Letters round up (Includes ‘nothing to do in Hemel’ and ‘get your facts right over Champneys’


A selection of letters to the editor from this week’s Gazette.

Industrial action

Bulk of workers still wage slaves

In the wake of the recent public sector industrial action and as a former leading trade unionist I have supported other strike action and opposed it, but have always seen the right for workers to withdraw their labour as an inalienable right of democracy and a testimony to the phrase ‘Britons never will be slaves’.

Now the Tories, supported by the Lib Dems are seeking to further whittle away long-held rights of those who sell their labour to earn a living.

In our economy the advantage always lies with the employer, such as declaring arbitrary redundancies, black-listing of active trade unionists, zero hours contracts, the list goes on.

Having erected a financial barrier to workers seeking justice from ACAS the Coalition now want to impose a threshold to the proportion of votes cast for industrial action, but ignoring the lack of electoral support for parish councils and Police and Crime Commissioners, the latter only receiving 15% in electoral support.

No human organisation is free of faults, but if it wasn’t for the trade union movement employees would be in a worse position than they are now with wages being cut or at the best static whilst bankers still get bonuses and company directors awarding themselves pay rises.

Major advances in our society such as the minimum wage, holiday entitlement, universal suffrage and much more are due to the early aspirations of the trade union movement, going back to the days of the Tolpuddle Martyrs who were sentenced to transportation for ‘combining’.

Now, centuries on the bulk of the workers are still wage slaves. ​

Les Taber

Hemel Hempstead

Leisure facilities

Thinking of moving from boring Hemel

Summer is here its too nice to stay in doors. But what is there too do in Hemel? Hardly anything now that leisure world is being knocked down.

Why did the town get rid of the pavilion it was a great place to go. I now have to travel out if town for entertainment.

We have Gadebridge Park that hardly gets used. What happened to the annual dog show with fete. As a dog owner I would gladly arrange a dog show in the park.

Even the shops are getting less and less. I don’t like ordering online I like to see things I buy.

Bring back the DVD stores etc.

As for another Aldi why? There’s already one which I haven’t been in as you can’t park.

We need entertainment not more supermarkets. Bring back the fetes etc and bring the community spirit back.

I’m seriously thinking of moving away to a town with things to do.

Susie Flitton

Great Gaddesden


Get the facts right over Champneys

A good deal of nonsense has been spoken lately on the subject of Champneys.

It has been claimed that it was built by the Rothschilds and maintained, fully staffed, for one old woman who never moved in.

In fact the house was built not by the Rothschilds but by the Valpy family, around 1875.

They sold it to Emma, Lady Rothschild, in 1899. She did indeed intend it to be her eventual dower house, where she would move after her husband’s death.

As things turned out, she never needed to, as he left her a lifetime interest in Tring Park where she remained until she died in 1935.

However, the notion that Champneys stood empty for all those years is absurd; it was let from the start to a man named Alexander Marc, who lived there until his death in 1923.

By that date Lady Rothschild had no need of it and it was sold to Stanley Lief, who developed it as a nature cure resort. (It was never to the best of my knowledge a ‘spa’, whatever that might be.)

Any idea that the grounds of Champneys were stiff with Walter Rothschild’s exotic livestock is equally ridiculous; he never owned it or lived there either.

Mr Purdew says “there’s not a lot to go to Berkhamsted and Tring for” but Tring has two museums and both of them are very informative.

Tim Amsden

Tring Local History Museum


Old Town Festival? More like Lestival

Congratulations to the team who have transformed the Old Town with its bright new pavements and cobblestones.

But what a letdown at the grand opening on Saturday.

I know expectations in Hemel are pretty low but for such a proud occasion couldn’t someone have had the imagination and enterprise to give us a bit more than the same tired old stalls we see every year.

With several standing empty it seemed they couldn’t even give them away.

OK there was a cookery class but that only happened every couple of hours, a chilli stall and the boys from The Cochin sampling their dishes.

But come on, it was a warm, sunny afternoon. Where were the ice cream stalls, the cool and refreshing drinks stalls, tea and coffee stalls, pancake stalls, waffle stalls, any food and drink stalls.

Nothing. If you wanted a drink you had to go into the pub and if you wanted an ice cream you had to go into the mini market. Not so much a Festival as a 

Jonathan Culverhouse

Piccotts End


Misguided political point scoring letter

Re: the letter The Gazette July 16 from Paul Eastwood. ‘Address supplied not for publication’.

No surprises there,this man’s views are so outrageous and so political he must have great fears of anyone knowing his address.

‘Strange morality of this council’ – what is so strange about not knowing the personal details of every one you know or work with, this from a man who even wants to hide his address.

This is not to say that I don’t agree with his remarks about crimes against children,I hold very strong views on this matter having been a father of four myself,and like most I feel the punishment never fits the crime.

I knew the former mayor he speaks of very well,he was hard working and dedicated to the community and that is how many people saw him,we did not know about his private life or feelings indeed the hours and work he put in for the community little could we suspect he had time for a private life.

Like everything this Paul 
Eastwood writes this is politically motivated,we always have to suspect his intentions,no politician in his right mind whatever his party wishes to see children harmed or indeed expect for this man to use it for political gain.

He should remember that the friends of and the people who knew Hitler saw him as a great man and knowing what he was doing refused to see the bad side of him. None of the councillors knew anything about the former mayor’s private feelings (how could they) none of the executives or council staff or even the team Mr Eastwood supports they also did not report anything suspicious.

I would reiterate that anyone I know would be totally appalled at any form of child harming and this includes politicians from all parties and people from all walks of life.

I would say that Mr Eastwood if you wish to score political points in future stick to real issues,or is it just that you can’t find any real reason for justified complaints about your local council.

Barry Newton

Hemel Hempstead

Lidl in Berkhamsted

Councillor shows he has lost touch

So Councillor Garrick Stevens thinks if the people of Berkhamsted want to shop in Aldi or Lidl they can just “pop in car.”

Does he not realise that the people who cannot pop on a car are the very people that would benefit from Lidl in the town.

We can’t all afford to shop in Marks and Spencer or Waitrose.

Once again, an example of how our elected councillors have lost touch with the grass roots of Berkhamsted.

Mrs S Murray


Lidl in Berkhamsted

What a monstrous

carbuncle of a plan

Re: the proposed Lidl in Berkhamsted. It is with relief that this proposed plan has been rejected – a “monstrous carbuncle” comes to mind!

We have a thriving town centre with two busy street markets a week. Visitors comment how lucky we are to have varied shopping and how nice it is to walk down to a town with no empty boarded up shops.

So many places we visit have had their heart ripped out by the out of town supermarket; High Streets struggle across the country.

We need more housing and this proposed development would give us the perfect brown field site to build something that will match in and is more in keeping with what is already there.

Turner Court is a yellow brick development of flats. A design that would complement the two should be found and we would end up with more than 30 units, easing pressure to build on fields elsewhere. This is a residential area; we have fought off out of town supermarkets before and we must do so again.

I am all for choice – Lidl is welcome to come to Berkhamsted town centre – how about the other carbuncle we have?

Let’s have Lidl in the old police station, with some flats above – at least it is red brick!

Charlotte Pritchard



And that’s why we love Tring so much

A massive thank you to the people of Tring for supporting Tring Carnival last weekend.

The weather for Carnival Day was fantastic and the sun shone on the 200 young people as they danced and laughed their way down Tring High Street.

Thank you to the 5,000 people that joined us on Pound Meadow during the afternoon; for spending your money at the masses of stalls that attended, for cheering on the entertainment in the arena and for supporting all the local charities that were raising awareness and money for their causes.

Many, many thanks to the businesses who gave us money, let us borrow equipment or decorated their shop windows.

Tring businesses are wonderful! Thank you to Tring Town Council, Dacorum Borough Council and Herts Country Council for their help and encouragement; and especially to Tring Town Youth Council for running the dog show.

And thank you to the 80 volunteers who stopped traffic, picked up litter and generally organised the whole of Tring to get involved.

We love Tring!

Richard Shardlow, 
Vivianne Child, 
Nigel Froment, 
John Bowyer-Reed, 
Ben Cartwright, 
Mel Matthews

Organisers of Tring Carnival