Viewpoint letters (June 13, 2019)

Featuring a tribute to D-Day casualties, the environment, bug photography and an image which brought back memories. Scroll down for all of this week's letters.

Staff reporter

Staff reporter

Viewpoint letters (June 13, 2019)

Lest we forget these brave Maidenhead lads

The dignity of the veterans (and the politicians) at the D-Day commemorations was impressive.

But among the vast number of military and French civilian casualties we should remember three men of Maidenhead who were killed on or within five days of D-Day.

The first and youngest was Frederick Thomas Emmett, aged 19.

He was a Trooper with the Royal Armoured Corps and was killed on D-Day itself.

He is buried in Maidenhead Cemetery. 

Buried in Bayeux Cemetery, where some of last week's events took place, is Corporal Alfred James, aged 33.

Serving with 228 Coy, Pioneer Corps he was killed on June 10.

Finally Lieutenant James Evans of 2nd Bn Gloucestershire Regiment was killed on June 11, 1944, aged 22.

He is buried in Normandy in Tilly-sur-Seulles War Cemetery south of Bayeux. 

If any of their families read this letter, Maidenhead Heritage Centre would be pleased to hear from them.

In the meantime our ‘Memories of D-Day’ exhibition continues until June 29.



Maidenhead Heritage Centre

From ‘managing’ to ‘strong and stable’

The Sunday Times, June 9, included an article on living in Maidenhead.

It described it as ‘a town that's going from just about managing to strong and stable – a great deal – we love it’.

A fitting and well-deserved tribute to the efforts (often much maligned) of the Conservative council


Down Place


‘This callous fencing off is unnecessary’

As a Maidenhead Street Angel I visit the Nicholsons car park late on a Saturday night every three to four weeks.

Three homeless have slept in the stairwell regularly. I strongly support Sue Brett in her defence of one of the men (Advertiser, May 30). This callous fencing off is unnecessary.

These people have nowhere else to go.

I suggest those complaining to the council imagine themselves in the position of the rough sleepers and remember that all of us could very easily find ourselves homeless and destitute.


Camden Road


Air pollution – invisible but a deadly problem

Last Wednesday (June 5) was World Environment Day, the United Nations day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment.

For 2019 the theme was Air Pollution – an invisible but deadly problem – a public health emergency.

In March, Public Health England cited air pollution as the biggest environmental threat to health in the UK and data revealed that air pollution causes six in every 100 deaths of people aged 30 and over in Windsor and Maidenhead.

There are five air quality management areas currently in RBWM; two in Windsor and one each in Bray, Maidenhead and Wraysbury. These are areas where the pollution exceeds government standards set for the protection of health.

They cover densely populated areas including schools and three have been in existence for 10 years.

In May, research was published that attributed head-to-toe harm to air pollution, from heart and lung disease to diabetes and dementia, and from liver problems and bladder cancer to brittle bones and damaged skin. Fertility, foetuses and children are also affected by toxic air.

The good news is that the problem of air pollution can be addressed.

The air we breathe is impacting us all, and so we must all take responsibility for delivering the solutions. Now is our opportunity to create a clean air generation of children. From walking more to reducing waste, here’s what you can do to make a difference. You all know these things already, but this time make a commitment:

  • Use more public transportation, cycle or walk, and share car rides where possible. Going to a party this weekend, share a lift – its more sociable and saves you money too.
  • Stop sitting with your engine idling. Did you know that in just one minute your car will produce enough exhaust emissions to fill 150 balloons with harmful chemicals?
  • Maintain your car – keep the engine properly tuned and the tyres at the right pressure so your car is more efficient and uses less fuel.
  • Did you know open fires and wood burning stoves are the largest source of small particulate air pollution (PM2.5) in the UK? Grab a cosy blanket instead.
  • Bonfires are a thing of the past, not only are they unpleasant for neighbours they are also a waste of valuable energy and you can see the pollution they cause. Compost garden waste if you can and take household waste to your local household waste recycling centre.
  • Switch to renewables, turn-off lights, insulate your home, eliminate drafts and service your boiler.
  • Car passengers can be exposed to almost eight times as much pollution as cyclists. So, when you are stuck in traffic use the recycled air setting in your car.
  • Exercise at the best time. Joggers inhale more pollution than walkers over the same distance. Jog earlier in the day to reduce your exposure.


Volunteer member of RBWM Climate Emergency Coalition

Use new technology to observe little creatures

I’m seeing some great images of insects and other arthropods on Wild Maidenhead’s community and this has gone hand in hand with my belief that in this day and age, if you have a decent phone you have everything it takes to be a hobbyist in photography without any research.

So I am writing this to encourage photographers in the local area to take advantage of this season of which these tiny creatures, especially insects and spiders, are at the peak of visibility, and think of their presence in this time of year as a great photo opportunity as opposed to a nuisance.

I think photographing bugs is an underrated choice and although insects alone outnumber us by more than 200 million to one, the factor of being in the right place at the right time applies greatly, making the situation a well-balanced game of both skill and luck when it comes to getting that clear, blur-free snap.

I’m not sure if the vast majority of readers would be interested in my obscure knowledge on how to understand and differentiate arthropods, so I will leave that for elsewhere and dedicate this brief passage more to why the age of technology is a phenomenal means to observe them. 

First of all, my interest in photographing them stemmed from when I got a top-of-the-line lens camera phone for my work as an online guitar tutor in 2017.

Back then It was guitars and nothing but guitars and I was a proud ‘one-trick-pony’ rather than a jack of multiple hobbies, hence why I abandoned my infatuation with ‘bugs’ years and years previously.  I thought, ‘’wow! I knew the lenses were good but I never believed they could hold a candle to how they are glorified on the adverts!’

I’ll be honest I couldn’t help jump on the selfie bandwagon. Also, I took pictures of the snow outside my building that month of that year when I first got it. I then found myself messing around with the zoom or expand function and would show friends and relatives how one day I took a perfectly clear picture of the inside of the bus I was on, and a few pedestrians and houses outside it, not directly, but bounced back from the reflection in my watch.

Now 20 years ago, this would be impressive enough with a professional camera, but to do this with a lens on a phone is frighteningly advance.

I understand that there are pros and cons to living in the age of technology, and I have my negative verdict as well, but that's for a different letter.


Laburnham Road


Thanks for the lovely photo – that's my mum

In the May 23 edition of Remember When, the third lady from the right (at the front in the nurse’s uniform) tugging at the rope is my mum – Dorothy Clark (see above).

She started working as a nurse at Clarefield Court Hospital in 1968 and retired when she was 75.

Clarefield Court Hospital was knocked down and so the residents had to move to a bungalow in Pinkneys Green where my mum continued caring for them.

We originally lived in Halifax Road and then my Mum moved to Switchback Road North and then to Gardner Road. She would walk to and from work every day, even after a full days work up until she retired.

She passed away three years ago, but was greatly loved and known by fellow Maidonians as Dot, Dolly or Doll.

Thanks again for the lovely photo – one to add to my collection


Sylvester Road


Imagine a world lost without sight

Sun to Moon

Dark to light

Imagine a world

Lost without sight


Nightmares to dreams

Smiles to cries

One has sound

Who needs eyes?


Echoes to whispers

Screams to silence

All is heard

Within blindness


Touch, smell, listen, taste

These hidden powers

Must awake


North to south

Low to high

One closes their eyes

Now you can fly


Love to hate

Life to death

Can you feel

My every breath?


One has the strength

Emitting the light

Close Your eyes

Imagine a world

Without sight


Just close Your eyes

No more lies

Truth is revealed

When you feel



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