Letters to the Editor

Quill and Ink Bottle

The Editor welcomes correspondence on any topic which has been in Wendover News or may be of interest to its readers.  Please write to us at Florence Nightingale Hospice Shop, First Floor, 19 High Street, Wendover HP22 6DX or email us at the usual address: editor@wendovernews.co.uk or telephone 01296 624270 or speak to us in the town.  

Letters may be edited and may or may not be published at the Editor's discretion. Material published does not necessarily represent the opinion of the Editor.

We'd love to hear from you.

Gary Thorne,   |  Submitted: Jan 8th 2013
Hampden Lodge would like to thank the proprietors of the Village Gate, Robina’s, The George & Dragon, The King & Queen and The Raj for their recent support in donating towards our Christmas Supper raffle. Hampden Lodge this year will be supporting ‘Riding for the Disabled (Halton Centre) and The Warrior Programme’ as well as many other local causes, including assisting as required at St Mary’s Graveyard, when the weather is a bit better!

Wendover Arm

Name and Address Supplied,   |  Submitted: Nov 22nd 2012
In response to Oliver Statham's article on the Wendover Arm of the canal, in fact the restoration would actually be very detrimental for Wendover's wildlife. He says that people's fears about the canal restoration adversely affecting the long term wildlife of the rest of the canal are unfounded, I strongly disagree.

As a professional, freshwater ecologist of 20 years standing, who has often assessed the consequences of development on rivers and wetlands and as an advisor to government and planning authorities, I can assure readers that if the restoration works join the two wet sections of the canal, then the long term ecological health of the Wendover section is at grave risk and the canal as we know it will no longer exist. His comments on "habitation (sic) and wildlife" are incorrect, as any basic environmental assessment would reveal. No independent environmental assessment of the impact of the works would support his view and none has been undertaken.

Rivers and canals are complex and rely on the way the water quality, water quantity, bed and banks interact with channel life. The result is that the "restored" canal's wildlife is likely to be very poor. The section with boats will have little wildlife and is likely to be algae dominated due to increased sediment and nutrients in the water. The upper section, even if it doesn't have boats on it, is likely to be infested by signal crayfish which are already resident in the local catchment. These carry crayfish plague meaning that we will never have the prospect of native crayfish returning. They also remove the submerged water plants (which provide oxygen and the main habitat structure in canals). Fish, fish eggs and invertebrates, which form the main biodiversity within the canal, are also targets for this invasive crayfish. There is no known way to remove signal crayfish once they are in your canal without using a biocide called rotenone which would poison the whole canal. Further, there are resident fish species in the catchment which are officially classed as high impact invasive species, which will keep making the water nutrient rich and continue the loss of plants and animals.

The canal will also be very vulnerable to mink; the main threat to water vole and all the water birds we find on the canal, including the little grebes. It was mink that wiped out our water vole population a few years ago and joining the two parts of the canal again will prevent a stable water vole population being established without constant management.

The large cross sectional area of the canal required for boat movements, coupled with the minimal gradient and a minimal summer flow of between 0.05 and 0.03 cubic metres per second, means that there will be no perceptible flow within the new channel, making it susceptible to algal blooms and oxygenation problems.

There are also many other significant issues which have not been assessed, including the works creating a possible failure of the Water Framework Directive, failure to protect Habitats Directive Annex II species e.g. Bullhead and failure to comply with the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006. Although it fails to take into account many important ecological issues and is over 10 years old, it's interesting that even British Waterways' own "Environmental Matters" document which was written to support the restoration predicts significant ecological problems.

I realise this won’t be a popular letter, considering the work people have put into the restoration of the Wendover Arm but feel there should be a clearer picture of what will happen, so that decisions can be made as to whether the inevitable long term environmental costs are acceptable when measured against the benefits.

In order for the people of Wendover, the Parish Council and sponsors to decide if they want to carry on supporting the restoration, I think we should at least have an honest environmental assessment and debate about what the restoration will actually mean to our wildlife. What we're moving towards is a wildlife poor canal which we will not be able to put right.

Macmillan Coffee Morning

Julie Needle,   |  Submitted: Nov 22nd 2012
Well, yet again the weather was fine for most of the time and we had a fantastic morning’s fundraising.
I was feeling cautiously optimistic that I might raise over £4,000 and beat last year’s record for my event...Well, I'm delighted to say that the total is an astonishing £4,426.70!! Yet again everyone has been so supportive, with about 60 people attending on the 28 Sept, and many more local businesses, retailers and restaurants giving fantastic raffle prizes, and donations.
Thank you all so very much.

Good Samaritan at Weston Turville

Odile,   |  Submitted: Nov 20th 2012
Struggling along the cycle path on my bike in wet and windy weather at about 6.30pm on October 31, in my hood, helmet and bright yellow PVC cycling cape, after a long day at work at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, I reached the dreaded stretch after the Weston Turville roundabout with no street lights, blinding oncoming traffic and spectacles with no wipers...!

I vaguely saw a shadow about a metre from me, and my very bright front light showed it was a pedestrian so I slowed right down but he walked across the path right in front of me with a dog on a leash who stayed on the other side. My front wheel got caught in the leash and I stopped...The man fell down, very unsteady on his feet, got up and fell several times. By then I realised he had had too many pints. In the beam of my front light, I saw his face was covered in blood, from a probable previous fall? As he tried to steady himself on my bike I could smell his breath and got blood on my cape. I said I would call 999, but he protested. I still tried, but could not hear nor see because of my hood, the traffic and the dark.

Just then, a good Samaritan stopped her car and offered help. Calling 999 she had the gentleman sit on the ground. She managed to stop the bleeding from the man's forehead with her scarf. The ambulance arrived and took over.

I have had many near misses on this bit of road, but this was the worst. Are the authorities waiting for a serious accident?

Amber (is it your name?) from Weston Turville, you did a great job. It was so good of you to stop! I picked your scarf up, gave it a good delicate wash and a long airing. It is as good as new. Please contact me through Wendover News; it would be nice to chat in brighter circumstances!

A Letter To Students:

Jennifer Ballantyne,   |  Submitted: Nov 16th 2012
Home for Christmas? Feeling Poor? Have you expensive books to purchase? Please contact Jennifer Ballantyne, William Hill Charity, 01296 622483 if the answer to any of these questions is yes.

Thank You

Jo Woolf , Chief Executive; Chilterns MS Centre  |  Submitted: Nov 15th 2012
To the wonderful, marvellous and generous people of Wendover,
the good people of  Wendover who bend over backwards to support us and help us
Go head over heels to keep us and treat us
Collect funds to comfort, hold us and heal us

Thank you so much for taking us to your hearts, for supporting us. Your unstinting  generosity and abundant kindness fill us with overwhelming gratitude and admiration.
You can rightfully be proud of the new Chilterns MS Centre, which owes so very much to your kindness.
The staff, the trustees and the volunteers of the Centre all wish you, the good people of Wendover, a truly happy Christmas.    May your festive season be joyful, peaceful and uplifting, and may you all have a terrific New Year.

Save the Children

Christine Baker,   |  Submitted: Nov 14th 2012
Thanks go to all those who came along to our “Save the Children” Christmas event in November. With Christmas card sales, refreshments, cakes and a tombola we managed to raise more than £600 for Save the Children’s work at home and abroad.

Chilterns MS Centre

Jo Woolf, Chilterns MS Centre  |  Submitted: Nov 13th 2012
Chilterns MS Centre says: THANK YOU HASE OSBORNE
John Osborne gives generously of his time and energy to serve as our treasurer, and over and above this, he and his wife Helen are tireless supporters of our MS Centre.  On behalf of the patients, staff and volunteers we want to say a huge thank you. The annual golf day has raised a much needed £2865 for our Centre!

Theft at St Mary’s Churchyard

Jo Purdy,   |  Submitted: Nov 1st 2012
Theft at St Mary’s Churchyard

On Tuesday 30 October I took my two young children to lay some flowers on my recently deceased mother's grave.

After locking the car we walked solemnly in the stunning autumn sunshine towards her burial site. The calm tranquillity was shattered however, when, no more than 30 seconds after leaving the car, a red transit van arrived, occupant jumped out, smashed the window and stole my handbag and some recently bought clothes leaving me shaken and my children in tears.

I realise I was very careless in leaving my possessions on show but as her resting place was close to the car (within view) and we were gone for a such a short time I thought it would be safe.

Please be warned that however beautiful your surroundings, there may be people lurking whose consciences allow them to prey on those in mourning.

My faith in humanity was somewhat restored when on Wednesday morning I had a call from a dog walker who had found my purse in a hedge in Nash Lee Lane. No cash obviously but all my cards and my drivers licence were intact .

Michael “Spike” France

Denise Skidmore, Wendover  |  Submitted: Oct 17th 2012
We recently received a letter addressed to our home on Aylesbury Road from a
gentleman named Ken Meades of North Carolina. He is hoping to get in touch
with Michael 'Spike' France with whom he served in the Royal Signals in
Cyprus between 1948-50. If anyone is able to shed any light please contact me via Wendover News.
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