YEP Letters: April 30

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Have your say

Having once received a written death threat when I was a teacher/lecturer in London, I do hope the likes of Malcolm Nicholson and others who have written letters about “scruffy” teachers going on strike and getting “huge” pensions have had their eyes opened by the death of a teacher in Leeds.

Details are sketchy from what I have read but the fact is she was stabbed and later died whilst doing her job – a job ridiculed or criticised by too many people who don’t know anything about it. “All those long holidays,” they say, as if teachers themselves were responsible for their length.

Do people like Mr Nicholson know exactly how much work they have to do in home time when the actual teaching day is over, including during holidays?

Modern day teaching. My dad must be turning in his grave.

T Maunder, by email

I’m fed up of living in a tip

LEEDS CITY Council could save themselves a few quid by dispatching various agencies to the bottom of my once clean family friendly street. Dog wardens could fine all the dog owners that mess at the bottom of the street and the Environmental Agency would have a field day with all the fly tippers.

Old sofas and mattresses are a common sight and as for the litter brigade – cigarette butts, bins left out with overflowing rubbish all over the street. Great if you are a private landlord and you are just raking in money from the won’t work, don’t want to work, we shall have lots of kids and let the taxpayer pay brigade.

I noted last week that Cross Flatts park received 
yet another £50,000 for their park. This on top of a recent grant for £35,000 from the Health Lottery Beeston goes further than Cross Flatts 
park.

You wouldn’t believe it, but I come under the City and Hunslet Ward and none of the councillors live anywhere near the area and have no interest at all. I wonder if they would like to get up at 5am go to work, pay a mortgage and full council tax and be surrounded by all this rubbish? How many private landlords live in their streets and have the rents paid for by the taxpayer?

I also noted a few months ago a clean up Beeston article in the YEP meeting at the Amara Centre at 2pm on a Thursday afternoon.

Er, hang on a minute, where are most “normal” people at 2pm on a Thursday? Again it was the Cross Flatts park area. I am fed up of living in the middle of a tip and 20 years ago it wasn’t.

So, it’s just a quick thank you for all your hard work Hunslet councillors! You can depend on my vote – not!

NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED

Saint never visited England

AT A time when there is a lot of prejudice against immigrants, it was good to see your report of the celebration of St George by the good people of Morley (YEP, April 28).

St George is generally believed to have lived in the Middle East and to never have come to England.

It is ironic to think that if were to try to come here today, he would count as an immigrant whom some people would wish to keep out.

Alan Slomson, Leeds

Is there an older Amaryllis plant?

IF I told you to imagine a flower stalk some 18-20 inches long, bearing four huge flower heads at the top, I’m sure that there would be many of your readers who would immediately recognise the description of an Amaryllis.

But I’m talking now of sometime in the late 1960s. Before garden centres, and their plethora of exotic choices, when we used to buy such gardening needs as we needed from Woolworth’s in Briggate, for example a 1 foot high fledgling lilac for 1s 6d!

So, when I came across my first one, I was absolutely gobsmacked (if you’ll pardon the expression, but it’s the only thing that fits). I was at work, and had gone into the room used by the manager’s secretary and head of the typing pool, Mary Hill, when I saw this flower standing in a vase on her desk, with its four deep blood red flowers, each the size of my hand. I stood there with my mouth open, completely forgetting why I was there.

I think she was really amused, kindly explaining that it was an Amaryllis, and when I said that I’d got to have one, she said that a full-sized bulb was expensive, but offered to let me have one of the small offshoot bulbs that grow out of the original bulb, warning me that I would have to wait until it was large enough to flower.

I jumped at the offer, flattered that someone that I barely knew, would give me such a wonderful thing, quite willing to wait as long as it took. And in due course I had my very own plant.

I can’t remember when it began flowering, but it must be over 40 years ago now, and except for one year, it has flowered every year since.

No-one ever told it that it’s supposed to lie dormant for several months of each year, and so it has always had three or four leaves after the flowers have died down.

Perhaps it’s my fault, as anything with leaves in my house, gets watered (apart from re-potting it from time to time, I have never fed it).

Mary is now in her nineties, and lost all her other Amaryllis some years ago, so each year when it flowers, I wait until all four heads are fully out, and a few days later a mutual friend takes her the flower stalk, so we both enjoy her gift.

My question is, should I offer this to the Guinness Book of Records – or is there an older Amaryllis out there somewhere?

Denise Marsden, Cookridge

Acknowledge all cultures

ANDI PETERS (YEP, April 26) makes the mistake, that many do, of equating the concept of diversity with the visibility of specifically “black” people in the media or society. Firstly, to say they are under-represented is questionable. Even TV adverts these days show images of mixed ethnicity couples as a token nod to diversity. I say “token” because it is all a bit specious (I am reminded of Richard Pryor’s sketch about trendy tokenism).

There are several ethnic groups who are truly under-represented in the media: how many adverts have Japanese or Chinese people in them, for example?

They constitute a significant group of people in modern Britain yet there are no characters in “soaps” from their culture and if there were they would probably be shown running the local takeaway or something equally stereotyped.

Diversity means recognising all cultures that make up, and contribute to, society and representing them in the life of that 
society including in, or on, television.

R Kimble, by email

Avoid queues and use a bike

IN reply to the opinion of Mark Allan (Callback, 15 April), that bus lanes cause congestion.

All it would do if we scrapped them is cause longer queues, with bus passengers being later, as there will always be a jam where the 
road narrows.

Motorists with a brain use all the least busy roads and side road cuts, and those not lazy take a famous politician’s advice and get on a bike.

AE HAGUE, Bellbrooke Grove, Leeds LS9

Only brainless smoke cannabis

I READ in the paper scientists say that smoking cannabis just a few times can permanently damage a teenager’s brain.

I think it is actually safe for anyone that smokes as they actually haven’t got one.

F Lennon, Heathcroft Vale, Leeds

YEP Letters: August 18