Author's posts

Nov 07

There’s more to Knowle West than breeding hard men | Letters

John Byrne says the Bristol council estate was one of the safest, most respectful places he has encountered in 70 yearsYour report (Genge at home with England as Bristol face-off declared ‘a draw’, Sport, 7 November) suggests that promising prop Ellis …

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/nov/07/theres-more-to-knowle-west-than-breeding-hard-men

Oct 31

Golf lover’s difficulty over Ryder Cup tickets | Letters

Once bought, there is no means to return tickets that you are unable to use and there is plenty of time for people to have accidents, fall ill and even die, writes Andy JenkinsonIt is not just the music industry that needs a system allowing ticket hold…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/oct/31/golf-lovers-difficulty-over-ryder-cup-tickets

Oct 26

A tricky centenary for Theresa May to celebrate | Brief letters

First female MP | Plus ça change | Watching indoor swimming | Lessons from letters | Reader’s shameTheresa May said at prime minister’s questions this week that she thinks it is important that we mark the centenary of the election of the first female M…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/oct/26/a-tricky-centenary-for-theresa-may-to-celebrate

Oct 16

Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more | Brief letters

Tax avoidance | Andrew Adonis | Tory reshuffles | Wobbly tables | Cricket etiquette | The Today programmeRichard Thaler’s theory has helped “bring forward more than £200m for the government in one year” (Academic who steered Cameron towards healthy ‘nu…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/oct/16/nudge-nudge-wink-wink-say-no-more

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 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

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