LETTERS: Closure of Stevenage Rileys is ‘disgusting’

Councillors approved plans to demolish Rileys in Stevenage last week

Councillors approved plans to demolish Rileys in Stevenage last week - Credit: Archant

“Disgust” over a decision to demolish a snooker club and poppy pride have featured on our letters page today (Thursday).

Snookered by move to develop club site

SIR – I think it’s totally disgusting Stevenage Borough Council has agreed that Rileys Snooker Club can close.

Like Stevenage needs more housing? If that is the case then why is there such a long waiting list for families to have to wait up to 10 years?

What are kids meant to do if Riley’s closes? All that is left is 360 Play and Hollywood Bowl.

Years ago Stevenage used to be a place to be, where there were so many options and variety of things to do. For example we had an ice skating ring, we had Smilin’ Sam’s, and we had bars and clubs at Stevenage Leisure Park which have all been shut down too.

Stevenage is turning into a complete dump, you just have to look at the town centre. Crime rate will of course increase as there is nothing for kids or teenagers to do these days.

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Yet another activity for kids is due to be taken away from them.

Dan Richardson

via email


Indifferent to EDL opinions

SIR – I have always been a proud defender of the right to protest, principles that many have paid the ultimate sacrifice for us all to enjoy today, so it was fair the EDL were given permission to hold a march in Stevenage two weeks ago for which they brought their loquacious intimidatory xenophobic rabble rousing travelling circus.

They came, stated the obvious, highlighted and exaggerated issues. They need not have bothered as Stevenage has shown we are disinterested or indifferent towards their words of hate and gestures of violence.

Importing their followers from up and down the country, created an unwanted migrant problem, conversely they ended up mostly talking to themselves.

The fact is the radiant glow of David Dickinson’s all-year tan was far more appealing and a greater draw than the EDL’s brand of intolerance, ignorance and lies, The town’s bingo hall was forced to hire extra security because it is a ‘Mecca.’ The EDL are pathetic!

In my opinion Stevenage is a great place to live, a place that is proud of its diversity, a real cohesive community.

We don’t need the EDL as they don’t offer any answers to our town’s problems. What we need rather than hate and division, is a more equitable redistribution of wealth and resources, so that everybody in society benefits. The rich, instead of tax avoiding, should take up their share of the burden of providing world-class public services to all.

I’d like to thank the police for their “firm but fair” approach and to Stevenage TUC for organising the well supported counter demonstration.

To the EDL, I have to say the people of Stevenage have been gracious and tolerant. You’ve had the opportunity to express your opinions, not many were interested, I would suggest there is no need for you to return next month.

Roger Charles

Pankhurst Crescent



No change after election

SIR – Have you noticed that every time a right wing organisation wants to hold a march/rally the left wing groups either want it banned or have to hold a protest march/rally? Yet I have never heard of the reverse happening.

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) spokesman is quoted as saying that the English Defence League (EDL) march was attempting to cause division and distrust playing into the hands of the rich and powerful.

I trust that in this comment he was including people like the Benns, Blairs, Kinnocks and Milliband, because they are rich and powerful, Benn and Milliband through inheritance, Blair and Kinnock through being windbags. Should Labour win power at the next General Election, the country will still be run by the rich, privileged and powerful, so nothing will have changed.

I am never likely to be a member of EDL although I can agree with some of their agenda – the same goes for Labour or the TUC.

Another point arises in the June 4 edition. Why is it alright for a Labour europhile to run for the position of European Union Commissioner but not a Conservative eurosceptic?

Good luck Mr Lilley.

Owen Welch

Archer Road



MP’s interests not irrelevant

SIR – I was interested in reading your article on an investigation into Hitchin MP Peter Lilley’s financial interests.

Tethys Petroleum Ltd do only have interests in the central Asian republics as our MP expresses, however, all Tethys projects are located close to the main regional pipelines allowing them to supply those, thus allowing movement across various routes possibly into Britain and EU countries. Perhaps that is the inquiry’s concerns, so they may not be irrelevant to the debates in question as our MP expresses.

I also find it surprising that our MP has an interest in household energy bills for his 70,000 constituents and for those on lower incomes, when at the same time he defends energy companies and their rising prices last year as your newspaper reports.

We have to remind ourselves that our MP was part of Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet when privatisation of the energy suppliers was initiated, instigating a raise in household energy bills year after year as we continue to discover.

And I find it of deep concern that he has this connection to an Asian energy company.

Edward Selby




Support in home battle

SIR – Following my recent victory against my ex-landlord who was refusing to pay back my deposit, I would like to express my gratitude for the excellent ‘Tenancy Deposit scheme, Tenant and Landlord’ article featured in the Comet. The information provided was both precise and relevant and extremely helpful.

I would also like to thank Richard Selwyn, director of Putterills, for taking the time to advise and reassure me during a time when my ex-landlord left me feeling vulnerable and incredibly stressed. I was overwhelmed by his kindness and cannot thank him enough. Richard’s support made a big difference and I am so grateful for the help I was given.

Please extend my thanks to everyone involved.

Sharifa Smith

via email


Roadsigns won’t help

SIR – I would like to ask what idiot decided to waste time and money painting a ‘SLOW’ sign on the road in Gun Road, Knebworth.

Will anyone really take notice of this? I don’t think so.

I agree that motorists go way too fast along this road but painting on the road is not going to make a difference.

Lesley Lewin

via email


Memories of hospital

SIR – In your Look Back in Time article on June 5 you say the scarlet fever isolation hospital was in Baldock, but I can remember in 1943 going to Rosehill Hospital with my mother in Mr Morbey’s taxi from Ickleford Road in Hitchin to collect my brother Tony who, as far as I know, had been in Rosehill for six weeks with scarlet fever.

He was as thin as a rake, aged three, and remained so until he retired in 2003.

My lasting memory of that day was being in the taxi with Mr Morbey, while my mother collected Tony.

I was six or seven years old, the windows of the hospital were open, steam pouring out and the smell of boiling cabbage was to me overpowering – I have never liked boiled cabbage since!

Alan Brookman

Strathmore Avenue



Poppies make a difference

SIR – The floral displays in Stevenage town centre are beautiful as usual but so often the approaches are less cared for.

This year we have swathes of red poppies on the roadsides approaching which are so effective in the 100th anniversary of World War I.

Congratulations to the person who had this idea.

Carole Green

via email


Saved by quick thinking

SIR – Two years ago on July 3, 2012, I had heart failure in Next in Hitchin.

A lady named Claire Pearce worked there who was an ex-paramedic and she worked on me until the ambulance arrived.

I did go in the shop a few weeks after to take flowers and say thank you as I did not know where she lived.

This week I went into Next to see her, but she no longer works there.

I wanted to see her again to say thank you again and to say if it wasn’t for her, I would not just have had a surprise 80th birthday weekend with all my family, in a lovely converted railway station in Suffolk.

This was organised by my family and it was a lovely weekend, with family and our dogs. And I feel if it hadn’t been for her hard work to help me, I would never have been here to enjoy it.

So Claire Pearce, if you see this letter can I say a big thank you from me and my family.

Maureen McCartney

Burford Way



Kept awake by noise

SIR – I am writing about the letter Pete Perry put in your newspaper on May 8, about odd noise in Stevenage.

I could not write before as I had been in hospital.

I heard that humming noise in 1963 – not everyone can – and I can hear it now. It’s been going on for weeks and weeks now and is doing my head in. I can’t get any sleep at night as the humming is so bad.

I put cotton wool in my ears at night but I can still hear it and there is no room in my house I can go to get away from it, it’s awful.

When I was in the Lister Hospital the humming noise was awful – it was coming from a big generator and it was the same noise I hear in my house.

I wish someone would find out what it is as is doing my head in and making me ill.

Paula Barber

Address Supplied


Danger of overgrown hedge

SIR – While Hertfordshire County Council regularly close a perfectly good tunnel under Weston Way for ‘maintenance’, they continue to neglect other more dangerous issues.

The weeds at the roundabout with the A505/B197 junction are a disgraceful ‘welcome’ to Baldock and make exiting London Road a lottery.

More dangerous is this situation (pictured) by the bus stop at the top of Weston Way at the junction with London Road. Pedestrians, wheelchair users and mums with pushchairs all have to take to the road to avoid the overgrown hedgerow.

How long before someone is seriously injured?

S Hopewell

Ashtons Lane