Readers' letters - May 31

Make PE optional and exercise pupils' talents

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 31st May 2017, 5:50 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:01 pm

So exams are stressing pupils and blighting their lives, and I heard one headteacher has described them as “cruel”.

They are, however, a preparation for life, which involves testing of many kinds – I recall the driving test as particularly stressful – and difficult interviews which could have life-changing results.

However, what I have never seen is an article describing how stressful PE is to a child who has no interest in, and no capacity for, for example, contact sports.

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I am such a person, and I believe that lesson after lesson of PE undermined my self-confidence in one way (“never volunteer for anything”) and developed my ability to dodge to a high standard.

Removal of this torture from the timetable for those of my opinion, or, better still, allowing a choice to involve music, drama, needlework, crafts (all under threat in a crowded curriculum) would be much more constructive.

Indeed, speaking to a man who was an organist and a lecturer in music at a training college, we asked him what had made him decide to move on from childhood piano lessons to take up the organ.

His answer, “organ lessons took place in PE”, made us laugh, but in fact this had made a career for him, besides much personal satisfaction.


via email

foreign aid

So much cash being wasted

Quite a contrast through my door this morning.

My mail contained a plea from Christian Aid for me to donate to their unending campaign to feed and shelter

the people dismissed from their homes through war.

Contrast that to the article in my morning paper that states that our foreign aid figure for 2016 was £13.3bn.

The part that warmed my soul was the fact that, over the last six years, we have donated £4m to North Korea!

The Foreign Office went on to explain that it didn’t actually go to the current regime, but on projects such as teaching English, and providing physio equipment!

Oh, really?

Who knows?

I honestly feel that I would be much happier if that money was donated to the Christian Aid fund direct, and do the North Koreans send us any money to learn Korean?

Of course they don’t.

They are too busy building missiles and laughing at the loony Westerners who send them money!

Vote for who?

Find me someone with the sense to stop this lunacy and I will vote for them!


via email


Walk against prostrate cancer

In March 2016, I walked from Victoria Park, the home of my team Hartlepool United, 262 miles to Wembley, for Prostate Cancer UK.

We were joined along the way by 400 people fund-raising to help stop prostate cancer being a killer.

Together we raised over £420,000 and we reached thousands, possibly millions, of people across the UK on TV, radio and in the press. 

It was an amazing experience, and we met so many people with inspiring stories about their own personal fight against prostate cancer or someone close to them.

I thought when I’d finished at Wembley that was me done. But I soon realised there is more to be done.

So many people have been in touch with me, with stories of their fight against prostate cancer. I decided I couldn’t do nothing about it. So here we are. We are going to try and do 15 marathons in 15 days, 400 miles.

I know how expensive it is to fund the research needed to stop this disease in its tracks. I’ve seen how it is ruining lives of families and that’s why I’ll be putting on my walking boots.

On Friday, June 2, I will begin my next Prostate Cancer UK pilgrimage from St James Park, Exeter City to St James Park, Newcastle United in a 15-day, 400-mile March for Men. I will be in Preston on Day 9, June 10.

In fact I want you and your readers to walk side by side with me.

I hope the people of Lancashire can support me.


march or contact Gary Haines on 0203 310 7079 or [email protected]

Jeff Stelling

Ambassador, Prostate Cancer UK


Install cameras around city

I cannot believe that these bollards are a victim of “accidental damage” (LP May 29). It is happening too often and, as quoted in the article, “they are big, and lit up”.

I would be asking how many claims for damages have been made?

Do the cameras in Fishergate not pick them up?

If not, surely the cost to install one would be minimal, just like installing them in the bus shelters that are continually being smashed. It is probably one of our home-grown moronic idiots.

I am one of a majority who believe we should have cameras installed around Preston. Our city is a proud one, and we should all do our bit to keep it that way

Mick Wareing

via email


Low seats and low hazards

What a lot of people one can spot driving with their eye-level only just above the dashboard! Their cars must be really badly designed for people who are not so tall, or do they just not know how to adjust the seat?

It must be difficult for them to spot low-down hazards such as children running into the road

or Fishergate bollards.

Stephen Palmer



Puzzle of loud hissing noise

I live in the Ashton area, and over the past few weeks I have had problems with radio reception. Several times a day there is a loud hissing noise when I listen in the early morning (7.15am), lasting for a few seconds.

There does not seem to be a pattern, but it is annoying.

Maybe this happens at earlier times of the day too.

I recall that, a few years ago, there was a similar occurrence, and it was said to be due to works possibly on the railway network close by.

Can anyone help solve this problem?

Puzzled Radio Listener