As someone who has watched local football at all levels since the 1960s, it must be at its lowest level ever.
Wellingborough in the late 1960s. Kettering in the 1970s. Irthlingborough Diamonds in the 1980s. Raunds and Rothwell in the 1990s. Rushden & Diamonds 1992 to 2010.
North Northamptonshire football has always had at least one good side and occasionally two or three.
Even in the Northants Combination, the better teams come from the Northampton side of the county.
I have spent countless hours and pounds and have enjoyed some good times and endured some poor ones.
But generally speaking, for an area with a small population, the teams have punched above their weight.
What has gone wrong?
Southern league football and a good run in the FA Vase or FA Trophy was always guaranteed.
Was it too many eggs in a small basket or is it something else?
Corby office closure understandable
It’s understandable that the Corby office of the Telegraph has to close.
As we nudge ever closer to online viewing making the weekly paper something of a relic, we still have a number of years to go before they finally disappear.
We are bombarded with world news from the minute we wake up until our head hits the pillow again, news that in no way affects our life, news we cannot influence in any way, news that, to be honest, we could do without.
Local news is why I buy the paper.
I have little interest in the latest events in Bejing or Mumbai and like to hear what my local MP is doing for his £1,300 a week salary, and what our local Arts Council are spending their grants on.
In other words, things that impact on me and my family’s life.
Although the slow but inevitable transfer from paper to screen and subscription creeps ever closer, it just isn’t the same.
There is something missing on the screen.
Headlines seem to lose their immediacy.
Last week I spent some time in Kettering Library looking back to 1966 through old copies of the Northants Evening Telegraph.
It was great to see those old television programmes and adverts.
The news, however, had not changed that much on the whole.
It was then I realised that if petrol was as abundant as rainwater it still would not come down in price.
And though fracking might save our economy for a few decades, once again only the investors and bankers will benefit.
We as always pay through the nose, top whack every time and never query why, accepting everything the Conservative Government throws at us.
Paramedics did a fantastic job
I would like to congratulate the two paramedics for their expertise when my wife’s diabetes went wild.
After a call to 111, the paramedics were here in minutes and soon put me at ease and soon had my wife smiling again.
Many thanks Clare and Martin.
R W HOOPER
Hope that birds keep returning
It is nice to know that we have one or two red kites around Hall Park in Rushden.
Over the past year I’ve viewed these stunning hawks gliding around with such elegance.
They are such beautiful birds to watch, especially when the sun is on them.
They just seem to turn up from time to time. I spotted one on Boxing Day and hope they continue to show up now and again.
Lights are on but nobody’s at home
I think it’s a fantastic idea to develop the Wellingborough Prison site for social housing only for resale.
The council must have a waiting list of more than 300 families.
What I want to know is why the lights there have been on constantly since inmates moved out. What a waste of taxpayers’ money.
Santa’s collection helped the needy
We would like to thank the people of Kettering and Barton Seagrave for their support and generosity in response to our Santa’s Sleigh collections.
We collected over £2,900, which enabled us to donate 200 food vouchers to lonely and needy people, and also make donations to the homeless centre and the St Jude’s food bank.
We organised parties for adults and children with special needs.
We would like to thank the Toller Church, Newlands Centre and the Athletic Club for their help providing locations for us.
In addition, we will soon be donating the proceeds from the raffle ticket sales to the Warwickshire and Northants Air Ambulance.
Kettering and District Lions Club
Agency staff need our full support
May I thank the Telegraph for serving the community by highlighting the victory for the agency workers.
I also congratulate Andy Sawford MP for pursuing the agencies that abuse ordinary and vulnerable people.
I am confident that people of all politicial affiliations share the sentiment that workers deserve fairness and respect.
With only two of the 12 agencies under investigation now completed, I am sure that the information revealed thus far is only the tip of the iceberg.
Mr Sawford appears to be a man who will pursue this issue to the bitter end.
The penalty charges imposed are grossly inadequate. I also share the MP’s views that these agencies should be named and shamed.
After all, they have effectively robbed hard-working people and brought shame to Corby’s reputation.
I also wish to acknowledge Mr Sawford’s work to force the issue of zero hours contracts on to the Westminster agenda, because this is another area of abuse towards ordinary people desperate for work.
This is now part of the Labour Party policy to be enshrined in the manifesto for the 2015 general election.
I would hope that all political parties would support any ensuing legislation to remove these abuses.
One of the key criteria for a civilised society is the manner in which it treats its workers.
In times of recession, unethical employment agencies feel that all the trump cards are in their hands.
Taking advantage of the vulnerable in such an economic environment is the work of unscrupulous people and they should hang their heads in shame.
Let us celebrate the exposure of these practices. Our faith in life is at least partly restored.
Old stamps can be put to good use
I collect used postage stamps for the National Kidney Patient Appeal and would appeal for people to send me their Christmas stamps to 26 Kingsway, Wellingborough, NN8 2PA.
R M GILL
Fears something dodgy is going on
I felt for Scott Speirs when I read his story last month.
Living with fibromyalgia is no joke. You lose friends, work, a lot of your life.
No employer keeps someone on with this condition long-term because of all the time off they need.
Scott is correct.
What percentage of disabled people will die before their appeal comes up?
Surely appeals cost more than benefit assessments?
Do Atos assessors do this because every appeal gives them commission?
Do they lie and ignore a person’s pain?
My grandson has this condition and it cost him his marriage and children because this causes such stress in a relationship.
What are our MPs doing about this problem?
Atos incompetency will cost the Conservatives votes.
The Department for work and Pensions trying to stop people from appealing suggests there is something dodgy going on.
Legion grateful to chip shop boss
May I, as chairman of the Kettering branch of the Royal British Legion, express my thanks to Stav Demetrio, proprietor of Simply Fish for his generosity in his donation to the Poppy Appeal after the collection box was stolen.
Also to his customers, who made generous donations to the appeal.
D A SMITH
Chairman of the Kettering branch of the Royal British Legion
Medical teams were good to me
I wish to thank the staff that looked after me while I was in Kettering General Hospital.
They were wonderful.
Their help and care was great and I was well looked after.
I would also like to emphasise the time between my diagnosis and admission was surprisingly quick.
I’ve read a lot of publicity about the hospital, but I was treated very well, and special praise should go to the ambulance service as well.