Letters - July 17, 2019

Does having a fondness for the old way of doing things make you a luddite?
Does having a fondness for the old way of doing things make you a luddite?

I dislike many things about modern life

I resent being called a Luddite by Blaise Tapp (The Gazete, Life on Tapp, July 13) because I have a fondness for the ‘old way’ of doing and being.

I do not like the way nowadays that every sentence uttered by people under the age of 35 always starts with the word “so”, contains the word “like” and ends with the phrase “know what I mean”.

I dislike the way the words “there are” when referring to plurals have all but disappeared and have been replaced by “there’s” which, in case you’ve forgotten, is a shortened version of “there is”, for singular descriptions.

I also dislike the way phrases such as “like, wow” have replaced adjectives like “incredulous” (“I was like, wow”).

I dislike people sitting in the aisle seat on public transport to discourage people from sitting next to them.

I dislike the broadcasting of someone’s sex life on public transport when having a mobile phone conversation.

I dislike the phrase “let’s have a conversation about this” instead of “let’s talk about this”. I dislike the word “obviously”.

I dislike being surrounded on the train by laptops and people staring at their phones for the entire journey instead of reading something called a book.

If that makes me a “Luddite” then so be it.

I call it having manners, a decent vocabulary and being sensitive to the existence of other people rather than walking along the pavement reading your texts.


Address supplied


Call for ‘passport’ for trainspotters

I have launched a petition to persuade the government to consider a railcard or passport type card for rail enthusiasts to practise trainspotting at stations throughout the United Kingdom.

Trainspotting used to be a hobby followed by mainly men and boys. Today there are a growing number of female spotters as well, who are joining in.

It is a hobby which is open to all ages and the only equipment required is a notebook and a pencil. There are regional trainspotter manuals available for the more discerning spotters.

An extension to the equipment list is a decent camera to record still photos or videos of trains. The improved photographic capacity of modern mobile phones/tablets are also useful tools.

With most stations, especially the main ones, which are operated by Network Rail, ticket barriers have been installed for the health and safety management of the public and station staff.

This means trainspotters are now encountering barriers to pursue the hobby that they enjoy. However, if a railcard or passport was introduced, enthusiasts would be able to access the platforms to see the trains.

The card could be priced at a fixed cost for one year with a discount offer for a longer length card, for example £10 for one year, or £25 for three years. It would be also a benefit to stations and security staff as spotters could wear their cards along with a lanyard so they know who they are in case, or in the event of an emergency/security alert.

The spotter would be able to scan their card at the barriers and would be able to access the platforms like a normal ticket, or in the event of a ticket inspector in attendance at a station, they can show them the card, to let them pass on to the platform.

The card would only be used to practise trainspotting. If any rail enthusiast boards a train, the card would not be valid and they would have to pay the full fare on that journey, pay a railway fine, removed from the train, or face prosecution.

When applying for the card, customers would be faced with security checks to ensure that they are not on the United Kingdom’s police suspicion watchdog of a serious crime, or have a criminal record. If they are, then their cards would be rejected because they may be a threat to the British public, whom will be railway passengers at stations. If they do end up with any criminal charges, their cards would be rejected and banned from all trainspotting activity.

I encourage everybody to sign this petition (bit.ly/RailEnthusiastPetition), even if you’re not a rail enthusiast, and make trainspotting a safer and enjoyable hobby to all rail enthusiasts around the whole of our beautiful country that made the railway.

Joseph Jolly

Age 19



Sir Andy Murray... the greatest?

Isn’t it great to see Sir Andy Murray back playing tennis at Wimbledon and relatively pain-free? He has to rank now as Britain’s greatest ever sportsman.

Jonathan Bentley

via email