It’s all water under the bridge

I CAN remember back to when the family business of Woodrows was demolished to build what is now Tesco on Castle Street.

Dunnings of Weyhill did the work which was based on a steel frame.

When they dug the footings for this building, they hit water.

Some years later work started on the cable room of the GPO just across the road behind the post office.

A tower crane was put in place and work began, within a matter of months, this also had to stop because they too hit water. Two contractors and two years later the contract had gone sour.

The crane stood doing nothing although the operator turned up every day.

Eventually they built an enclosure around the perimeter and pumped the water out.

Some years later when it was completed, I was asked to provide a coating that could be used on the internal walls, that required a visit by me.

I was astonished to see that where the telephone cables came in, so did a large block of hard limescale came with them. If the contractors haven’t taken advice or done research on building on this car park site, they will have to fork out far more than five million just to get the footings in as most of Salisbury has water flowing underneath it.

John Wigglesworth


Cycle danger

I was horrified to hear on the local news that a cyclist had been involved in a collision on Snakey Hill (also known as Camp Hill) on Thursday, August 18, and even more so to read in the next week’s Journal that Steven Male had died the following day from his injuries.

Less than six months previously to this fatal accident, I was knocked off my bicycle by a car at the junction where National Cycle Route number 45 and Snakey Hill (an extremely windy and steep entry point to this route) coincide, and this has seriously compromised and limited my cycling activity.

The road through the beautiful Woodford Valley (devoid of markings and extremely narrow in parts) is used regularly by cyclists and has become increasingly so by motorists, especially the approaches to the junction with Snakey Hill and this hill itself.

How can it be that the A 345 has a 50 mile an hour limit from Amesbury to Marlborough (between villages) but a major cycle route (again, with the exception of its villages) and its dangerous approach road are deemed fit for the National speed limit to be in place?

Sally Stocks


Hall failure

Annie Riddle and letter writer Colin Duller in last week’s Journal just about nailed all aspects of our loss-making city hall. They have just left me with the question: why were steps not taken to stop the losses at an earlier stage?

Instead of action such as hiring an impresario or other qualified professional to bring this venue into profit and protect the jobs of those that work there the City Hall has been left to decline.

The losses will now have to take into account any redundancy for staff laid off and of course if there is any redemption for this War Memorial, as there must surely be, all the expenses of advertising and retraining any future staff.

We the taxpayers have been failed by lack of foresight of our councils.

Brian Ford


Arriva praised

I am sorry that Mrs Marnar missed her dental appointment but my experience of the excellent service provided by Arriva is very different.

They took me from Downton to Southampton hospital five days a week for six weeks, the driver ringing the day before to confirm pick-up time.

Without exception they were friendly helpful people doing a difficult job with treatment times varying from day to day. Occasionally there would be complaints from those having a short wait, but I was quick to point out that I doubted that there is any country in the world, as far as I know, providing this service and for free.

Maybe Mrs Marnar should use her local link scheme or taxi and so give Arriva more time to help those who appreciate them.

Sally Lacey


Ragwort cure

Your correspondent, Jane Martin is, I suggest, mistaken.

It is no longer an offence to allow ragwort to grow on one’s land and it would take much more than one leaf to kill an animal.

Pulling ragwort does not work as some roots are always left in the ground to regrow.

The best way to control the weed is to let it go to seed, after which the plant will die.

If the land on which it is growing is also left free of animals such as horses and sheep, which crop the ground to nothing and tread in the seed, helping it to spread, it is likely that the weed will be much reduced. This will also help with the increase of voles and mice which encourage barn owls to hunt the ground.

Michael Glover


Plan ahead

Paul Sample’s letter can be read as an attack on planning inspectors.

Do not be confused, it is the planning process at fault.

One dictionary definition states: to form a scheme.

It clearly is about looking to the future and encompasses another word, “imagination”.

The Planning Act 1949 since its inception has become increasingly litigious and hence challenges to decisions increasingly expensive.

In this, Paul Sample is correct.

Political parties all avoid debate while saying the process inhibits development.

Former prime minister David Cameron in his wild policy of stating 300,000 homes a year would be built, even if it meant suspending planning regulations, rubber stamped this attitude.

We need a debate how planning can be reformed to serve our needs and not just feather the legal planning consultants nest.

Gregor Condliffe


Inept council

FURTHER to Mike Ash’s letter, September 1, referring to the planning legislation relating to the appeal by Premier Inn and McDonald’s.

While we all moan about Wiltshire Council’s neglect of our roads, verges, pavements, weeds, all services and the rest, there should be an uprising about the ineptitude of the council due to the inadequate presentation of evidence to support their rejection of the Premier/McDonald application.

It was universally rejected by city and county councils and I suspect by most residents of the city.

There is no excuse for not doing this job properly, and now the development will be forced on us, and we don’t appear to have any recourse against those who failed us. Is there anything we can do ?

Mary Stephens Salisbury Truly grateful My daughter inadvertently left her mobile phone on a bench in the city last Friday.

It was spotted by one of the good guys, who messaged me (using my daughter’s phone) that it was with him for collection.

When I collected it, he refused any reward.

I do not know his name, but he was wearing a Salisbury Window Cleaning shirt.

My daughter’s faith in humanity was restored by this kind and thoughtful action.

You know who you are, and we are truly grateful.

Ken Millar Salisbury Helping hand On Thursday, August 25, I had a fall in the New Canal outside Shoon shoe shop.

I would like to thank Lynne, the lady who worked in the shoe shop, who came to my aid and also to a gentleman who helped, however I did not get his name.

I also would like to thank the paramedic Ben and also to the two paramedics in the ambulance who took me home.

Thank you.

Barbara Baker


Nanny search

Please allow me, through your readers, to try to make contact with the charming Austrian nanny, a Salisbury resident, I met in Exeter on Friday, August 26, while she was visiting that city.

We spoke together by the river and there is more I’d like to say.

Matt Russell


Out of bounds

Mr Parker’s letter on the possible reinstatement of Imber (Postbag, current issue) led me to recall my one visit there, with congregation members of St Thomas’s, for a Eucharist at St Giles’s, surely the only church in the country to display an OUT OF BOUNDS notice.

It also sent me back to the book about the village by local historian Rex Sawyer.

From the testimonies he gathered, it appears certain that when the residents left Imber in the winter of 1943 they received at least a verbal assurance that they would be able to return within a few months, or at least shortly after the end of the war.

Even the official notice to quit, of which one copy has survived, suggested the possibility of the Imber area being “again open for occupation.”

The War Office backtracked in its official statement of 1948. The protestors of 1961 were regarded by the powers that be as extreme left-wing activists, and treated as such.

Should Imber ever be rebuilt in any form, its inhabitants would of course be very different from those who lived there before the war.

And nowadays they would feel the need of a car; whatever Imber may finally look like, it is still, as the old rhyme has it, “seven miles from any town.”

Richard Merwood