Dear Editor, I refer to your article by Andy Cowen under your heading "where did my long lost tortoise get to all those years ago," Birmingham Post, June 13.
He mentions that one summer his tortoise wandered off never to be seen again.
However, in recent times he has been clearing out his mother's loft and came across the remains of his tortoise in a box.
The poor creature still with the name of Joe on his shell.
Andy Cowen, unfortunately, pretends that he does not know how the tortoise climbed the stairs and presumably got into the box to hibernate without any assistance.
Unfortunately, this was the fate of thousands of these unwanted creatures who, after the youngsters' initial interest, had faded where disposed of in this way a slow, lingering death. It was due to this lack of concern for these creatures, which were imported in their thousands, that the government stopped the import.
In fact, in the first years of arriving in this country, only five percent survived the first year and at the end of the hibernation period this could be as low as one percent.
Unless one studies tortoise husbandry they are very interesting creatures but cannot be considered as childhood pets, and need careful consideration at the time of hibernation, having eaten well to survive the winter, and are able to emerge, not left in a box.
I am sure that other mementos from the attic brought back happy memories for Andy. In the meantime, if he does not know how Joe climbed the stairs to the attic and got into a card box, he should ask his mother to enlighten him. I found his article in very poor taste which would have been better not published, as I doubt this will be?
Kings Heath, Birmingham.
Don't be misled - it's the actual government figures that count
Dear Editor, Don't be misled by government percentages!
I would assume that the retail sales figures that are published by this "incompetent" government on a regular basis are in fact based on sterling, actual total of money, rather than units of product. These figures compare sales with the last years' same monthly figures.
The latest figures show that in May of this year, they reckon that retail sales have increased by three-and-a-half percent.
The government is getting over-excited about this, and may, because of this increase, consider interest rate increases also.
I am not an economist or an accountant but I would put my money regarding the surprise jump in sales on the inflation of prices, which started long before May. Inflated prices will make up for alot of lost unit sales, to show a misleading situation in the economy.
This government will always use percentages to mislead us; it's the actual figures that matter.
Douglas J Wathen,
Salford Priors, Nr Evesham.
Help needed to mark crash memorial
Dear Editor, Ihope you can help me by publishing this letter in your newspaper.
It will help greatly in my quest to contact the family of this airmen to advise of this memorial and to give them my findings which shed new light on the crash.
Iwish to make contact with anyone who may have information leading to me to contacting family descendants of RAF # 114245 Flight Sergeant , George Lockey from Long Eaton.
He was aFlight Engineer, 75th RNZAF Sqn in aStirling bomber on a mission from Newmarket England to Mulhiem Germany when it was shot down and crashed in Markelo Holland 23rd June 1943 killing all onboard.
George Lockey's parents' last known address in the 1940s/ 1950s was: 79 Granville Avenue, Long Eaton, Nottingham, England.
I have been researching this crash and am keen to contact any family to share my information as well as advise about this special 65th memorial below. Instigated by the local Dutch people.
The (Foundation Landscape of Markelo) is making a 25 kilometers long footpath with culture historic elements.
We are incorporating the 2nd World War Kattenberg (Catshill). Crash-location of the RNZAF -Stirling bomber EF399 AA-0 the finding place of one of the airman, a bomb crater.
We are making a memory-sign and we will place it at the crash-location.
Representing the UK will be Captain Raymond Sanchez who will lay awreath.
Manager Bronte Gallery 124 Bronte Rd East Rd1 Upper Moutere Nelson, New Zealand.
A world with two faces
Dear Editor, It's quite difficult to take our politicians and banking leaders seriously when they are dressed in all their finery eating the best food and wine money can buy, being chauffer-driven in their limos, with hundreds of bulbs lighting the chanderliers. They tell us of hard times, and then in the same week we see the world's rich at Royal Ascot in dresses and hats costing thousands of pounds and horses costing millions. They are drinking Champagne, with all the helicopters and private planes, Rolls Royces and every petrol guzzler you can name, and we are worrying about if we can afford to turn on the light.
It seems that what we have is a section of the world that can pollute the planet because it is us that going to have pay the bill.
S T Vaughan,
Yardley Wood, Birmingham.
Biggest blot on cityscape does not deserve protection
Dear Editor, The recommendation of English Heritage that the Central Library building should be listed will have filled your readers with dismay and disbelief
This monumental, brutalist "incinerator" has no place in the centre of our city, flanked by the glorious 19th century architecture and sculpture of our other civic buildings.
Visitors to the city walking through Victoria Square and into Chamberlain Square from New Street are confronted with this import from post revolution Russia and forced to go through atacky assortment of fast food outlets en route to meetings or concerts in the ICC/Symphony Hall.
What can English Heritage be thinking of when it advocates the retention of such a building?
The city council has made great strides in enhancing the ambience of the city centre in the last couple of decades.
In common with many cities around Europe the mediocrity of post-war buildings is gradually being replaced by stylish new developments of which we can justifiably be proud.
The senseless listing of the Central Library can only impede this progress and would seem incomprehensible to an objective external observer.
The fact that this is the largest nonnational library in Europe may seem to English Heritage (and probably on one else) to be a good reason for listing - but, to echo the words of Clive Dutton, it is also one of the biggest blots on our cityscape and needs to go.
Chairman, The Birmingham Civic Society.
Hoping strife will end well for Zimbabwe
Dear Editor, I have never forgotten the letter I once had in 2000 from a former PM for Southern Rhodesia- Sir Garfield Todd.
I was researching the period when the late Walsall MP John Stonehouse and the late great former Blackburn MP Barbara Castle went to East Africa together in the late 1950's. I wrote to Sir Garfield, asking him whether he ever met John or Barbara at the time.
Sir Garfield Todd helped Mugabe at-tain an education in the 1940s/50s and pursued sympathies for the ANC whilst PM for S. Rhodesia. He suffered many obstacles along the way from his Colonial colleagues, whilst trying to pursue rights and freedoms for the indigenous population, as a lead up to eventual independence and self rule.
Todd eventually found himself barred from Zimbabwean citizenship and the right to vote during the late 1990s. But in his inimitable and heroic style he carried on voting, right up to the last Zimbabwean election of his life.
This is proof positive that Mugabe has no qualms about crushing his friends, enemies, colleagues and many other under-foot to keep his power and influence alive in Zimbabwe.
As I write the Opposition Leader Morgan Tsvangerai has been imprisoned for the fifth time for just being ademocrat and for challenging Mugabe's position. A right we take for granted every day in Britain, I feel.
When and where will it all end I wonder for this once great nation of Africa?
Lets hope and prey that this present strife will be for the good of the nation in the long run.