PLEASE keep your letters to 250 words maximum giving your name, address and daytime telephone number - even on emails. Email: Write:Swindon Advertiser, 100 Victoria Road, Swindon, SN1 3BE. Phone: 01793 501806.

Anonymity is granted only at the discretion of the editor, who also reserves the right to edit letters. Please note, the Adver will not be printing letters on local political subjects until after the elections in May.

Defend our borders

WHEN I picked up my copy of the Swindon Advertiser on April 1 I realised that I would have be on my guard against a possible prank.

As I turned to page six I saw the report about May Day Maypole dancing on the Magic Roundabout and thought I had found the spoof report.

I then noticed it reported that Swindon Council was helping to arrange the event.

Realising the council has done some ridiculous things in the past I began to wonder if there was an element of truth in this report.

I then turned to the letters page and read the letter from Mike Spry.

After further consideration I came to the conclusion that this must be the real April Fool’s prank.

Once again committed Europhile Mr Spry was telling us how much better off the UK will be by remaining in European Union.

Using border lengths to determine security he told us that the British Islands have a coastline of 20,000 miles but the Greek coastline is less than 14,000 miles.

He then suggested that Greece has problems defending its shorter border so it would be even more difficult for the UK to defend its longer border.

As selective as ever with the facts, Mr Spry fails to mention Schengen, named after the town in Luxemburg where the agreement was signed in 1985.

This agreement allows freedom of movement across national boundaries and took effect in 1995.

There are now 22 European Union Schengen members, including Greece, Portugal, Spain, France, Luxemburg, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, Poland, The Czech Republic, Austria, Italy, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia and Malta.

There are also four non-European Union Schengen countries, including Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

Mr Spry needs to go back to the drawing board and give us an accurate border length calculation for the European countries which allow freedom of movement.

This would provide a less biased comparison with the boundary length of the British Islands and the combined length of the porous boundaries of Europe.

While referring to European Union safety Mr Spry failed to mention the atrocities in Paris on November 13, 2015 when 130 people were murdered and Brussels on March 22, 2016 when 32 people were murdered.

There were also hundreds of people who were injured and traumatised as a result of both the attacks.

With a terrorist attack occurring so close to European Union offices in Brussels it is obvious the European Union is not capable of protecting its citizens.

Mr Spry may feel safer in the European Union but I don’t.

The UK must defend its own borders. Our national safety should not be dependent on incompetent bureaucrats in the European Union.


Wharf Road



Manners cost nothing

FOLLOWING on from a recent letter from me, about the behaviour of children whilst in a dining area at a local store, I do pay respectful attention to the response from S Harris.

The question about my childhood can be dutifully answered.

I was a younger son of a family of two sisters and a brother, plus another brother who died at 18 months old.

Things have changed, but in those days children were seen but not heard.

We sat at the table for our meals, we had discussions, we were told “do not speak while eating,” etc.

So all of those aspects of upbringing, with reference to dining, were instilled in us from an early age.

We visited relatives and were respectful of other people’s conversation and did not violate any of our upbringing by being rude or acting improperly, or we would feel the wrath of a parent.

We could then receive a sharp slap (much against other people’s feelings nowadays) which did us absolutely no harm at all, and we couldn’t phone ChildLine.

I suppose I do have faults based upon my upbringing, compared with those of today.

But I also consider it a failing in the attitude of parents who allow children to be unruly while eating.

The same goes for adults who sit and ignore each other while each using a mobile device in dining areas (and other public areas), supermarkets, shops etc, who see fit to also use a mobile phone while being served and using inappropriate language in the street and in front of ladies.

I am not faultless and I do apologise for my own unruly behaviour of using inappropriate language in my own home or in front of children or ladies, not saying "please" or "thank you" or holding a door open for another person, male or female (even if a "thank you" is not forthcoming), stepping off of the pavement to allow ladies or the elderly to pass by, plus many other failings.

There are many other areas I know I can improve on, but please bear with me as some of these things like good manners, courtesy and respect are really hard to come to terms with.


Proud Close



Stunning performances

I WAS completely blown away by the two plays I saw at Alma Theatre, Bristol – Breathing Corpses by Gatecrash Theatre, Swindon and Tusk Tusk by Quirky Bird Theatre, Wiltshire.

I have so much respect for everyone involved in these productions, for the passion and depth of commitment these people show towards their craft, whether on stage or behind the scenes – giving total justice to their individual and collective performance, awakening the written word.

Theatre has the ability to reach into a person’s soul, theatre is a wonderful teacher, theatre is where reality is captured in all its various shades and seasons and laid bare for public scrutiny.

The shows I was lucky enough to see can never be seen again, for every performance is exquisite in its very own uniqueness.

Theatre is pure oxygen that breathes life into everything and everyone it touches.

Huge congratulations to Laura Barnes, Anna Friend, Natasha Garbutt, Rosie Walker, Josh Rogers, Kayleigh Gazzard, Yazmin Priestner Burton, Amber Sadler, Rebecca Rocker, Jamie Carter, Steve O Halloran, Carli Peter, George Green, Roberto Glennie, Alex Pitcher, Charlie Miles, Paul Marks, Patrick Thomas, David Jell, Sue Condie and everyone involved in the telling of these particular stories.

You are all true masters of your art.


Crawford Close




Protest against plans

THE Adver’s article “Residents fiercely oppose new Keypoint ‘energy centre’” (The Adver, April 4) correctly reports the concerns of local residents attending the public meeting on Sunday afternoon.

However, it failed to record the decision to actively organise and protest against the plans.

The meeting showed an impressive degree of unanimity among those attending, who were drawn from the parishes of Nythe, Covingham, South Marston, Stratton St Margaret and beyond.

As an individual who was present I, and no doubt others, would like to thank Coun Des Moffatt for his advice and experience in opposing and defeating a similar proposal at Cheney Manor.

This collective community action would not have come about had it not been for Andy Pederson’s recognition of the threat to our area and the fact that he organised the public meeting.

Thanks Andy.


Stratton Road

Stratton St Margaret



Keep libraries open

IT’S on my regular visits to my mother and sisters that I get to catch up on local issues via The Adver and, apart from serious issues like children’s illnesses and care for the elderly, what might be regarded by many as less serious, namely the closing of Swindon libraries, is for me hugely significant.

Growing up first of all in Penhill, being able to borrow books you could never afford to buy from a library, was like being a member of an exclusive club.

Later, as an art student studying across the road from the library I spent many hours in there, more often than not reading the magazines and periodicals available.

The closure of these libraries is unprecedented, unacceptable and under no circumstances should it be allowed to happen.

In an iPad generation where you can see and read practically anything on a screen, the access to proper books is in my opinion more important than ever.


via email


Thank you for helping

THE Village Inn, at Liddington, held a quiz night in aid of Swindon Guide Dogs on Monday, April 4.

The evening raised a tremendous £384, which will go to support the upkeep of local guide dogs’ partnerships.

Special thanks go to Vince and Donna Jones, who have supported our charity since 2010 and have raised an excellent £6,460 during that time.

Vince and Donna leave The Village Inn on April 21 and we would like to take this opportunity to wishing them well in the future.



Swindon Guide Dogs For The Blind


Reasons to stay in EU

THERE are many good reasons one could put for leaving the EU but I personally feel there are more good reasons for staying.

HG Smith in the ridiculous letter opposing the EU gives no good reason for leaving.

One of their reasons for leaving is frankly racist when they write about blood heritage.

But the scary thing about the letter is the wish to see the Human Rights Act repealed.

One would wonder why, but given HG’s previous letters about returning to their perception of Christian values one might suppose they want to return this country to a theocracy.


Norman Road, Swindon