A selection of letters from readers this week.
New Pavilion will help to restore our town’s civic pride
I read with interest your correspondents’ letters (written by Michael Nidd and Chris Ridley) regarding Hemel Hempstead’s long lost Pavilion.
It is good to read in the Gazette that new life is being breathed into the town.
The Old Town is looking great and the restoration of the Water Gardens is something to look forward to.
However, I feel that without a strong cultural heart, Hemel Hempstead will never be recognised nationally as a good place to be.
The Pavilion has been gone for more than 10 years, but memories of it are very much alive.
It served the community in a wide variety of ways, providing a venue for business and trade fairs and exhibitions, as well as for local school events, local bands, concerts, choirs, theatre groups, bands, nationally recognised acts and performers, and well-remembered pantomimes. And much more.
Commendably, DBC had the foresight and vision to provide for all this in the past.
I feel strongly that nothing will lift Hemel more, both nationally and locally, than the building of a new multi-use venue.
In the long term, it will do much to bring communities together and to add strong cohesion to the town’s identity.
We do not need a second multiplex cinema as much as we need a more vital, flexible building, one that will provide inspiration to thousands of people in the future.
And very much restore our civic pride.
Carolyn Nicholls Hemel Hempstead Sent by email
Help document our American friends before it is too late
I’m a historian and member of several 8th Air Force organisations of over 35 years.
I’m interested in putting together a book about the Americans who were stationed up at Bovingdon from 1942-1946 – the wartime period only.
Do any of your readers hold any photo archive on the airfield or cuttings etc or would it be at all possible via your newspaper to put out a plea to the local public to find out if they hold any photos or stories /info of the time?
This needs to be documented before it is all too late as even the children of those veterans would be in their 70s now,time isn’t on my side for this one.
I’m also toying with the idea of a memorial to be placed on the airfield as Bovingdon seems to be one of the very few that does not have a memorial to the men and women of the American 8th Air Force who served there.
I look forward to hearing from you on the subject.
Please write to me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or send any correspondence to 26,Wood Green Road, Luton, LU2 8BT.
Sent by email
You’ve got it wrong about our friend Amazon
After working for Amazon during the month of December, I must disagree with Diane Woodward who claims that Amazon is not a friend of the local population.
She is probably right in claiming that it does not pay enough tax into the economy but does it treat its workforce with respect and dignity? Yes it does.
Amazon employees and its temporary staff work very hard, but they do not have to walk for miles in darkness, and are paid more than the minimum wage, training is on going and health and safety is taken very seriously.
The multi national staff were friendly to each other and I, like everyone else, enjoyed the free Christmas dinner as well.
Amazon may not be a national asset to the country, but if ever I need a local friend again I know where to turn.
Did you have your ‘unjust’ parking tickets waived?
I am currently fighting a parking ticket which was issued by Dacorum Borough Council on Wed May 21 2014 on High Street Old Town Hemel Hempstead.
I was researching on the internet to back up my case and I came across an article published in your paper on May 23 2014 regarding a singer song writer Daria Kulesh who had parked on the same high street.
In fact your picture that you printed is the exact spot I had parked, outside the dental practice. I am a dentist and am very careful where I park.
I was visiting the dental practice that morning when I received the ticket. I was annoyed as there were no signs.
I have appealed the ticket and my appeal was rejected and now it is still being argued.
Did other people affected have their tickets waived?
I would much appreciate your help in fighting this unjust PCN.
Kiran Rai Sent by email
great war centenary
Don’t let WW1 fade away, tributes are four-year journey
The Church services are behind us, the ceramic poppies are being extracted and the surge of media attention given to all things WW1 has faded to a trickle. The Centenary of the start of the carnage was enthusiastically embraced by the British people – to the extent we are left with a sense of “Where do we go from here?”
The centenaries of major battles and other key events within the war will naturally be commemorated in various ways until November 2018, providing us all with an opportunity to examine other aspects of the conflict well away from the dominant images of mud and misery on the Western Front.
And there is a great deal of interest out there to explore.
If we choose to treat the next four years as a chance for education and awareness-building about the war, “social media” is in a position to play a vital role.
For example, there are a growing number of Facebook pages and groups which are endeavouring to place and maintain aspects of the war in the public mind.
Style of content differs but all can be located by using Facebook search terms such as “Great War”, “World War One”, “First World War” or “WW1”.
If 2014’s media coverage sparked your interest (the Gazette certainly did its bit with a fine five-part supplement and dedicated web section) there’s no reason not to develop it via a very rewarding four-year journey.
Ray Thompson Sent by email
Thanks Martin for 50 years of great service to town
The early days of the new year will witness the demise of Dennis Sports as the doors close on one of Tring’s longest established businesses.
No longer will the Town have the service and generosity given by Martin over the last 50 years.
How many adverts has he placed,how many posters displayed,how many raffle and tombola prizes donated, all in the cause of supporting clubs and organisations in Tring.
Sadly Martin has to leave business because of unfortunate personal reasons, he leaves us with the warm glow that we knew Martin and sadly that Tring is further diminished by his departure.
Best wishes and thanks to you Martin.
I am sure many, many Tring people will echo this message.
Hemel volunteers can help us put a stop to child abuse
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of your readers who have supported the work of the NSPCC during the last year.
Without the backing of local people the NSPCC would not be able to help abused children rebuild their lives, or be there for parents who desperately need advice and support.
As we move into 2015 I would like to appeal to your readers to make a very special kind of New Year’s resolution for the NSPCC.
‘Just One Day’ is a call for people to come forward and volunteer some time to support our work – even if people can only spare one day, it will be a massive help.
There are many different ways that people can volunteer their time including helping out with admin at one of our offices; becoming an NSPCC ChildLine Schools Service volunteer; becoming a ChildLine helpline counsellor; getting involved in an event by setting up stalls or taking photographs, or cheering-on NSPCC participants in a sporting race or activity.
In Hemel Hempstead, we especially need fundraising volunteers.
So whether you’re interested in running a marathon, running a stall at a local fete, or just sparing a few hours to help at a collection, we would love to hear from you.
Abuse ruins childhood, but it can be prevented. That’s why the NSPCC is here.
That’s what drives our work, and that’s why – as long as there’s abuse the NSPCC will fight for every childhood.
Please join us in the fight for every childhood by volunteering some time to support the NSPCC, whether you can spare a day a week or just one day.
To find out more call 01908 554515 or log on to the official website of the NSPCC at www.nspcc.org.uk/volunteer
Sally Phipps NSPCC fundraising manager
Going vegan can help us prove that life is not cheep
I wonder if your readers know which is the most killed animal in Britain?
A strange question, but it is one with perhaps a surprising answer. It is the humble chicken.
Most people would be hard pushed to remember a time when they saw a field full of chickens. Yet 94% of all farmed animals killed in Britain each year are chickens – 945 million last year alone.
So where are they? Factory farms, that’s where.
Huge industrial units that litter the British countryside and hidden from prying eyes.
The vast majority of Britain’s chickens spend their short, pitiful six-week lives living on top of their own excreta.
No wonder that food poisoning from poultry infects almost a quarter of a million Britons every year, mostly with campylobacter.
Overall meat consumption in Britain continues to decline yet chicken sales grow.
You can now buy a chicken for less than a pint of beer. What kind of society do we live in where life is so cheap?
Chickens are plucky, delightful little animals with similar cognitive abilities to higher primates yet are treated as commodities, devoid of hope, fear or pain.
Spend five minutes in a chicken shed and you see that they are individuals with a lust for life, as anyone will know who has rescued hens.
We don’t believe that life is cheap. We believe that it has value – and the best way to show that you care about animals is to simply not eat them.
Going vegan has never been easier. Whatever you do to start that journey begins to end suffering.
Viva! has a new campaign that lifts the lid off Britain’s dirty poultry industry and for help changing your diet visit www.viva.org.uk/lifeischeep
Justin Kerswell Campaigns manager and deputy director Sent by email
Voice of the paper
Let’s hope 2015 is a disaster-free year for our town
It was with interest I read the deputy editor’s look back on 2014 in the Gazette (December 31). I must say I too felt it a very mixed year for our town.
As Damien pointed out, the year didn’t get off to a great start with the sinkhole and the Old Town works rumbling on but thankfully, despite some bumps along the way we made it to the end and I feel 2015 could be one of the best yet for Hemel Hempstead.
The Water Gardens improvements and new shops make for exciting times. Let’s hope there are no Buncefield or sinkhole-esque disasters to spoil it.
David Rafferty Sent by email