Bury Free Press readers' letters to the editor
Anti-social behaviour, the Theatre Royal and dragons are among this week's topics.
TIME TO BRING IN NATIONAL SERVICE
Reading of the outrageous, dangerous and disgusting behaviour of a number of young people lately, leads me to thoughts of the re-introduction of National Service for two years.
So many youngsters, having left school, are without purpose or prospects for the foreseeable future, leaving them with only time on their hands which can be a disaster just waiting to happen.
This is not just a local issue, anti- social behaviour can be found in any town or city nationwide, as witnessed in Swansea only recently where the police were so overwhelmed they had to withdraw. Women and children were terrified, and had to barricade themselves in for safety.
There are many areas where it is like living with a tinderbox, only needing a spark to set the whole area ablaze, with rioting, looting and serious injury and even death.
A couple of years learning how to stand on your own two feet, to live and work as a team, look after your kit, clothing and hygiene, are just a few of the benefits to be had. Taking pride when your squad, platoon or section is named ‘the best’ can work wonders with the most unlikely bunch of youngsters.
The lessons learned during those couple of years will stand you in good stead for the (hopefully) long life that lies ahead.
Does anyone remember Lads Army ( a television documentary series following 30 ‘bad lads’ over a four-week period as they went through Army basic training 1950s-style)? An experiment that worked quite well.
Brian Davies, Bury St Edmunds
MORE SEATS FOR US SINGLETONS PLEASE
I would just like to make a comment about the social distancing at the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds. Quite rightly, they have to book seats in support bubbles and this I agree with.
However, some weeks ago I thought it would be nice to go to the Theatre to see the Glenister Brothers. I have no one else to go with, so I looked for a single seat. Within the whole theatre there was one single. If I had wanted to book a seat I would have to book the whole bubble – four tickets.
These are strange times we live in, however, I think the theatre could have considered having a few more seats for singletons.
Laura Wiseman, via email
NO SIGHTINGS OF DRAGONS YET
I was pleased to see the comprehensive feature on Liz Trenow and her new novel, The Secrets of the Lake (Bury Free Press, May 21). I did see the dragon carved into the hill at Bures and was also delighted to see further information on dragon legends at Wormingford and Bures.
In the 1980s, while touring Scotland and reaching John o’Groats, we travelled back on a route via Loch Ness; we visited the exhibition, but either fortunately or unfortunately did not see ‘Nessie’.
Over many years of Eastertime visits to the Lake District, we never had any siting whatsoever of ‘Bownessie’, but there is very little information around Bowness in Windermere about the creature!.
Also in Cumbria is the legend of the cockatrice, a two- legged dragon with a rooster’s head.
There are many such legends around the British Isles, including a Green Dragon in Mordfed, Herfordshire, the Bignor Hill dragon on the Sussex Downs and the Whitby Wyrm, a sea serpent in Yorkshire.
Many ‘dragon’ stories have their origins in Celtic and other folklore. However, in modern times, the spectre of the dragon still rears its head. On the continent, the dragons in Catalonia have two legs and sometimes two wings. It is no surprise therefore that a fearsome rugby league team has adopted the name Catalan Dragons, specifically no doubt to terrorise their opponents.
The feature aroused my interest again in this topic: I remember some years ago reading that there was a battle between two dragons at Bures; has any other reader heard about this? Dragons dens, indeed.
Meanwhile, I have to congratulate Liz on returning to folklore as the inspiration for her new novel. I wish her every success with her venture.
Graham Day, Stowmarket
HOW IS 50% ANY SORT OF A BENCHMARK?
I have read Mr Nettleton’s letter and I cannot agree with him. We are both entitled to our opinions - which is the one of the benefits of living in a liberal state.
I have, however, never understood why just over 50% is seen as some sort of democratic benchmark. If a winning candidate polls just over 50%, this is seen as some sort of mandate. However, it does leave a very large minority disenfranchised and feeling that the system has let them down.
Such a system may well, as he concludes, work in Suffolk - or even Devon, East Anglia and the West Country; however, this does not mean it is a good system for the governance of the Nation. Taken on a national level, as I was suggesting in my letter, our present system could well lead to apathy or populism. Indeed, Lord Hailsham - then a Tory Lord Chancellor - referred, in 1976, to our system as an elective dictatorship. Granted, at the time, Lord Hailsham was referring to an Elective Dictatorship of the Left but the idea does cut both ways.
I do not agree with Mr Nettleton’s view that the FPP system works and, given that he is a Conservative Councillor and therefore a supporter of one of our two main parties, I am reminded of Christine Keeler’s words at the Profumo trial in the early 1960’s: Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he!
Martin Webb, Hospital Road, Bury St Edmunds
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