August 2021 Letters

July 29 2021

Thanks to all my customers and colleagues

AS I am now officially retired from the employment of Norville Opticians, Downend branch, I would like to say a big thank you for all your custom over the last 30-plus years whilst I was the practice manager and dispensing optician.
I took over managing the practice back in January 1989 and the practice really took off that November, when Denise Pinnell joined as practice optometrist.
I would also like to thank all the loyal support staff, over the years, who have helped build the practice and made it the friendliest environment to work in: we were a great team.
Over the years there were many changes - computerisation, many new instruments - that enabled us to give an improved clinical eye examination and hence quicker and better outcomes for many clients. Lots of new innovations in frames, lenses and contact lenses, both in materials and designs, enabled Norville Opticians to be able to advise them to clients for their benefits.
For the funding of the improved instrumentation and the two refits during this period, thanks must go to the board of F Norville Ltd and the sister company, Norville Optical. Thanks must also go to all the other dispensing opticians, optometrist colleagues and support staff from the other F Norville Ltd practices over the years. What a great family-owned group of practices we all were.
It was a sad day when the F Norville Ltd group of practices went into administration in late June 2020, mainly due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Let’s hope that, under the ownership of the Hakim Group and their merging into Norville Dobinson Opticians, the practice continues to serve the area for a long time.
I shall miss you all.
Ralph D Butcher FADO, FFDO, SMC(Tech) Manager of Norville Opticians until June 30

Staple Hill needs a market in square

IT was very disappointing to find the artisan market was moved to the park, as one person had complained about litter and parking (Voice, July).
Staple Hill has four car parks, plus a lot of on-street parking, so why stop the market?
I am sure the stall holders would have cleaned up afterwards.
The people of Staple Hill did a survey asking them what they would like in the square. A lot of people said they would like a market of some kind.
We have a square which sits empty, week in, week out, until Christmas comes and a lonely tree appears.
Having an artisan market in the park was Staple Hill's loss but the park gained lots of people and the cafe was busy.
When we had Christmas on the Hill for many years, the High Street was lined with people, stall holders were on the square and in front of some of the shops. No-one complained about rubbish and parking...so why now?
Kingswood has now got five wooden cabins hooked up to electric outside the main shops in their precinct, plus stall holders.
Staple Hill needs something in the square to stand out - it has been sitting empty for too long.
If there was a market of some kind, a lot of local people would walk to it.
It does not have to be every week but once in a blue moon would be nice. The local shops would not lose customers but would gain some more.
So let's hope a market comes, perhaps a Christmas one to go with that lonely tree.
Laura Rickards, Mangotsfield

Inappropriate language

I'M not one to usually complain, however I was just browsing through the latest publication and noticed a headline that I thought needed attention (Voice, July).
The headline read: "Awards for helping to feed needy."
How utterly disappointing and shameful to alienate someone by calling them needy. Imagine being someone who is struggling to make ends meet for one reason or another and then reading that, how embarrassing it might feel? How shameful to be identified as needy.
The stigma around accepting support from food banks is what prevents families who need it the most but are too proud to step out of their comfort zone and ask for the help available. Headlines like that in local publications do not help the situation and isolate those who need support. Very disappointing.
Luke Gibbons by emai
n Our use of this word in the headline in question was based on a quote in the story itself, which drew on the traditional definition of the word as someone in need of necessities or in poverty. We understand some people use the word as a pejorative term but this was not our intention and we apologise for any offence caused.

No wonder virus is spreading

IT'S no wonder the virus is spreading. I was on a 48 bus in the afternoon from Broadmead to Downend at the beginning of July, and two young girls got on, laughing and talking without masks - and then another two did the same.
All us elderly folk do not like wearing them but obey the rules, so why can't they?
Pauline Fletcher by email

Library offline

IT is rather disappointing that Staple Hill library did not have internet access for at least three weeks.
As an older person with no IT at home, I rely on the library to check things and borrow the odd book.
When I asked the staff about this, all that was said was 'we're working to fix it' - after this length of time, a bit of a poor show.
Bryan Websdell, Staple Hill

South Gloucestershire Council responds: We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused by the recent technical issues that resulted in public internet access being temporarily unavailable at Staple Hill Library.
Our ITD Department worked with providers Virgin Media and OpenReach to identify and address the potential causes, which included repairs being made to the network of cabling. We are pleased to confirm that the service has now been restored.