Recorder letters: Peter Butcher, thank you for voting, theatre parking, Beam Park, write to Recorder, trains, meningitis and diabetes.

PUBLISHED: 12:00 20 May 2018

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.

Saddened to hear of death of true gentleman Peter

Mick Ewen, Milton Avenue, Hornchurch, writes:

I, along with many others, were deeply saddened hearing of the death of Peter Butcher, the former sports editor of the Romford Recorder.

I first met Peter in 1996 when as the new secretary of Ford United Football Club, he helped put the club on the footballing map.

His time and effort in showing me how to write match reports on games was second to none and because of this we became very good friends.

His help when the club left its Rush Green home to move to Barkingside was invaluable and it was no surprise that he was made a life president of the football club.

Peter wasn’t just a damned good sports journalist, he was also a walking encyclopaedia of all things concerning non-league football. Add this to the fact that he was a good club cricketer and very knowledgeable of North American sport.

Whilst visiting local clubs in my role as a match observer it was no surprise to see Peter also at the game. Basically if there was a game on, in particular in Essex or anywhere for that matter, Peter was usually present.

Peter will be sorely missed, particularly at AFC Hornchurch where he was the club secretary and also wrote a lot of the match programme.

Not only was he an articulate man, he was also a true gentleman and it was a pleasure to know him.


We pledge to keep Havering special

Cllr Robert Benham, Cllr Viddy Persaud, Cllr Timothy Ryan (Brooklands ward); Cllr Ray Best, Cllr John Crowder, Cllr Christine Vickery (Havering Park ward); Cllr Christine Smith, Cllr Maggie Themistocli, Cllr Ciaran White (Hylands ward); Cllr Jason Frost, Cllr Dilip Patel, Cllr Carol Smith (Mawneys ward); Cllr Philippa Crowder, Cllr Osman Dervish, Cllr Robby Misir (Pettits ward); Cllr Joshua Chapman, Cllr Judith Holt, Cllr Nisha Patel (Romford Town ward); Cllr Melvin Wallace, Cllr Damian White, Cllr Michael White (Squirrels Heath ward) - Team 21, Romford Conservatives, write:

We would like to extend a massive “thank you” to everyone in Romford who voted for us in the local elections on Thursday, May 3.

We are delighted that all 21 Conservative Party candidates across the seven wards of the Romford Constituency were elected as councillors to the London Borough of Havering.

Whether you live in Rush Green, Gidea Park, Romford Town Centre, Collier Row, Rise Park, Hornchurch or Havering-atte-Bower, we in ‘Team 21’ are honoured to have been chosen to represent you all.

From the new councillors to those who have served for 20 years or more, we pledge to try our best to continue to help everyone during the next four years and, above all, to “Keep Havering Special”.

Nothing wrong with theatre parking

Mr R Lee, Tyler’s crescent, Hornchurch, writes:

I write in reference to Dave Ainsworth’s letter (Recorder, last week).

It only has a negative impact on the Queen’s Theatre. There is actually nothing wrong with the car parks in Hornchurch. Times/prices are clearly displayed.

Along with this, you have three reasonable price pay and display public car parks within five to 10 minutes walk of the theatre.

The majority of theatres in London require you to walk a lot further than Hornchurch car parks do. You also have to pay a lot more for the joys of parking.

Beam Park needs more practical plan

Cllr Graham Williamson, South Hornchurch Independent Residents, writes:

I would like to respond to your editorial last week (Plenty of support for Beam Park), May 11.

Havering’s regulatory services turned down the Beam Park application because the developer had refused, on at least four previous occasions to my knowledge, to reduce building heights.

Yes, the area needs “regeneration” (although not just housing) and the committee and residents supported that. They did not however agree to it at ANY cost.

The application actually breached the borough’s written planning vision for the area.

For example, the council had promised residents in South Havering a “garden suburb” but tower blocks, up to nine storeys high, do not fit the bill.

The idea, too, that it is merely building local homes for local people is equally untrue. Part of the funding and drive has come from the GLA and council to help towards meeting their challenging housing targets for Havering to accommodate inner London’s growing population.

This is why this long but relatively narrow land either side of the A1306 is being (over) developed.

A longer term fear is that it may, for example, introduce massive traffic congestion, rat runs and a polluted atmosphere.

Thus, simply developing an area may help alleviate one problem by replacing it with others. If we get it wrong future generations will curse us.

We know the area, the mayor doesn’t. He would be wise to ask his preferred developer to go back to Havering with a more sympathetic and practical plan.

You can always write to Recorder

Residents Action Havering writes:

In the immediate aftermath of our local elections, a few thoughts:

Jeff Tucker’s six candidates seems to include the “Independent” Michael Deon Burton, ahead of local resident campaigner – and actual IRG candidate – Phil Bowen.

Clearly the win is everything, and Mr Burton is to be welcomed back into the fold he only half left.

Lawrence Webb can always do what the Lib Dems, Greens, and indeed us citizens, do when we have something to say: write in to the Romford Recorder.

The councillor training doesn’t appear to include “how to lose gracefully”.

Skipping trains is unacceptable

Richard Enever, Queen’s Road, Brentwood, writes:

I am very concerned by your article (May 11) on TfL skipping trains to maintain punctuality.

This is a follow-up as Greater Anglia did it. It is totally unacceptable and I shall be bringing it to the attention of Brentwood Bus and Rail Users Association next meeting.

Take on trek to fight meningitis

Michaela Ifill, events fundraiser, Meningitis Now, writes:

We’d love your readers to join us to take on a Lake District trek and help conquer meningitis at the same time.

Outdoor enthusiasts can take on next year’s challenge to climb eight peaks over 3,000 feet over two days. It’s not for the faint-hearted but it does promise spectacular views, serious adventure and a tremendous sense of achievement.

If it is for you, every step you take will help us to fight meningitis and move us closer to our vision of a future where no one in the UK dies from the disease and everyone affected gets the support they need.

Sadly, despite huge strides forward in vaccines and prevention, meningitis and septicaemia continue to affect thousands every year and kill more under-5s than any other infectious disease. Help us fight back on all fronts by funding research to eradicate the disease, raising awareness and supporting survivors.

Walking time over the two days, which includes climbing Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England, is about 18 hours and the route covers 20 miles. But we’ll look after you really well, leaving you free to concentrate on the trek and enjoy the breath-taking scenery – it really is a stunning route.

It takes place between May 2 and 5 next year, giving you plenty of time to prepare, and is suitable for individuals and groups.

Interested? Find out more on our website at or email me –

Saddle up for Diabetes UK

Charlotte Harrison-Webb, Diabetes UK, writes:

I would like to invite readers to sign up for the 2018 Prudential RideLondon event, Britain’s biggest celebration of cycling. The main ballot is now closed but you can still get a place in this exciting ride by joining the Diabetes UK team.

On Sunday, July 29, thousands of people will cycle 100 miles from east London all the way to Surrey and then back to finish in front of Buckingham Palace and raising money for Diabetes UK.

There are 46 and 100 mile routes and Diabetes UK has places in both. Both routes start at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and finish on The Mall in central London.

Diabetes UK supports people across London who are living with diabetes – a serious condition which, left undiagnosed or not managed well – can lead to devastating long term complications, including blindness, heart disease and stroke.

Cycling is also a great way to keep physically active and this, combined with a healthy diet, will help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce your chance of getting Type 2 diabetes.

For people already living with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, getting plenty of exercise and following a healthy diet is also key to managing their condition.

We give each of our cyclists a Diabetes UK jersey, fundraising support and lots of support on the day. Register by May 20 for just £25. Find out more at

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