Are they insane?

Sheffield City Council and Amey are intending to fell one of Sheffield's most iconic trees, the Vernon oak on Vernon Road at Dore. This tree is a veteran of its species, 150-200 years old. It began its life in a field boundary before the road was made, and is part of our history in the landscape.

Monday, 13th November 2017, 6:06 am
Updated Monday, 11th December 2017, 11:30 pm

The picture shows the fault which the council says justifies cutting this tree down and taking it for biomass, so that Amey can make a tidy edge to the pavement. Are they insane?

Everyone loves this tree.

Just leave it as it is!

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Marion Watson


A question of sanity

Regarding the letter from RB, (The Star, November 4), who, after learning about the mock funeral procession held recently to represent the loss of Sheffield’s roadside trees, thinks the campaigners should be taken away by ‘men in white coats’.

I would suggest the correspondent should consider a few interesting facts about Sheffield City Council and the worst act of mindless environmental vandalism this city has seen which is destroying thousands of our city’s beautiful healthy trees and changing the landscape of our streets for ever.

The council stupidly signed a 25-year £2.2 billion contract with Amey, the details of which the public is not allowed to know, and yet they expect us to believe their claim of being ‘open’ and ‘transparent’.

This sounds similar to the 60-year, billion-pound deal they have signed with China but we haven’t been told what the Chinese expect in return for their investment in our city.

Most of the trees we have lost have been healthy specimens, not ‘unsafe’ as RB seems to think, and the campaigners had no objection to dead, dying or diseased trees being felled. In those cases where the trees have caused any disruption to pavements or kerb edges there are engineering solutions that were incorporated in the contract at no extra cost to the taxpayer to tackle the problem, but SCC and Amey have refused to adopt these methods which could have saved most of the trees.

It has just been reported this week that dangerous and illegal levels of pollution are causing a public health crisis and is responsible for 500 deaths in Sheffield every year, so what is Sheffield City Council’s answer to tackling the problem? Astonishingly they are still intent on destroying thousands of the city’s mature trees which protect us from road traffic pollution which will just exacerbate the situation.

It seems to me that the people whose sanity needs questioning are NOT the tree campaigners but Sheffield City Council as their actions are nothing short of deranged.

Susan Richardson

Westminster Crescent, Lodge Moor, Sheffield, S10

Hunt the thimble

I have been disappointed over the last week or so at the relatively small number of people who are wearing poppies.

I am even more disappointed that I had a heck of a job getting one myself. I tried my local shops, I tried in the city centre, I tried in the market, and I couldn’t find anywhere where they were obviously selling poppies. It was like hunt the thimble.

I couldn’t even get one at my Building Society, who told me that they weren’t selling them this year, or my local supermarkets.

I am not sure if this is the reason that so few people seem to be wearing them. I am sure there must be places selling them, but they don’t seem to be making it obvious.

Despite a sign in Sainsbury’s, the poppies were on sale at a checkout and I wasn’t going to stand in a long queue of shoppers just to buy a poppy.

I finally got one in a butcher’s shop at Firth Park! Our Government doesn’t treat our veterans very well, but when the public can’t be bothered to buy a poppy, I think it’s a very sad day.


by email

New bank holiday

I went to Aldi today and was agreeably surprised they had given a large space for the Poppy Appeal, (bearing in mind their German origins).

A year from now will be the centenary of the Armistice which ended the First World War. Whoever forms the government then might consider making November 11 a Bank Holiday, in line with our French and Belgian neighbours. If they can’t afford a pay rise, they could at least give us an extra day off.

And it’s four months between the August Bank Holiday and Christmas.

I also think the musical accompaniment to Armistice commemoration could be expanded to broaden the appeal for future generations.

Scottish-born Australian songwriter Eric Bogle’s , And the band played Waltzing Matilda and Bob Dylan’s, With God on our side, would be my suggestions.

Simon Rawlins


We Shall Not Forget – Poem

As young men waved their loves goodbye

With heavy hearts they watched them cry.

Would they return from victory?

Would they return at all?

From trenches cold and deep they fought.

They’d write down every single thought.

Their bloodstained letters held in trust

To give the last man standing.

The whistle blew – they entered hell

And each man did his duty well.

They thought the battle over

But the whistles blew again.

When victory at last was won

Each husband, brother, fater, son

Remembered pals they’d left behind

And all those that had fallen.

Each man a hero, each man brave,

Spare a thought for what they gave.

You pay for poppies with your coins

But they paid with their lives.

Let’s not forget the sacrifice

For those men paid a heavy price.

Remember as you walk on by

How much they gave for you.

Their voices may be silent now

But you can tell your children how

Each poppy marks rememberance –

And we shall not forget.

Janet Sanderson

by email

The small things in life

Well today has been a good day.

No I haven’t won the Lotto but I actually got to see my doctor.

I phoned first thing, no Spanish inquisition why I needed to see one, just will 4 O’ clock do?

I nearly fell off my swivel chair. I would have needed a doctor for sure then.

It’s the small things.

Jayne Grayson

by email