Gazette letters: Spider season, parking blame, underground insights and feeding birds bread

It is the season of the house spider. Picture: DAVID SHORT (CC BY 2.0)

It is the season of the house spider. Picture: DAVID SHORT (CC BY 2.0) - Credit: Archant

The slight chill is bringing the spiders indoors, writes Will McCallum, Newington Green.

Arriving home a couple of nights ago I jumped as a giant house spider darted out of the corner as I poured a glass of water.

Uncomfortable with this creature nearly the size of my palm settling into my kitchen, I carefully captured it and released it at the bottom of the garden. A silly reaction, not one I’m proud of – would I rather a contented silent spider as my roommate or a loudly buzzing fly?

It was not my first arachnid encounter of the week – walking down Spring Hill I stopped to look beneath a leaf that was rustling despite the lack of wind.

Stooping low, I was treated to the sight of an cross-orb weaver spider delicately wrapping its prey in silk – mummifying the fly alive as it struggled against its fate. Morbid curiosity kept me watching long past it falling still – keeping careful distance as I watched it turn its catch between its front limbs.

Autumn is spider season – as they creep out of their holes to find a mate we’ll see plenty over the next month. Most are our allies, more interested in keeping insects at bay than terrorising us as we sleep. The few that bite do so only when feeling threatened, and the result is rarely anything more than a minor irritation. Best then to embrace their company, these incredible creatures that have been spinning their webs many tens of millions of years longer than humans have walked the earth.

Mr Sills’ opposition to any form of controls on traffic in Stamford Hill has reached bizarre new levels with his description of a consultation with residents on parking as “harassment” (“Labour has not learnt its lesson”, Gazette letters), writes Rosemary Sales, former councillor, Stamford Hill West.

The current consultation follows petitions from residents – from all communities in Stamford Hill – who are concerned at the chaotic and dangerous situation on our streets. Anyone who has walked, cycled or driven through Dunsmure Road – particularly at rush hour – will be familiar with the problems, with cars parked in the middle of the road and at junctions obscuring the view for cyclists and pedestrians and causing long hold-ups for traffic.

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Cars dumped in our streets and commuters who use Stamford Hill as a free car park make it difficult for residents to find a parking space.

The problems have escalated over the past two years, so that many people who opposed controls in 2015 now strongly support them. Far from damaging local businesses, sensible parking arrangements, together with other planned improvements to Dunsmure Parade, will make the area more appealing as a place to shop.

I hope your readers will respond positively to the current consultation and vote for safer streets.

Insights into the Underground

Mr A R Rabin, Acorn Lodge, Atherden Road, Lower Clapton, writes:

On the Victoria line 50th anniversary, and some other London Underground references.

Blackhorse Road station is underground, not in the open. What is out in the open is the line with a slope, after the branch in the tunnel branches off the usual line, having an open section by the main railway line leading to its Northumberland Park depot. None of this is a passenger service. What might have been a Northumberland Park station is not open because there is not enough room between that and the mainline station of that name.

The Victoria line’s Finsbury Park station is a reconstructed station on the Northern City line which terminated there before the Northern line was established. There, south of Finsbury Park, seems a connection in the tunnel between that line and the Piccadilly line. Tube lines Finsbury Park to Arsenal are also closer to the surface than usual with Tube lines.

Seems Victoria line reached Brixton in 1969, but Pimlico station was not opened till 1972. Seems both Victoria line terminals, Brixton and Walthamstow Central, had train tracks extended beyond the stations.

•Editor’s note: With sincere apologies to Mr Rabin, we were unable to read parts of this letter, which from what we could make out contained further fascinating insight into the Victoria line route. We are nonetheless very grateful for the time he spent putting it together.

Is ignorance really bliss? No, it is not, writes Linda Noble, Springfield, Upper Clapton.

I’m passionate about the planet and especially wildlife. I live next door to a park. It’s a really special place for everyone, but it’s getting spoilt by persons of ignorance throwing stale loaves of bread everywhere to feed the birds.

This is not a natural diet for geese or ducks. They exist on insects, grass and berries. The park is overrun by rats and is dangerous for the local café and also for children playing.

If there is excess bread could a local old people’s home make bread pudding?

Rat poison is not working. This makes it urgent for the environment and people.

Prosecution hasn’t worked. What is the next step – a restraining order? Heavier fines?