Frankly wrong

I REALLY must respond to Salisbury Journal’s front page article ‘School In Turmoil’.

I have two young children attending the school and they couldn’t be happier. Christ the King Catholic Primary School is a wonderful school with a strong sense of community. The school has a real sense of family and friendship and, being a faith school, the ethos is evident from the moment you enter. The article does not portray the school in its true form and is, to be frank, insulting, wrong and disingenuous.

Jerome McCormack is a first rate head teacher. He’s conscientious, thoughtful, empathetic and cares deeply about the school, the staff and, most importantly, the pupils.

He’s passionate about education and wants the best education for every pupil. He does expect a lot from his staff and that is purely to benefit the children. He sets the bar high, and rightly so. We all want a decent education for our children and I know my children receive the best education possible at Christ the King under the leadership of Jerome McCormack.

How Mr McCormack is portrayed is completely wrong, I can confidently vouch for that, and must add that Mr McCormack has my full support and that includes all of his educational methods.

Damien McCabe, Amesbury


I WAS delighted to see the piece written about myself and the great work that the charity New Life are doing to support children and young people with disabilities.

The piece rightly emphasised the enormous generosity of the charity and their supporters.

However, I was a bit disappointed that the piece portrayed Wiltshire wheelchair services in a potentially negative way.

I have been supported by Wiltshire wheelchair services for many years and they have always done everything within their means to keep me mobile.

During this time of austerity and limited NHS funding, difficult choices have to made in regard to public finance – I’ll leave that matter for politicians and the electorate.

I think it may be worth noting that, Wiltshire wheelchair services did make a financial contribution to part-fund the wheelchair and I was extremely grateful that the Newlife charity were able to step in and fill the substantial financial gap. Specialist wheelchairs, like mine, are incredibly expensive and I would like to offer my thanks to everyone involved in helping me stay mobile and live an independent life.

Sam Morton, Downton

Sign of times

Yes I too am disheartened every time I pass an old, battered and illegible street sign in and around Salisbury and wonder why the Council doesn’t do something about it.

I am quite willing to pay for/ ‘sponsor’ new signage in my road/area. I know there are those who would say why should we pay for it, but the fact is the Council just hasn’t got the money, so there’s no good complaining about it.

Perhaps other people would be interested in ‘sponsoring’ a new sign in their road and improving the general appearance of our beautiful city in a small way.

Name and address supplied

Top trumpet

On a lovely sunny afternoon it was a joy to be at St Martin’s CE Primary School to listen to their school ‘Proms in the Playground.’ I was told that it would be good, it was fantastic!

The whole school gathered for an hour of music when all the pupils had the opportunity to perform their musical skills.

Each of the lower three classes entertained us with three jolly songs. The whole of the third year played three ‘funky’ tunes on their recorders. In year four the whole class played their selection on violins and the next class had all learned to make music on trumpets. Finally the sixth year had worked hard on composing and making their own music with their final composition played on improvised materials.

What a feat it must have been to get all the children to master their instruments during the one year, to be able to perform so ably in front of an audience and for them to thoroughly enjoy it all too. You have to admire the enthusiasm and energy of the teachers who make all this possible.

I look forward to next year when I should have a performer on the recorder.

Pat Marshall, Godshill

Crown jewel

ON hearing that old adage “there is no place like home” my thoughts took me back to when I visited Egypt and in Cairo, the colossal Khan al Khali market.

Regrettably, once there, I was soon on tenterhooks and somewhat agitated by the local tradition - obligatory - of haggling. Consequently I left bemused and empty handed.

By contrast, back home I revelled in the delights of Catherine Street, with its many forms of charity shops, good humour, pleasant interchange and no bickering.

A part of the city which, in my view, must surely rate (unquestionably), as a veritable jewel in Salisbury’s crown.

Brian Black, Salisbury

No excuses

I WAS reading about the street chaos in the city caused by street drinkers and the excuses the police had not to do anything about it just now.

The president of Salisbury Chamber of Commerce saying “moving the benches would just move the problem”. Well yes.

Inspector Sparrow said CCTV would help but we won’t have CCTV this summer, we need to be realistic about it.The public are realistic . The reality is you need to get them to move on. We’ve been told there are not enough officers to tackle the groups. Why not? It’s not a riot, it’s a group of drunk people. Our staffing is very very low, said officer Sparrow. Well, God help us. If the police can’t move a few drunks along, what hope have we got. Just one put off after another. I think it’s disgusting and everyone that comes to see Salisbury is disappointed. It’s putting people off. The police need to do their job and stop making excuses.

May Pearce, Salisbury

History tour

I thoroughly enjoyed the local history tour on the theme of ‘rogues and vagabonds’ delivered by the Time-team, aka, Matt, Frogg and Ruby.

Anybody with an interest in local history should support these Thursday night tours (leaving at 7.30 outside the library) as you really do learn something a little different about Salisbury and its past inhabitants. The team really do their research and deliver the talks with wit, energy and an infectious enthusiasm. The evenings are finished off with a swapping of tales, some ghostly, in the atmospheric Haunch of Venison. Can’t wait for the Halloween tour, guys!

Paula Elliott, Salisbury

No smoke...

THE letter from PA Charter (Journal, July 13) regarding people who light bonfires in urban areas on balmy evenings reminded me of an incident over 30 years ago on a building site in Morgan’s Vale.

Someone had started a large bonfire in the adjoining garden and it belched smoke, fumes and noxious smells towards our site, making it impossible to carry on working.

One of our enterprising lads (no names, no pack drill) poked the hose pipe through the hedge and doused the offending fire completely. Problem solved!

Strangely enough, no-one came round to remonstrate with us.

W Wareham, Wilton

How very Imberesting

IT was very interesting to read the letter form Mr Matthews, particularly as he took part in the Imber Rally of 1961, which was predictably regarded by the government of the day as the work of left-wing extremist agitators. From testimonies collected some years ago it seems clear that the Imber residents were given at least some kind of verbal assurance that they would be able to return after the war.

Written evidence is provided by the official notice to quit of November 1943, of which I believe only one exemplar survives.

Here we read that those who must leave will have reasonable storage costs met if necessary until alternative accommodation is found or, crucially, “until the Imber area is again open for occupation, whichever is earlier.”

From this we should be able to infer that at this early stage the possibility of the Imber residents returning to their village had not been ruled out by the War Department. Meanwhile it is welcome to know that services will be able to continue at St Giles’s’ with its surely unique OUT OF BOUNDS notice outside.

Richard Merwood, Salisbury

Clean sweep

SURELY there is a simple and cost-free solution to the dreadful problem of litter in Salisbury.

If EVERY householder, shop keeper, and business owner could be encouraged to keep the area in front of, or surrounding their premises, free of fast food wrappers, plastic bags and cigarette ends etc. then the whole of Salisbury could become almost litter free overnight.

As councillor Matthew Dean said in the Journal, we need to restore pride in our city and everyone needs to take some responsibility towards keeping it litter free and beautiful for the residents and visitors.

Name and address supplied

Selfish pair

AFTER reading the letters page (July 6) I couldn’t believe the selfishness of the two people who wrote the first two letters published. Mr David Noble complains about the removal of single yellow lines and parking issues in Albany Road.

Does he think that the people living in this road, which presumably includes him, have the right to the road and the pavement outside their homes as well? The road and pavement are public, which doesn’t mean because you live there you are entitled to park your car outside the house you live in.

You may own your house but you don’t own the road or the pavement outside of it. It’s a public place. It’s a shame more people don’t realise that when they buy their house. I also found the following letter by J Black of Harnham of the same genre, as in “not on our doorstep”.

He/she doesn’t want the area they live in to become a concrete jungle - understandable, but try to see it from the other point of view. If this person was homeless they’d be only too glad to have a few more houses built so they could get off the streets, or out of a hotel or B&B. Yes it is lovely to see the green and pleasant land, the fields etc, but surely we should put people first.

The trouble with this country, there’s too many selfish people only out for themselves and their own comfort. If you go to some other countries, particularly the Asian ones, you’ll find despite living in broken down shacks, they always have a smile on their faces and are only too willing to share their last bit of food with you.

D Daly, Salisbury