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A job well done

In the present times with online this and online that Facebook, Twitter and what ever way of having a pop at the utilitiies companies who are being panned for doing this and panned again for not doing that, I would just like to congratulate the service laying team from Thames Water sub contractors the old way by getting it in black and white.

They installed a new meter boundary box to my neighbour’s house in Haydon Wick on the 16th August. There is a bank of six outside stop taps and meter boxes in a row which was quite uneven after the last dig out on these boxes, so rather than force another box in they had the excellent idea to install a double meter box which replaced my old square stop tap making a much better fit and an excellent finish when the reinstatment was completed - no more trip hazard.

I was expecting to see the same bad staining caused last time when a meter was installed so had the yard broom and buckets of water ready for when I came home from work only to find it was in a better condition than when I left for work this morning.

So well done to the guys or gals who completed the job - honestly, a job well done. I hope Thames Water passes on not just mine but all in the close an Attaboy Or Attagirl Award.

JOHN L CROOK, Haydon Wick, Swindon

Get out of EU, Eire

The problem of the border between and Eire and Northern Ireland could be eased for both the north and the south if the Dublin government offered its citizens the same referendum as was offered to those of the UK.

Maybe the people of Ireland would appreciate the ditching of EU authority.

Maybe also the solution of the border problem might be so appreciated that a further advance might be a return of Eire to rejoin the UK in devolved polity similar to an old long standing arrangement prior to 1921.

NOEL GARDNER, Carlisle Avenue, Swindon

It mustn’t be repeated

There is a wide range of responses to the 100th commemoration of half a million dead and wounded at the Battle of Passchendaele.

Some people recollect a distant relative amongst that number, while nationalists regard it as a British tragedy, although soldiers came from across the world to die in the mud with Britons, making an international sacrifice. So some are eager that commemoration must now bind nations closer together. Others recognise that the lives of young Germans, hopeful and courageous, taken from them, should teach all peoples that death unites all humans in a final fraternity.

Some people regard the battle as ‘lions led by donkeys’, a condemnation of Britain’s class system, where the slaughter was the senseless result that no one at any level knew what else to do in hellish conditions, and no one, British or German, had the authority to call a halt, once started, although it was producing no benefit for anyone.

Others consider that Passchendaele is an object lesson to every adult on Earth who lives today, to recognise that warfare is Mankind’s insanity. However, there are some who resent that attitude, which they see as a betrayal of the selfless courage of those who gave their all. Today’s citizens show little interest, but their own lives are wasted, until they strive to comprehend the meaning of sacrifice. Do you believe that the past must shape future civilisation?

So it happened again in 1939, and might confront our children, but we are no nearer to agreeing the ethical lessons which history teaches to thoughtful people.

CN WESTERMAN, Meadow Rise, Brynna, Mid Glamorgan