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Bury Free Press readers' letters

A good mixture of letters in the post bag this week, ranging from continued pub closures to helping out trapped muntjac deer.


The Macebearer pub in Home Farm Lane, Bury St Edmunds, has been closed now for over nine months.

Letters to the editor (43414942)
Letters to the editor (43414942)

There have been various representations made to Greene King about the reopening of this important social community venue, with no response, except to say that the pub is not for sale and there are no immediate plans to reopen.

Myself and the community do not understand the reasoning of Greene King over the reopening of this business. Surely, if they have no interest in reopening in the near future and if it is not for sale, why not make the Macebearer available for the community to operate or give an indication when it will reopen?

I appreciate Greene King is a huge company with thousands of outlets and the Macebearer may only be a speck on the scale of things. To the local community, it is a very important social venue which links well with the community centre nearby and is a highly regarded meeting place for the many single people who live in the vicinity.

Myself and the local community would appreciate an urgent statement from Greene King regarding the future of this business.

Tony Nicholl, Bury St Edmunds


Copy of an open letter sent to Suffolk County Council in response to its recent consulation on cycling:

What you are seeking to do addresses a very small part of the problems facing both cyclists and pedestrians, and indeed motorists, in and around Bury St Edmunds.

Some important issues which you should address, and which effect the the safety of both cyclists and pedestrians, are:

- More funds and encouragement for training and cycling proficiency tests for children for their own safety;

- Compulsory wearing of cycle helmets for their own safety;

- Compulsory fitting of bells on cycles, vital on the current ‘shared’ paths and lanes;

- Eventual abolishing of these ‘shared’ paths and lanes which are inherently unsafe;

- Strict guidelines and enforcement to stop the use of pavements by cyclists – except for small children – as this seems to be becoming the norm and is highly dangerous for pedestrians’

- Also it is becoming obvious that many cyclists prefer to ride on the road rather than the cycle paths because they then have priority over traffic joining from side turnings and do not have to dismount and stop and wait;

- Finally, you should also consider that the more that is done to slow or disrupt vehicle traffic, the more local pollution is caused and fuel burned.

Many of these factors might be classed under the heading of ‘the law of unintended consequences’.

John Parsons, Bury St Edmunds


The Bury Free Press of December 11 reported two instances of a muntjac being trapped in railings. This is not an uncommon occurrence now that these small deer frequently occur in residential areas. The experience is stressful and hazardous for the animal and would-be liberators and alarming to anyone hearing the animal’s screams.

Anyone trying to extricate a muntjac must be wary for their own safety. An adult male has sharply pointed upper canine teeth (tusks) which have an efficient cutting rear edge, and the antlers have sharp points; hooves too can cause injury.

I have experienced two instances of a muntjac being trapped in a metal garden gate of which the vertical bars were 8cm apart. The first was a doe which two people were able to ease backwards and she ran off, apparently soundly. The second was male about five months old. In his struggles he had lifted the gate (22kg, well over twice his weight) off its pivots. He was extremely stressed, exhausted, screaming and one leg was bleeding. Damage to internal organs may have occurred during the animal’s prolonged frantic struggles to free itself. Humane dispatch was the most appropriate outcome. If an injured muntjac is taken into care it is illegal to subsequently release it under the Invasive Alien Species (Enforcement and Permitting) Order 2019.

Tall metal fencing used at the boundary of a property is also a potential hazard. I have seen the body of a female dead between the vertical bars, 9cm apart, of such a fence. Her body was trapped in one gap but one hind leg in the adjacent gap. She must have had a very painful and slow death.

Norma Chapman, Barton Mills


May I say that the Angel Hill Christmas tree is lovely and it is a joy to see the return of the Nativity.

Also the arc decorations are superb but the decorations in the rest of Bury are very disappointing .

St James’ school has been standing empty for a few years. We are told there are many rough sleepers and families struggling. Surely it is immoral not to convert to make living space.

I have had to resort to using an electric buggy which has changed my life. However, I have to report that the state of our pavements and the lack of dropped curbs is frightful. Also the many A-boards make life very difficult . . . not to mention the many wheely bins which seem to be everywhere.

A Merry Christmas to all.

Elizabeth Barber-Lomax, via email


Christmas is a time for making people feel special, to reach out to those you know and those you don’t, and to those who are especially vulnerable, like people living with cancer. It’s an opportunity to think about what’s important. In a year when being in each other’s company has been so difficult, isn’t time together during a national holiday the greatest gift of all?

We’ve all had to adapt this year as the global pandemic has taken its toll, creating adversity, generating fear and isolation. It has forced us to alter our natural instincts to come together, and for those of us living with cancer this has brought further anxiety and trepidation to an already challenging present.

This Christmas, Macmillan Cancer Support wants you to take a step back and focus on what’s really important, something that comes more naturally at Christmas than at any other time of year. Reach out to all the members of the community who live with cancer, show them that they matter and they’re on your mind.

It really is the simple things that are the most important. Taking the time to show someone that you care, and how much they matter to you, is the best possible gift at Christmas, whether it’s a kind thought or gesture, a smile through a screen or a friendly voice on the telephone; we’re all in need of a little extra and Christmas is the perfect time.

Cancer doesn’t stop at Christmas and neither does Macmillan Cancer Support. Without your donations we simply cannot support the growing number of people who need us, no matter what time of year it is.

The Macmillan Support Line provides medical, practical and financial support for anyone who is living with or affected by cancer, with the free service remaining open throughout the Christmas period every day between 8am-8pm on 0808 808 00 00.

You can help us this Christmas by donating at www.macmillan.org.uk/christmas-appeal o to show your loved ones they’re in your thoughts.

Richard Pugh, Head of Partnerships – East of England, Macmillan Cancer Support

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