Grain Silos

Dear Editor,

I am dismayed at your headline “Silos set to be demolished” and the fact Andover Town Council didn’t understand their meaning - thank you for making us aware.

These Silos are an iconic building part of Andover’s history and heritage. At the back of them, facing up to Floral Way - which of course was always corn fields, is a platform where the little steam train would depart from the main lines and go along the siding to stop at the platform to unload/load up with grain to be transported to other areas not so lucky as us to have farmers on our doorstep.

The iconic building can be seen for miles away. They are a part of Andover’s heritage. They are unique and should be preserved. It illustrates the history of farming and how they helped us in the war storing grain and if not already should be listed as a sight of special interest. During WW2, prisoners of war worked in the corn field helping to feed us.

I was always proud to say I lived near the silos. As a child we would walk around the corn fields over to the silos and watch the trains, we could walk across the railway lines by the gate was a large sign saying “Stop, Look, Listen” which we did before crossing to the other side -now there is an overhead bridge.

I do hope these iconic silos will be preserved for generations to learn of our history.

Jill Hannington, Hillside Court, Weyhill Road

Harvey’s story

Dear Editor,

I read with interest the article in the July 16 edition - ‘Town History Remembered - 150 years of the shop that sold everything’ by David Borrett.

He spoke about my great grandad (Frederick Robert Harvey) but did not mention my grandad Frederick William Kernott Harvey (Kernie to most ) who ran the shop from late 50s or early 60s until the middle of the 60s.

He too was very much into the paper delivery that he did not go to his only son’s wedding in 1944 at Winchester Hants.

My sister and I went to the Norman Gate School at the top of new street and we used to pop in and see grandad on the way.

And then my Uncle Ronald (brother to Kernie) and his wife – my auntie Olive – took over the running of the shops.

Robert Tarry Christopher Harvey (son of Robert William Kernott Harvey, Kernie’s only son)

Speeding 'excuse'

Dear Editor,

On page two of the Advertiser last week (July 16) a report was included of a driver who avoided a ban for speeding on three different occasions in 2019 and 2020.

On the A303, the individual was doing 22mph over the speed limit. The other speeds were not included in the report. The speed in Andover was a B and C offence - the most serious category - and rightly received four points on the driver’s licence.

However, the other offences were only fined and not totted up for disqualification as the effect on the person’s business, employees and family would cause exceptional hardship and a ban was avoided.

We could all say this, couldn’t we? Any ban will have an effect on many aspects of people’s lives but that is the point. If you break the law you pay for it. It does beg the question why a serial offender was able to avoid a ban when many other drivers would have been banned for one offence let alone three.

To compound the unfairness of this, on page 26, Hampshire and Thames Valley Police are reported to be running a speeding campaign starting this month. As 1,561 people in 2019 were killed or seriously injured in collisions and it is stated that, in 191 of these, speeding was a contributory factor.

I am sure the police would also question why the magistrates made this decision when it is they who attend these awful scenes on a regular basis.

It does make you wonder if all people are treated equally in the eyes of the law, certainly I have to wonder.

K Nott, Watermills Close, Andover

Guinea Pig Club

Dear Editor,

Eighty years ago in July 1941, a group of young men who had sustained severe burns in aircraft crashes during the Second World War came together to form The Guinea Pig Club. They took this name in honour of the ground-breaking techniques of pioneering plastic surgeon, Sir Archibald McIndoe.

Upon leaving hospital following their lengthy treatments, members established new careers, married and raised families, challenging the opinions of those who questioned their abilities. These young men quickly became a beacon of hope and their perseverance and tenacity continues to inspire burns survivors today.

The RAF Benevolent Fund is proud to have supported The Guinea Pig Club since its formation 80 years ago and has provided assistance to many of its members over the years. However, just six members of the Guinea Pig Club remain, so the Fund is taking this important anniversary to highlight the inspiring story of the Guinea Pig Club to ensure its legacy lives on.

I urge your readers to pay tribute to those who served and sacrificed their lives during the Second World War by visiting where they can share memories, photographs, and thanks.

Air Vice-Marshal Chris Elliot, chief executive of the RAF Benevolent Fund

‘Sitting time’

Dear Editor,

The ancient Chinese referred to Old Age as ‘the sitting time’. They presumably did not spend it sitting at their desks shrieking into a dysfunctional phone service and taking blood pressure pills.

I do not have a computer, but I do have four telephones, three doorbells, lovely postmen, and a typewriter. I speak clearly. Why has communication become a nightmare?

My electricity suppliers (SSE) seem to speak only Glaswegian. I do not.

The NHS appointments system sends an e-referral service letter with a phone number, but the recorded message is so quiet I can hear faint sound by not words.

My bank (Natwest) sends me annual 0...0...0... statement for a long defunct account but seem unable to send me a chequebook. I cannot phone them, and their central phone number asks for my customer number but cannot hear me say ‘I do not have a customer number’. Allow 10 minutes for any call, with no guarantee of contact of success.

Royal Mail will only accept large envelopes with large stamps. If I send off something urgent with two same-price, but small stamps because I cannot get to a post office, it will be returned (surely more trouble) or returned, opened, after a month because they did not notify the recipient.

My building society (Nationwide) sends ISA renewal forms with 12 pages of small print, but no name or phone number for queries. None of their communications carry phone numbers, some have no signature. I had to ring 118 for their customer response unit. I now have a thick file on their inability to provide me with the certificate that says I have a replacement ISA for the one that expired in April. I do now have their local phone number, but it is inactive on Fridays.

A regular book order always says, ‘Leave in porch if no reply’. Last time no bell rang, and card in letter box had only a text number for reply. I had to ring the book company to pass on message. Infuriated but now normal? Then try this.

Two days later the DPD van stopped outside. I went out to ask if they had my books. It had but it was not allowed to give them to me for another 10 minutes. So, he waited outside, I waited inside.

The country is apparently worried about its mental health. It should be, but are we looking at the wrong end of the problem? How anyone function in this sort of shambles without extreme stress?

Few pockets of calm, sensible, courteous sanity remain to remind us of what we are throwing away. The Newbury Building Society has a local phone number, a charming manager, and chairs at the counter for customers. They must be cherished as an example of what we are throwing away.

Services are run for people, even if by machines.

Margaret Reichlin, Upper Enham

Foreign usage

Dear Editor,

As a nation/generation, we seem intent on adopting all things American, including language.

Your article on page 27 from the Advertiser on July 2 lists a ‘drivers licence’; in Britain, we have a ‘driving’ licence.

If we are not careful (and your article makes me think, we’re already too late), GB English will die out.

A Taylor, Andover