Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Thank You, All You Marvellous Geordies

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Thank You, All You Marvellous Geordies

Article excerpt

I lined up with thousands of others on Sunday, October 1, for what was my 13th Great North Run. I was pushing a mock lifeboat to raise funds for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

Sadly, my partner Vera passed away a week before the GNR. I was and still am completely devastated and was in no fit state, physically or emotionally, to take part. But my family said I must, for Vera's sake.

So in her memory, we put her name on the lifeboat ( HMS Vera ( and I am so glad that I did as over the years I have made many friends in Newcastle and in South Shields. Wonderful, wonderful people all along the route.

I am not ashamed to say that, as I came down Marsden Hill to the seafront at South Shields, I was crying as that is where, for the last 13 years, my Vera would have been shouting and cheering me on. I know that she would have wanted me to do it.

From one grateful 68-year-old, thank you, all you marvellous Geordies. God bless you all.

JOHN BURKHILL, Shiregreen, Sheffield

Join me in supporting the Poppy Appeal

AS First Citizen of County Durham, I am inviting people to join me in supporting the Royal British Legion's annual Poppy Appeal, which is launched this Saturday, October 28.

The appeal is a fitting way to remember those men and women who have given so much while serving with the British armed forces and a tribute to the sacrifices they have made.

For 85 years, the legion has benefited thousands of ex-servicemen and women and their families, and it continues to play an extremely important role.

As well as providing invaluable support to veterans of the world wars, it is heavily involved in helping those affected by more recent conflicts including Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Recent surveys show that 630,000 ex-service personnel are in need of support and there is expected to be a rise in demand upon the legion's resources in coming years.

That is why the Poppy Appeal, the main source of funding for the legion's many welfare and benevolent schemes, is as relevant today as it has always been.

I hope the people of County Durham will wear their poppies with pride and I thank them for their continued support of this extremely worthwhile cause.

Councillor ERNIE FOSTER, Chairman, Durham County Council

Record of Go North East defended

THERE has been much debate in recent weeks over the possible re-regulation of bus services. With few exceptions, the tone of this coverage has been strongly in favour of following the London model of greater regulation and highly critical of private bus operators in the region.

This is a totally one-sided picture of re-regulation, ignoring the success of bus operators like Go North East, which have achieved results under the current regulatory model, in most cases, without a single penny of subsidy.

Contrary to suggestions, Go North East is actually reducing ticket prices and in places like Sunderland has seen passenger numbers increase after years of decline.

This has been achieved thanks to better services and exciting initiatives like our pounds 1 flat fare in the city ( the lowest in the country ( and exactly half the price of the London flat fare. …

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