Fall and call

Dear Editor,

Last week my cousin, nearly 80, had a bad fall.

I took her to Andover MIU with a bloody nose and bloody knee, but apparently you have to make an appointment. She did not know she was going to fall.

No one else was there. We went to Winchester A&E, a three-hour wait – not too bad I suppose. So I returned home and went back to collect her. Winchester A&E had made an appointment for her at Southampton the next day to look at her nose.

This week her knee was weeping, the leg and foot badly swollen. So she saw her doctor and is now on penicillin. Perhaps one should have the number of MIU on a mobile.

Name and address supplied

(Editor's note - to book an appointment at Andover's Minor Injuries Unit, you should call 111)

A letter to Kit

Dear Kit Malthouse,

The UK, a major contributor to the world’s plastic crisis, produces more plastic waste per person than any other country except the USA.

UK’s recycling system isn’t working. I am concerned by the Government’s complacent attitude to address the problem. Our waste is overwhelming other countries’ recycling systems causing serious harm to their citizens and environment.

Greenpeace’s new evidence of illegal dumping and burning of UK plastic waste in Turkey, demonstrates this. Turkey is the latest country to ban the import of most plastic waste, and the ban will come into force on the 2nd July 2021!

The UK government needs to urgently ban exports to other countries, including to members of the OECD, to end dumping plastic waste that passes for recycling.

The UK government needs to drastically cut the amount of plastic produced. Reducing single-use plastics by 50% by 2025 allows the UK to end waste exports, therefore, less plastic going into incineration and landfill. The government must commit to a target of 50% reduction in single-use plastic by 2025, with a clear plan for delivering it.

We need urgent action, not words, to end the plastic crisis. Will you sign the MP pledge to end plastic pollution, and will you write to the Environment Secretary?

Jeannette Schael, Crookham Close, Tadley

A tribute to Rula

Dear Editor,

I want to write about my Hearing Dog, Rula.

She sadly passed away on June 3.

Rula came into our family in August 2012 and instantly captured our hearts.

She was a well-travelled dog. She met Russell Watson, she saw London, York, Liverpool, Port Merion, Bournemouth and the Isle of Wight to name a few.

She was well known in Andover. She loved people and was never more happier than being in school surrounded by children.

She was a great advocate for Hearing Dogs, as we visited schools, universities and care homes and was always a joy to have.

Her little heart couldn’t take it anymore and on June 3, she passed away peacefully.

She was a very happy little girl, and her tail never stopped wagging

We miss her so much.

Alaine Orwin, Roman Way

Mystery moth

Dear Editor,

You featured a caterpillar in the Letters page of the July 2 edition of Andover Advertiser. I think it is the caterpillar of the Mullein Moth (Shargacucullia verbasci).

The moth itself is brown and is attracted to the Mullein, a common variety of Verbascum, which has soft, downy leaves and a tall spike with yellow flowers at the top, a bit like a yellow foxglove in appearance.

The moth lays its eggs on the leaves and the resulting caterpillars chomp their way through them until the leaves are all gone or the caterpillars get to about 4-5 cm in length. Then they all disappear, presumably to find a space to pupate and turn into the moth. In spite of being highly visible, birds seem to be warned off by the spectacular colouring.

I presume the caterpillar in Ray Betteridge’s photo had eaten its way through all the nearby Mulleins and was still hungry.

Mike Dean, Clatford Manor, Upper Clatford, Andover

It’s a Mullein

Dear Editor,

I think you will find that the picture is of the caterpillar of the Mullein moth. An Andover friend recently sent me a similar picture for identification.

Buddleia is a common host plant and, if present in numbers, the caterpillars can cause considerable damage.

Philip Jones, Andover

Choral Society

Dear Editor,

Last Saturday, Andover Choral Society (regd charity no 1104982) held its first in-person rehearsal for over 15 months on the lovely lawn behind Rookwood School in Andover.

We would like to thank Rookwood School for allowing us to use their grounds and we were thrilled that the weather held for 30 of us to sing outside.

We had hoped to meet in the School Hall but were unable to do this as current rules do not allow more than six amateur singers to sing indoors.

Andover Choral Society is the longest established local choir with around 60 amateur singers who have been performing choral works and other classical music in Andover for over 50 years and we have been severely restricted during the pandemic.

A lot of musical and other arts activity are supported by local authorities, and they do this in many ways including financially, through grants etc. As amateur performers, we are still unable to use our rehearsal space as we are restricted in numbers, plus it is too small to allow for social distancing.

Of course, we would never risk the health of our members and we have had to follow the rules, stop meeting up to rehearse, except on Zoom.

It is, however, a well-known fact that singing (particularly in a choir) improves health and happiness and is the perfect icebreaker in forming broader social networks.

Not only does it exercise the brain and body but also improves breathing, posture and muscle tension. It is beneficial for those singing and those listening, and brings major arts experience to our local community.

We are looking forward to tempting new and past members to participate and encourage audiences (old and new) to support us when we are able to start again hopefully in September. We would also like to call on all newly elected and sitting councillors at county and borough level to continue their backing and assistance when we start performing once again. If all goes well, we hope to perform again in December 2021 and May 2022.

It is important and helpful, therefore, for the elected Councillors and Mayors who oversee these local authorities to know that these issues are important to their voters and that they can help do something about it. Have a look at our website www.andoverchoralsociety.org.uk for contact details.

Frances Lynn, Chairman, Andover Choral Society

Support for youth

Dear Editor,

A tool that works to help young people get nude images or videos removed from the internet has been launched by the NSPCC’s Childline service and the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). The Report Remove tool can be used by any young person under 18 to report a nude image or video of themselves that has appeared online. The IWF will then review this content and work to have it removed if it breaks the law.

The Report Remove tool can be found on the Childline website and young people can expect the same level of confidentiality that they would from all their interactions with Childline; they do not need to provide their real name to Childline or IWF if they don’t want to.

Emma Motherwell, Local Campaigns Manager for the NSPCC in the South West