What else might we be eating?

I AGREE with Barbara Fisher (Horse meat in burgers is not the worst of it, Bm@il, February 27).

She wrote about the TV documentary that showed diseased horse carcasses going into the human food chain, and about the terrible cruelty shown, with horses only partly stunned being shoved into chutes before being turned into mince.

A top analyst is concerned that the horses may have been given veterinary drugs that are harmful to human beings. One painkiller, phenylbutazone, can cause aplastic anaemia (bone marrow damage) in human beings. This is a serious breach of the standards that are supposed to control what goes into our food.

After the BSE disaster, the source of our food was supposed to be traceable. The Food Standards Agency in the UK didn’t even find the problem; the Irish authorities discovered it.

We need a food watchdog that puts the interests of consumers first, not the food industry. It is worrying that the government says it will only test for horse meat in food, and not for any other species.

As the food industry seems to be partly run by criminal gangs, presumably they won’t mind putting rat, dog or pigeon into our food.


Lack of aids is a severe hindrance

I AM entirely in agreement with Elizabeth Douglas (Help folk get round public places safely, Letters, February 27).

I have had the same difficulty that she describes when trying to get up and down steps in cinemas or theatres etc, often in semi-darkness.

Her idea of a post or loop on the back of aisle seats would be such a help, and inexpensive. It would restore confidence as well.


Magnolia Court


? AS A senior citizen and a theatre and cinema-goer, I completely agree with Elizabeth Douglas about the difficulty of using the steps in said venues (reference as above).

As she suggests, it would not be too difficult to install a pole at the end of each row.

I visited the London Palladium on Saturday and had the same problem.

The only venue I know in London is the Royal Albert Hall, which has handrails at the end of each row.

It seems that more than 50 per cent of the audience at the show is over 65, and this should be addressed.


Silver Birch Close


? I ENTIRELY endorse E Douglas’ concern about the lack of appropriate support for elderly or infirm patrons of theatres, cinema and concert halls in the borough (reference as above).

Not everyone wants or needs to sit on the front row to enjoy a performance but the difficulties encountered by sitting further back in any of the above is hazardous in the majority of cases.

The lack of a handrail or support can seriously affect the choice of those wishing to attend a show.

I would have expected Age UK might have had some influence in rectifying these omissions.


West Drayton

via email

Dyed dove making friends in Hayes

I ROUTINELY check, photograph and count the wild birds at Lake Farm Country Park in Hayes.

Today I found this dove or pigeon among the large feral pigeon flock that gathers every day by the toddlers’ playground.

It is pure white with dyed purple tail feathers and dyed purple markings around both eyes. It has one blue plastic, unmarked leg ring. It’s fairly tame; you can get quite close to it but not close enough to pick it up. The feral pigeons appear to have accepted it as their own.

It’s obviously not a racing pigeon but I suspect it has escaped from a private collection, so I would like to track down its owner.


Via email

Editor’s note: Are you missing a white dove, or know who it belongs to? Call the newsdesk on 01895 451 036.

Political ‘birds’ seek new habitat

SO, WE have heard recently about the so-called ‘white flight’, with many Britons taking for sunnier shores and leaving the big smoke.

With this in mind, and the news about species of birds that will be affected by the proposed HS2 fallacy (Rare bird could hold up line in the north, Gazette, February 20), in my opinion the ‘blue tits’ in Westminster may also have taken flight by 2015, courtesy of the folk affected by the high-speed rail project – count me as one of them – unless the Chancellor of the Exchequer announces in his budget speech in March that he will take the brave step, for him, of abandoning forthwith HS2 (wishful thinking, I know, like a turkey voting for Christmas).

But seriously, our feathered friends must be protected. We also know there are not enough ‘wise owls’ in Whitehall but plenty of blue and yellow ‘parrots’, who all repeat what the other says.

So in the end, it falls to we eagle-eyed constituents to keep watch over proceedings.


Aylsham Drive


Could you reunite some siblings?

A TWO-MONTH-OLD baby boy abandoned at Hayes station on April 21, 1943, was found by a Mr Harold J Coole. They named the baby Henry Hayes.

Mr Coole lived at 71 Birchway, Hayes, and I have searched for him, but he died in 1956. The residents at this address now are not connected to Mr Coole.

Mr Coole was married to a Mabel A Evans in 1912 in Fulham, and I found four children that could possibly belong to them, only one alive; a Dennis Coole, born 1936 in Finsbury.

The abandoned boy was adopted and renamed, and he has been trying to find out desperately whether his mother had any more children.

Our hope would be that relatives or friends of Harold J Coole and his wife recall this story, or if the birth mother told anyone else what she did all those years ago.

She had the baby for two months before leaving him at the station: surely someone must have noticed he was missing?

Whatever the reason she did this, it must have been very hard to keep it to herself. There may be people who know they had a brother but have no idea where to search for him.

The person who instigated this search is my good friend, Wendy Carn, his niece.

‘Henry Hayes’, as he was named then, has just celebrated his 70th birthday, so it would be an exceptional present to find living family.



? Email aries_tgibson@yahoo.co.uk, or call the newsdesk on 01895 451 036 if you prefer to remain anonymous.