Letters, October 14, 2010, part two

Statue supported

SIR – I think the commission and erection of a statue to Samuel Ryder and perhaps some Roman figurines, together with several modern fountains, would transform tourism in St Albans.

The tram conversion of the Abbey line in 2011 with new perspex cycle stores, waiting rooms, poster displays, etc., are also brightening up the approach to the city. We should be playing to our collective strengths, and remove monuments to financial and political failure and excess.


Parkland Drive, St Albans

Council errors

SIR – The mistake (�21 million) in the county’s bank balance “blunder” (Herts Advertiser, October 7) and the earlier “loss” by the district of several thousand postal voters’ data should assist in determining incompetent appointments in any forthcoming restructure.

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High Oaks, St Albans

Three cheers for the Herts 10K race!

SIR – Last weekend was one of the biggest weekends in the Grove House Fundraising Calendar. The Herts 10K once again turned a quiet field at Rothamsted Research in Harpenden into one of the UK’s biggest runs (see pages 12-14 for full report).

Grove House Hospice wouldn’t be able to put on an event of this size and scale without the help and support of an army of volunteers who ensured that the thousands of runners and their supporters had a fantastic day.

Grove House Hospice are also extremely grateful for all the support they have received from local businesses including M25 Audi in Hatfield, Thomson Holidays, Piccadilly Cards, Nuffield Health, Simmons and Framework Scaffolding.

Without the continued support of Rothamsted Research and the people of Harpenden we would not be able to hold the run which is well regarded for its stunning scenery and combination of cross country and road.

Thanks once again to Saracens who have supported the event, their commentator Tim Coombs did a fantastic job on the day and really added to the atmosphere.

Recognition and thanks must go to Lawrence Levy and his team. Without the support of Levy Associates there would be no Herts 10K.

Of course the biggest thanks go to all the runners who took part in the Herts 10K.

Paul Parrish, fundraising director at Grove House Hospice said before the run started: “Right now there are 10 people receiving Hospice at Home care in Harpenden. When we started the first Herts 10K this service was a far off plan. Thanks to all you runners and your generosity over the past four years, you have given us the confidence to establish this crucial service. Now we have it, don’t let it go, so please dig deep once again and raise sponsorship for those patients receiving care today and for those who will need us in the future.”

Sadly there are at least another 10 people who are not yet able to get hospice at home locally so Grove House Hospice urging the 2010 Herts 10K runners to help them reach their target of raising �150,000 in sponsorship.


Recollections of railways past

SIR – As a retired railwayman who once helped manage the St Pancras to Bedford part of the London Midland Region, your picture of the test run of a 12-coach train on the Thameslink route was a joy to behold (Herts Advertiser, October 7). A positive report indeed about our vital rail service.

It took me back to my early days as a clerk on the then-South Eastern Division of the former Southern Region of British Rail.

In the late 1960s the (still) very busy Charing Cross to Dartford lines managed to get the investment to increase the then-eight-coach trains up to 10 with the introduction of a fleet of two-car units and the necessary longer platforms built at all the stations.

The lines’ passengers were delighted. But it didn’t stop a lady visiting to complain that the extra two coaches were at the wrong end of her morning train to London. Think about it! What would you say to that?


Fishpool Street, St Albans

Birthday concert

SIR – What a wonderful 82nd-birthday surprise, to attend the concert at St Stephen Church, in the Cavalier Hall in St Albans on Saturday evening.

The programme commenced with a fine rendition of Mozart’s Violin Sonata in B flat K.454 performed by Richard Stephenson, violin, and Peter Stephenson on Piano, followed by Beethoven’s Piano Trio in E flat Op 1/1, with Chris Huggett as Cellist.

The audience’s warm applause was a reflection on how much these excellent musicians were appreciated.

After the interval, Elizabeth Altman played Chopin’s Ballad No 2 in F major, and the exquisite but technically demanding Barcarolle. Elizabeth revealed an innate feeling for these two works, bringing a sensitivity of touch and tone, rarely heard at our local music concerts. Other works included Chopin’s Waltz in G flat minor (op posth), The E minor Waltz (op posth) and the hauntingly-moving Schumann Romance Op 28.

To conclude her programme, she performed a fiery rendition of Chopin’s Scherzo in B flat, performing with such virtuosity, that she occasionally leapt up from her piano stool, to create maximum power and expression. What an artist!

The concert is one of a number of concerts organised by the St Albans Music Club, at which the recently installed chairman, Linda Lane, expressed her thanks to the artists and organisers.


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