Farewell to a dry so-and-so

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Those who had the unique and fondly-remembered experience of working at that cross between Porton Down and The Navy Lark that was the Safety In Mines Research Establishment will be saddened to hear of the passing of Harry Thompson, a fondly remembered ex-colleague.

It’s not often that you pay tribute to a bloke you last worked with in June 1979, before the world changed, but Harry was that sort of bloke.

A vigorous type, who enjoyed life, a social footballer and cricketer in the days when the work environment allowed you to be an individual and have a sense of humour. He was what you would call a bit of a dry so-and-so with a wry smile and plenty of savvy.

Stories about Harry and SMRE colleagues leap to mind: the social club outing to the Cat’s Cradle at Retford, the break-up at Christmas and everybody down to the Albion after Dr Wass had shook everyone’s hand. Good days and good memories. We used to call him Methuselah when he turned out for the establishment as a veteran.

Like so many now gone to the great Main Test Lab in The Sky, he’s still worth turning out for by those of us who are balder, fatter and older if no wiser: Harry’s farewell is at at 10am at Hutcliffe Wood, on February 8.

Ron Clayton, S6

Survey results

please publish results of your survey in which only 35% of people were in favour of fortnightly bin collections, so we can see how many people you interviewed, what you asked and whether they are a representative sample of people in the city. Publishing the detailed results of your survey will prevent people saying that you cobbled some figures together just to have a go at the council. We had a single dustbin which was replaced with a much larger wheelie bin, to which were subsequently added a blue bin and a blue box. So the amount of bin space has more than doubled. Even when my three children were at home we struggled to fill everything! The idea of reducing weekly collections seems sensible, particularly as this will lead to savings that can be used to support essential services.

Mark Gamsu, Tom Ln, Sheffield

footnote: We asked if readers supported the switch to fortnightly bin collections. Two hundred responded via email, Facebook, Twitter and by telephone.