Gazette letters: Brooke Road sorting office, letter from Santa, save stamps and shop for charity

Brooke Road sorting office. Picture: Google Street View

Brooke Road sorting office. Picture: Google Street View - Credit: google

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Gazette readers this week.

Sorting office closure will hit residents and businesses

Hackney Downs ward councillors Michael Desmond, Sem Moema, Anna-Joy Rickard; Cazenove ward councillors Sam Pallis, Anthony McMahon, Caroline Woodley; Lea Bridge ward councillors Margaret Gordon, Deniz Oguzkanli, Ian Rathbone, write:

We are councillors of three wards in Hackney North whose residents are going to be seriously affected by the threatened closure of the Brooke Road sorting office by the Royal Mail, which the Gazette highlighted recently.

It comes as a shock to some people, that despite it retaining the name Royal Mail its ownership is now 100 per cent private with no accountability to anyone but its shareholders.

As well as a petition of 3,000 residents being quickly built up, we have received many emails of concern from affected residents.

As a local resident wrote this week to us: “Deciding to close the office in the middle of this pandemic is not only cynical but downright careless.

“Royal Mail are putting at risk the lives of people who have no alternative as well as the many small businesses that depend on this facility.”

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Access to the alternative offered in Leyton is extremely difficult by public transport, involving the use of several buses and, at this time of lockdown, which we are encouraged not to use.

Because of the distance from Clapton, and the heavy traffic congestion of Leabridge Road, a round trip to collect a parcel may take two hours or more.

Many local people do not have cars in this area, and those who do so will only increase the level of pollution by having to drive to Leyton and there isn’t anywhere to park in that area because it’s a local parking zone.

Local small businesses which depend on this facility will be significantly affected.

Hackney Mayor Philip Glanville has now written two letters to Royal Mail. He describes Royal Mail as “deeply irresponsible” and asks for a “moratorium on the closure until next year to allow all options to be considered and alternatives explored”.

We agree with that as the local councillors. We also support his questioning of Royal Mail asking if they have explored all the other options in Hackney, including local Post Offices and at other delivery offices. We would like to see the report of the exploring of other options.

It does rather look like that Scrooge Royal Mail has told its customers “bah humbug” when they said how they valued the service.

But Scrooge relented in the end and realised he had been mean and uncaring. We hope that, even at this late stage, Royal Mail will turn back and relent on their decision.

Letter from Santa

Sarah Lambley, NSPCC supporter fundraising manager for London, writes:

It has been a difficult year for Santa and the elves.

Social distancing in the workshop has meant production has been tricky at times but they are still on target to have everything ready for Christmas Eve.

Amazingly, Santa has still found time to team up with us at the NSPCC, to send personalised letters all the way from Lapland.

Each letter from Santa is printed and posted directly to your child in a festive envelope. You can choose the background design and fill in your child’s personal information such as age, best friend’s name or particular achievements throughout the year.

All we ask in return is a donation to help us be there for children, whatever their worries, this Christmas and beyond.

£5 could buy art materials to help a child who has been abused express their feelings when they can’t find the words. £4 could pay for one of our trained volunteer counsellors to answer a child’s call to Childline.

In 2019/20, our volunteers handled an estimated 34,100 counselling sessions with children in London.

Without the support of people in London, we simply wouldn’t be able to deliver our vital services which offer a lifeline to many children and young people whose lives have been affected by abuse.

Everything we do protects children today and prevents abuse tomorrow, to transform society for every childhood. That’s why we’re here and that’s what drives all of our work. But it’s only possible with your support.

To find out more about the NSPCC’s Letter from Santa, visit

Stamps for charity

Myrna Chave, PO Box 91, Virginia Water, Surrey, GU25 9AR, writes:

I am appealing for used postage stamps, which help me raise funds which I then donate to the Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Recycling used postage stamps is such an easy way to raise money for the charity and I am always in need of all types of postage stamps, including British, foreign and Christmas stamps.

If you are able to help, I would be grateful if you could cut the stamps from their envelopes (leaving approx 1cm margin around the stamp) and send them to the address above.

If you would like to contact me, my email address is

Thank you to everyone who has donated in the past, your assistance in helping me to support this very worthy cause is greatly appreciated.

Festive shopping for a great cause

Roz Rosenblatt, London head, Diabetes UK, writes:

Many people have already started Christmas shopping - and there’s a way we can all combine enjoying the festivities whilst supporting people with diabetes.

The Covid-19 pandemic affects everyone, but for people living with any type of diabetes it is a particularly worrying time.

This year, we’ve seen demand for our services reach record levels, while our own funding has been significantly impacted. More so than ever, people with diabetes need us, but we need your support to be able to continue fighting their corner.

That’s why we are working to support people – and you can be a part of this vital effort by simply browsing our Christmas shop from the comfort of your home and choosing from a wonderful range of Christmas cards and gifts.

The shop can be found at

As well as a great range of cards, there are presents and stocking fillers for all your family and friends

It’s a great way to help a good cause and make the most of the upcoming festive season.