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Bury Free Press readers' letters

The NHS, support for a farm embroiled in a planning row and Bury St Edmunds' parking are among this week's topics.


I don’t know if this problem is with Bury’s doctor’s surgeries only, but I have heard this story repeated from other sources.

Reader's letters
Reader's letters

It goes like this: You have a medical problem, so you think, I’ll pop into the surgery, when you get to front door you find it’s locked, you press the entryphone, the receptionist looks at you as if you are carrying the Black Death, they are consulting the script, “I can’t deal with you, you have to phone,” but I’m here, you say. “Go away,” they say.

So you go home and try the phone – 40 minutes later you get to speak to a human. The receptionist then says: “I can’t give you an appointment, you have to speak to a doctor.” I say: “But when is the doctor going to ring me?”

“I don’t know,” they say.

“But I have a serious medical problem.”

It makes no difference,the procedure is paramount. So even if you have a bad attack of hemorrhoids or, as I heard, of a case of a lady with a lump in her breast that turned out to be cancer – the only way anybody was going to see a doctor was by them phoning you first.

I have even been told of patients being told to take photos on their phones and send them to the surgery.

What is our NHS coming to?

Ernie Castle, Bury at Edmunds


Regarding the Field of Dreams Farm at Thurston, over the past six years we have watched grow in many ways, it has been a huge part of the community helping many people .

Offering opportunities to local groups including NCS, DoE and Cubs, it brings enjoyment and education to lots of children and adults with the farm open days . Animals have been given a second chance of a safe home when people have been unable to continue to care for them. Children and young adults have spent time at the farm when they have been unable to even leave the house previously, then gone on to return to school or work, no one who has needed help has ever been turned away.

Messages of support have come in for Mark Byford and Sue Smith who run Field of Dreams Farm, which is embroiled in a planning row
Messages of support have come in for Mark Byford and Sue Smith who run Field of Dreams Farm, which is embroiled in a planning row

In the current pandemic, Mark and Sue have provided an absolutely vital lifeline to many vulnerable people delivering grocery hampers when people have been self isolating.

I struggle to see how anyone can truthfully find anything bad to say in regards to the hard work Mark and Sue continue to do.

Jennie Bonner, via email


I have taken my son to the Field of Dreams farm multiple times on open days.

My son always has an absolutely amazing time. There are also many activities they do, for example, I went to an Easter egg hunt which was very well thought out and fun.

I have also done some volunteering, including cleaning out areas, feeding the animals and assorted art projects.

The staff are friendly and helpful and always have a smile on their face. They have a lovely place to buy refreshments. The animals are lovely and well looked after. It is an amazing place.

Amy Leonard, via email


I parked at the cattle market car park in Bury St Edmunds and purchased a ticket.

When I shut my door the wind must have blown the ticket upside down.

I returned to my van to find a penalty charge, I immediately made a online appeal sending a photograph of my ticket.

This was rejected and they sent me photos which you can clearly see the ticket upside down.

I appealed again and they said I had to wait for the formal letter – up to 28 days – to appeal .

They also said that after 14

days they would double the charge to £50

I feel this very unfair and they are not giving any opportunity to appeal due to the fact that they will double the cost and won’t send the appeal letter until after the charge is doubled.

We’re surely trying to encourage visitors and shoppers back to Bury town centre and I feel that this is a disgraceful way to treat visitors who have obviously paid for parking and a natural element has caused this issue.

Naemi Kilbey, via email


A collection in Bury St Edmunds by military charity The Bridge for Heroes on Saturday, April 24, raised £1,004.03.

Very many thanks to the good people of Bury St Edmunds for their continuing support.

Gordon Halewood, The Bridge for Heroes


As we approach Nurses’ Day 2021 (May 12), the Royal College of Nursing Suffolk Branch would like to say thank you to the public for your support and kind words over the last year.

It has helped nursing staff to keep going during challenging times when they felt they could carry on no longer. But we’d now like to ask for your support as we fight for the very future of our profession and our ability to provide the best possible care to patients.

We are asking for fair pay for nursing – a decent pay rise which exceeds the one per cent you have heard that the government believes the profession should receive. You will hear government ministers say that nursing staff have had a pay rise – but staff are worse off now than they were 10 years ago after years of unfair pay freezes and below-inflation pay awards.

You will hear that the government cannot afford to give nursing staff a decent pay rise. The reality is they cannot afford not to. Across England there are still tens of thousands of nursing vacancies and we know many staff are now considering leaving the profession after their experiences over the past year. Staff already feel they are often unable to provide the best levels of care due to staffing and service pressures. Patient care will suffer further if we cannot attract and retain staff in nursing.

The government would like to divide us, pitting nursing staff against non-nursing staff with the aim of weakening us. They hope we’ll go away. But the truth is that we care about patients and patient care. As we fight for our profession, we fight on your behalf as well. Do not let those in power make you believe this isn’t true.

This Nurses’ Day please show your support for nursing in any way you can and back us as we fight for our profession across Suffolk.

Find out more about our campaigning work by visiting www.rcn.org.uk/people and please join us in our quest to protect the vital health services you all need and deserve.

Xylina Hogan and Hannah Nichols, Joint vice-chairs, RCN Suffolk Branch


With regard to Graham Day’s recent letter regarding the book Suffolk Summer by John Tate Appleby. I am reading this at the moment and it is a very interesting story. But it is a very old paperback and last week my granddaughter’s puppy ran off with it and it fell to bits, although it is still all there.

The pictures are great and it cost, at the time, five shillings.

I would like to know if the book is still on sale, although it wouldn’t be the version I have, which was rescued from a house clearance.

I found it interesting because it was about life in 1945 and I was born in 1944.

Name and address supplied


With regard to Neil Marchant’s letter (Bury Free Press, April 23), I totally agree with him – let’s have a piazza in Charter Square, not a car sales plot.

Roy Blane, via email