Author's details

Name: Letters
Date registered: April 13, 2015
URL: http://www.theguardian.com/sport/australia-cricket-team

Latest posts

  1. UK women cyclists and Grand Tour success | Letters — September 14, 2017
  2. A brief history of bearded cricketers | Letters — August 1, 2017
  3. Thanks to William Fotheringham for his 26 Tours of duty in France | Brief letters — July 27, 2017
  4. Norfolk playing catch-up in the anti-littering stakes | Brief letters — July 21, 2017
  5. Questions about Johanna Konta’s Britishness are legitimate | Letter — July 19, 2017

Author's posts listings

Sep 14

UK women cyclists and Grand Tour success | Letters

John Orbea remembers the victories of Nicole Cooke and Emma Pooley

Your excellent report on Chris Froome’s victory at the Vuelta a España states that “Sir Bradley Wiggins is the only other Briton to have won” a Grand Tour (11 September).

But as fans of women’s cycling know, Swansea-born Nicole Cooke won the Grand Boucle (also known as the Tour de France Féminin) in 2006, six years before Wiggo’s win. She won again the following year, so she, rather than Froome, is the first Briton to win two Grand Tours too. In 2009, the final year the Grand Boucle took place before vanishing for lack of sponsorship (as has been the case with so many women’s cycling races), it was won by another Brit: Emma Pooley, born in London. The following year, Pooley also won the Tour de l’Aude, also considered one of the Grand Tours of women’s cycling. Sadly, it too disappeared due to lack of sponsorship.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/sep/14/uk-women-cyclists-and-grand-tour-success

Aug 01

A brief history of bearded cricketers | Letters

Energy prices | Moeen Ali | Prudish chemists | Gay chants | Liberalism

It is disappointing to see such a large price rise from British Gas (Report, 1 August), but let’s not slam these suppliers for being greedy. They’re inefficient and outmoded – and it’s customers who pay the price. Energy doesn’t have to be this expensive, as proven by the dozens of newer suppliers with lower costs and better service. The only way to fix the broken energy market and the stranglehold of the big six is with the urgent introduction of an energy price cap which will benefit all families.
Greg Jackson
CEO, Octopus Energy

• While you note that England cricketer Moeen Ali’s hat-trick to win the Oval Test broke several records (Sport, 1 August), you fail to mention an important one. He became the first England cricketer with a beard ever to take a Test hat-trick. The best that had been previously managed was a moustache, and that was Billy Bates in 1883.
Keith Flett

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/01/a-brief-history-of-bearded-cricketers

Jul 27

Thanks to William Fotheringham for his 26 Tours of duty in France | Brief letters

Prosecutions of gay men and lesbians in the 1990s | The Archers and BBC pay | William Fotheringham and the Tour de France | Gender reassignment plea in Northanger Abbey | Cornwall’s east coast

Edward Lord states that I was wrong to say that gay men and lesbians could be arrested for kissing in public in 1990 (Letters, 27 July). It is sad to see somebody connected with Pride attempting to diminish the very real persecution that my community faced. In fact, as Peter Tatchell has written, gay men and lesbians “continued to be prosecuted, right up until the early 1990s, under public order and breach of the peace laws, for public displays of affection, such as kissing and cuddling. Such prosecutions ended only when the LGBT direct action group, OutRage!, highlighted and protested against them.”
Philip Hensher
Geneva, Switzerland

• I note that the day after Patricia Greene revealed that she was paid only £16,000 a year for her role in The Archers, her character, Jill Archer, was arrested for assault and given a caution. Clearly the BBC is not giving in easily.
Keith Flett

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/27/thanks-to-william-fotheringham-for-his-26-tours-of-duty-in-france

Jul 21

Norfolk playing catch-up in the anti-littering stakes | Brief letters

First-class degrees | Female saints | Rambutan | Tennis and nationality | Sheep v giant hogweed | Litter

Gosh! How clever we have all become. Fifty years ago, only the top 2% of the population went to university and about 10% of them got firsts, so 0.2% of the population. Now, 30% go to uni, and 25% of them get firsts (Number of UK degree students receiving firsts soars, theguardian.com, 20 July), making 7.5% of the population. The universities say there is no grade inflation so we must be more than 30 times cleverer! Impressive or what?
Rob Symonds

• How refreshing, considering the Guardian’s stance on attitudes at the BBC, to find that of the 13 saints in your Wordsearch grid (20 July), just one is female, and that AnneMarie Ciccarella is “a fast-talking 57-year-old brunette” (The long read, 18 July). Do you need to know my hair colour to print this?
Alison Robinson
Seer Green, Buckinghamshire

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/21/norfolk-playing-catch-up-in-the-anti-littering-stakes

Jul 19

Questions about Johanna Konta’s Britishness are legitimate | Letter

People’s ethnic origin, and the nationality they identify with, is fascinating, writes Danielle Lowy, so inquiries like John Humphrys’ should not be made taboo

Although John Humphrys admittedly used a rather abrasive tone best kept for interviews with recalcitrant politicians, I don’t think his questions regarding Johanna Konta’s nationality (Konta exposes faults in BBC host’s preparation, 19 July) were unreasonable. People’s ethnic origin, and the nationality they identify with, is fascinating. As part of the rich tapestry that makes up most socieities, it is a pity to see the subject increasingly treated in a “don’t mention the war” manner. I’m speaking as a British-identifying person born in Luxembourg to a father of Czech heritage born in Vienna in 1928, proudly identifying from 1938 onwards as British, despite subsequently living (as a British expat) in Luxembourg for 50 years. On a couple of occasions I heard him deny his Austrian origins, probably due to his hurt and anger at how they treated their Jewish citizens. Everyone has historical facts about their heritage and nationality, or nationalities, and they can equally have personal choices in how they identify themselves. Both are legitimate and fascinating, so let’s not make them taboo subjects.
Danielle Lowy

• Join the debate – email guardian.letters@theguardian.com

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jul/19/questions-about-johanna-konta-britishness-are-legitimate

Jul 19

MP floats an all-party group for swimming | Letters

Labour MP Catherine West on the group she is setting up to campaign for more access to affordable swimming facilities

A new parliament, a new series of all-party groups. I will be forming an all-party group for swimming, which I believe to be the first of its kind. The group will look at access to swimming, the affordability of swimming, and swimming outdoors. So far the response from MPs has been positive, and the group will have its first AGM in September. Not a day goes by without encouragement from doctors to take more exercise, and– unlike weight-bearing exercise like jogging – swimming is a great form of exercise, which – if learned young enough – can provide a lifetime of enjoyment and help keep you fit at the same time. Since the landmark “Swim for a pound” scheme introduced around the time of the Olympics was halted by council cuts, the cost of swimming has shot up again. We will campaign to restore the scheme. We also need more swimming pools to avoid overcrowding and to allow schools to fit swimming into the PE curriculum.
Catherine West MP
Labour, Hornsey & Wood Green

• Join the debate – email guardian.letters@theguardian.com

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jul/19/mp-floats-an-all-party-group-for-swimming

Jul 17

My mother was struck by lightning – but not by fearfulness | Letters

Despite severe burns, depression and deafness in later life, the incident failed to keep her from the fairway, says Penny Aldred

My mother was struck by lightning on 1 June 1953, the day before the coronation, while playing golf (What it’s like to be struck by lightning, 13 July). It was reported in the Times the next day, rather less prominently than the news of the conquest of Everest.

Happily she survived another 55 years, but she spent quite a long time in hospital, with nobody knowing how to treat her, suffering from severe burns, depression (for which electric shock treatment was suggested, until it was pointed out that this was what she had already had) and muscle weakness.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jul/17/my-mother-was-struck-by-lightning-but-not-by-fearfulness

Jul 16

Cracking a joke about Wimbledon’s dress code | Brief letters

Railways | Border Force | Semicolon v colon | Dogs who recycle | Wimbledon dress code

Southern rail has a long track record for poor service. In your report (14 July), you say the owners have been fined £13.4m. This is a company that was rewarded with a £100m profit last year, so not a particularly onerous sanction. Your report goes on to say that the owners of Southern, Govia Thameslink Railways, will spend the “fine” on a package of improvements to its franchise. A fine to carry out improvements to your own wholly inadequate, but highly profitable, service is not a fine.
Peter Negri

• Your report on the lack of Customs cover at small ports (Small ports left unvisited by Border Force, 13 July) highlights the folly of cutting civil service numbers. When I worked in Customs and Excise in the 1970s and 80s we had a number of coast preventive men who visited their local small ports regularly in blue Mini cars, gathering intelligence and acting as a visible deterrent at minimal cost. The Thatcher government was the first of many to prioritise short-term financial saving over long-term security and benefit to the exchequer.
Ian Arnott

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jul/16/cracking-a-joke-about-wimbledons-dress-code

Jul 11

Wireless festival: plenty of atmosphere on the Finsbury Park fringe | Brief letters

Destitution in 1903 and now | Side-effects of festival | Cap on teachers’ pay | Positive spin on Johanna Konta’s win | Mince on toast | English strawberries

Reading Frank Field’s call for an action programme against destitution (Letters, 11 July) put me in mind of the experience of my own great-grandmother who, when widowed and left with three very young daughters in Birkenhead in 1903, was very much helped by handouts from Charles Thompson’s Mission. Only a few days ago that very same Mission was appealing on behalf of young mothers in the town who can’t afford formula milk for their babies. Those three children had every reason to expect that the postwar settlement would do away with such poverty.
Christine Verguson
Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

• So sorry to hear that Hannah J Davies found the Wireless festival “devoid of any atmosphere away from the acts” (The critics, 11 July). Perhaps she should have come to the residential streets south of Finsbury Park. We had plenty of atmosphere provided by the roaming groups of drunks, drug dealers, pavement scooter drivers, beer-can kickers, garden pissers and police helicopters. Three nights, all night. That’s all the atmosphere anyone could want.
Barry Jackson

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/jul/11/wireless-festival-plenty-of-atmosphere-on-the-finsbury-park-fringe

May 31

Einstein looked up the speed of light | Brief letters

Old Etonians in the FA Cup | Climbing Everest | Makeup tips | Jeremy Corbyn’s memory for figures | Paul Nuttall’s internment plan | New spin on an old proverb

One of the two FA Cup finals Old Etonians won (Letters, 30 May) was in 1882. They were playing a storming Blackburn Rovers, who by the end of that season stood undefeated in 35 games. The Rovers were perhaps overconfident; their club poet (yes) came to the Oval with copies for sale of an Ode to Victory. In the event, the OEs prevailed 1–0. But an immortal couplet from the ode has long survived in my memory: “All hail, ye gallant Rovers lads! / Etonians thought ye were but cads.”
Richard Abram
Wanstead Park, Essex

• The claim by Kilian Jornet to have climbed Everest twice in a week (Report, 30 May) is erroneous. If Everest is 8,848 metres high and he started from base camp at 6,500 metres then he only climbed about a quarter of it, albeit the highest quarter. He should have started at sea level. By the same token I didn’t climb Helvellyn a fortnight ago.
Colin Challen

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/may/31/einstein-looked-up-the-speed-of-light

May 30

When Old Etonians won the FA Cup | Brief letters

Football in private schools | Welsh history | Police as protectors | Plastic bag recycling

On Cup final day, I enjoyed reading DJ Taylor’s article on the football novel (Review, 27 May). However, in discussing the first wave of football fiction, largely describing boys’ school stories, he noted that their “real-life, public-school attending equivalents would, of course, have played rugby”. This perpetuates the error, which I thought had been laid to rest, that independent schools shunned football. As an example, before professionalism took hold, Old Etonians contested no fewer than six FA Cup finals, winning two of them. One of their losses was against Old Carthusians.
Ed Lilley

• Comforting though it is to see that Oxford students will have to study for exams on “non-British, non-European” topics (Report, 29 May), I wonder whether they might consider studying non-English “British” topics? What does the average student know, for instance, about the Rebecca Riots, the Treason of the Blue Books, Tryweryn, Senghennydd, Pont Trefechan? But then it’s only Wales, so it doesn’t matter, does it?
Dr Meg Elis
Caernarfon, Gwynedd

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/may/30/when-old-etonians-won-the-fa-cup