and tricked him with many worthless treats which clogged his ears.

This soon became clear to the people, who were so distressed they could not sleep at night. Then, one midnight hour, a sort of U appeared, lighting up the sky. It was joined to a KIP, like a UKIP. For the first time in years the people slept.

The next morning, they inquired what the sign should mean, and when it was revealed, all the people came together, and with one voice they cried... UKIP!

Soon, they were rescued them from the beast and secured a safe place inside the single market.

Refreshed and unfettered, their kingdom united, they became a beacon to many.


Isel, Cockermouth

SIR – It is surprising to see a new 17 strong policing unit being set up to carry out policing in and around Sellafield. This on top of the existing Civil Nuclear Constabulary and the normal Cumbria police service outside Sellafield.

The cost appears to be hush hush, but seems to fly in the face of the endless bleating about austerity from the politicians as they demolish other public services.

I know they say ‘Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth’, but when the gift horse is we the taxpayer, maybe we should?


St Helens Street, Cockermouth

SIR – I am seeking any information on my grandfather’s (Henry Morton) family. They were originally from Whitehaven. In fact my father (Joseph) was born there as well.

I do know that Henry had four brothers and two sisters. Henry and Sam were in South Africa for a while. John emigrated to the USA. The other two brothers – names unknown – went to Australia and India.

Henry and family emigrated to Canada, as did Sam’s daughter Mabel.

The rest is a complete mystery to me, so I am hoping that somewhere amongst the Mortons in the area someone maybe able to fill in some blanks or provide some leads.


35 East 34th Street


Ontario, Canada


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