Letter: Castle grounds to host free open-mic evening

Wisbech Words is returning on July 15 at 7pm in Wisbech Castle Gardens.

Wisbech Words is returning on July 15 at 7pm in Wisbech Castle Gardens. - Credit: Elisabeth Sennitt Clough

Wisbech Words

I'm hoping to regenerate interest in Wisbech Words, a free quarterly open-mic evening, as it has proven popular in the past.

As an event, it provides a much-needed local outlet for poets, novelists, short story writers etc, helping them to build an audience and become inspird by their fellow writers/performers.

Wisbech Words is returning on July 15 at 7pm in Wisbech Castle Gardens.

No door fee. There will be a marquee if it's raining.

Numbers are limited, due to Covid, so pre-booking is essential and can be done via wisbechwords@gmail.com or Wisbech Words on FB.

Elisabeth Sennitt Clough

Nursing staff make a great team

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I was suddenly hit by a stroke whilst visiting my daughter and family.

Fortunately, I was taken by ambulance to Peterborough City Hospital.

I am not local and had no experience of the hospital.

I was very impressed with the commitment and care of its nursing staff, always totally professional, even with less co-operative patients.

I saw one staff member forego breaks and a lunch break in order to care for the patients with severe stroke issues.

The multinational nursing team, from across the globe,  worked seamlessly together to support and care for the stroke patients, some of whom had Covid.

These nurses do not undertake such an occupation  for money, they do it because they care for their patients as individuals.

Just as nurses across the country put themselves at risk to care for Covid patients.

Large numbers of NHS staff died from Covid, putting their patients’ wellbeing ahead of their own safety.

This included at least one staff member from Peterborough City Hospital.

At the peak of the pandemic we were asked to clap for the NHS staff, to show our appreciation and gratitude.

The present government have shown just how much their gratitude and appreciation is worth - just a 1% pay rise!

Personally, I am ashamed of the government, particularly of Boris Johnson whose life was saved by NHS nurses when he was very ill with Covid.

Understandably, one of his nurses has now resigned in disgust.

Peterborough and its surrounding area can be very proud of their city hospital and its committed nursing staff.

Andrew Milroy

War Widows campaign

As it is Armed Forces week, I would like to bring to your readers attention a campaign being organised by the War Widows Association.

From April 2015, all widows who married or cohabited retain their Widows pension for life, widows whose partners died between 1973 and 2005 had to forfeit their pension on marriage or co-habitation.

The War Widows Association is campaigning to have the pension reinstated for approximately 200 widows who are affected by this.

Unfortunately, the Rt Hon Stephen Barclay MP Chief Secretary to the Treasury has written to the Chairman of the War Widows Association saying the reinstatement cannot be allowed because it would set a precedent amongst all other pension schemes.

I wrote to Stephen Barclay in January 2021 asking him which other pension schemes would be affected but he has failed so far to answer my question.

I am calling upon your readers to support our campaign, we are not asking for the pension to be back dated just for the pension to be reinstated.

Diana Haine

Qualifications, careers, Cabbages and Kings

Sukjit Singh's letter (May 14) was far more succinct and humorously self-deprecating than either D.Silver's responses or mine.

I merely followed S. Singh's lead in authenticating my view.

Possibly Sukjit Singh aimed to pre-empt a knee-jerk 'Brit' reaction like: Who is this foreigner correcting our language usage....?

But given Mr Singh's letter reviewed a report on racial abuse a) no-one would have written that letter and b) your paper, I hope, would never have published it.

But c) it is perfectly true that, having learned English, on average the foreigner speaks and writes it better than we do!

Why? Because generally they are a) bilingual, if not trilingual, and understand grammatical terms and b) they have learned the rules.

I have spent half my career teaching overseas and a chunk of the rest teaching ESL/EFL.

It is rare that a foreigner cannot spell or punctuate it, or commits solecisms in standard English.

It became fashionable in UK schools (or the result of large classes) never to correct children's spelling or punctuation.

We moved mountains at college to ensure our local students, having been almost untaught and uncorrected at school, gained an O level English language pass.

My first degree (oh and PGDip Ed) was to enter teaching; my practical MA, gained on secondment years later, secured my last post overseas.

Only for the part-time law course did I pay fees. Back in the UK after four years amid familial losses, heartbreaks and crises galore I could only get P/T teaching.

The two-year PT law course based in the West enabled contact with my remaining family and perhaps galvanised my son into resuming further education.

He went on to gain a doctorate and unlike me, remembers all he learned! He remains in the West.

I passed the fee - paying Law degree but flopped its professional training - the Legal Practice Course - diverted by 'HamDram' (WAODS)!

Fees of course not recoverable! Law may be informed my eight years as a CAB volunteer and when executor for an estate with umpteen 'legatees'.

And now I am 'well-retired' - ie long but NOT profitably.

Careers advice - no idea! But if possible choose something you love and have an aptitude for.

As D Silver (June 11) said - get those useful extras like a driving licence.

But if you choose uni - it is not BUYING a degree. Requires study - even now!

And people -skills too are vital - something else clearly S. Singh has.

H Parry

Do you have a nightmare neighbour?

I am a casting researcher working on the Channel 5 TV series The Nightmare Neighbour Next Door.

The series features a wide variety of neighbourhood issues and disputes, from all across the nation, and we are looking for people to take part.

We are keen to hear from people in your area who are currently having problems, but also those who may have historical had issues/disputes.

Email: neighbours@avalonuk.com or call 0207 598 7392.

Naomi Abel-Hirsch