Readers' letters - April 26

Windrush must have left a paper trail

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 2nd May 2018, 11:34 am
Updated Wednesday, 2nd May 2018, 11:41 am

It seems unreasonable that our present Government is catching all the blame for the Windrush affair when surely any blame for that rests with different governments and immigration authorities going back to 1948.

Except for the distress caused to the original immigrants involved, which needs sorting immediately, it must puzzle many why establishing their legitimate citizenship should ever have been a problem.

When the Windrush left the Caribbean, it would have a full passenger list, as required in maritime law for the obvious purpose of accounting for all passengers in the event of a disaster. Those records are definitely still available.

When they disembarked with their landing cards, which we must assume were collected at the port, they were surely issued with some form of citizenship identity, either passports or other documents.

If not, why not? If any such documents were issued but later expired or became lost over time, it is hard to believe there were no records to facilitate their renewal.

If the landing cards were the only permanent records available, then whoever authorised their destruction without first checking the implications was guilty of gross incompetence.

There should be no shortage of records for Windrush immigrants to establish their legitimate citizenship. It is nevertheless easy to imagine an individual needing access to that information would not get much help from the sort of tick-box officialdom we often encounter these days.

On a final point for those interested, the Empire Windrush, to give her her full name, later sank in the Mediterranean in 1954, following a fire while serving as a troopship.

Mike Smith

Address supplied


I blame TOWIE for demise

I must agree with Neil Inkley regarding the omission of the ‘t’ in words and can only conclude that, in order to be trendy, people start talking as if they are from Essex, whose accent both leaves out the ‘t’ and also that ‘er’ at the ends of words, now pronounced ah (LP Letters, April 20). For example, lettah, bettah instead of letter and better.

My pet peeve are the expressions ‘would of’, ‘could of’, etc., which are born out of, first, mispronunciation of would’ve and could’ve and then written also as ‘would of’ and ‘could of’. As one linguist/grammar expert said, “That’s just plain ignorance!”

I agree.

Then we have people who use text speak when attempting to write sentences which can lead to all sorts of confusion.

I often look at the posts of people commenting on various cold phone calls. Some posters use the word ‘no’ to actually mean ‘know’. They also do not, er, know the correct abbreviation for number. So let them try telling me what the following may mean: “I don’t no if the no is the right no or not. There’s no telling if I no. In fact, no one nos if the no is correct.” Indeed some think that the abbreviation for number is ‘num’, not no.. This leaves me num(b)!

Then there are the lazy ones who use ‘there’ for any of the three homonyms of ‘their’, ‘they’re’ and ‘there’ and thus leave the reader having to translate which of the homonyms it should be in order to make sense of what they have written. Their’s/They’re’s/There’s food for thought!

May I also take a swipe at those people who talk posh in such a pretentious way (take note, Tim Wonnacott – ye of Bargain Hunt fame!) with ‘words’ such as ‘owf’ instead of ‘off’.

So where does all this mispronunciation and poor grammar come from?

One of the first things that I was ever taught while training to become a teacher was that ‘all teachers are teachers of English’. Yet it seems that my secondary school English colleagues were more interested in the literature side of English, adding that, by reading, somehow by the process of osmosis, pupils will pick up correct spelling and grammar. Utter drivel! Does staring at a piece of wood make someone an expert carpenter?

Of course not. One has to learn to use the correct tools of one’s trade and, in like manner, a writer has to use, for example, verbs and adjectives. It was thus that, when the National Curriculum first came out in the 1980s that the English academics, largely in universities not schools, had a lot to say on the matter and thus little teaching of grammar in secondary schools was being done. The fall-out from this disastrous decision is now ‘plane for all to sea’! Some may not even understand this intended error and that may include some secondary school English teachers.

Neil Swindlehurst

Walmer Bridge

town centre

One Stop signs out of place

The new One Stop Signs, pictured, are not in keeping with the historic nature of Garstang High Street.

I would add that the building upon which they

are erected is also not in keeping.

It would be best to demolish both and start again.

Booths took great care in this respect when it opened its store a few years ago.

Perhaps there is a lesson here.