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Readers' Letters

Gazette letters: Corvids of London, postboxes, Donald Trump and vegan sausage rolls

PUBLISHED: 08:30 12 January 2019

Crows are busy at this time of year. Picture: KEN MEARS

Crows are busy at this time of year. Picture: KEN MEARS

Archant

In fact, many birds will gladly chow down on a bit of meat given the chance, but I’m talking specifically about carrion crows, members of the corvid family.

Walking to the shop, I stopped to watch a pair of them begin to peck apart the corpse of some pigeon roadkill on the A10. I may not have noticed, so familiar is the sight of these great scavengers, were it not for the fact that I am reading Corvus by Esther Woolfson.

Like a great history book revealing the mysteries of streets you already know, the stories she tells of the rook and magpie with whom she shared her home help me see the streets of Hackney with new eyes.

Each crow reunderstood as the intelligent, sensitive creature she explains they are – the treetops along the Lea now reimagined as busy corvid neighbourhoods, replete with all the soap-opera drama of their human counterparts (although quite possibly more monogamous).

Tool users, thieves, partners-for-life and squawkers, these are some of London’s largest and cleverest birds and yet by most of us they go unnoticed, they are so familiar.

Whether it’s Victoria Park, Clissold Park or down in the marshes, at this time of year their nests are all the more visible amongst the highest bare branches.

Next time you’re out for a walk take a moment to observe the complex lives of these near-invisible birds.

I have just been reading your article about the postboxes in Stoke Newington, writes Arthur Reeder, Isle of Wight Postal Museum, Newport, Isle of Wight.

You say there are none particularly rare, but the “Penfolds” types are now down to less than 100 on the street. A few have gone in the last couple of years including one stolen after an RTA at Wells Rise near St John’s Wood and another stolen from Budby near Retford Notts.

Just outside your boundary, though, is a really odd rarity. If you were to go a little further east along the road to Stamford Hill station, in the wall you will find a large wall mounted postbox. A closer inspection reveals that what should say V crown R has actually got an E instead of the V!

This is the only one like this left in the country and dates from 1902 when Queen Victoria died and her eldest son Edward became monarch as E7R. The V was ground off to be replaced with an E.

If you need to know anything about Royal Mail post boxes then give me a call.

In recent weeks it has become clear that Donald Trump is a very dangerous man and is too unstable to lead the Free World, writes Christopher Sills, Dunsmure Road, Stamford Hill.

He should be stripped of all power by Congress because if not his unpredictable actions could set the Middle East alight and as a result increase the refugee crisis as more desperate people attempt to reach the comparative safety of Europe.

He will not help the crisis that he will cause by taking his fair share of the extra refugees resulting, saying it is Europe’s problem.

The problem in the Middle East is caused by the presidents of Russia, Syria and Turkey along with the religious fanatics who control Iran. Each is only concerned about increasing their own power and care nothing for their own subjects

The president of Syria is so evil that he will use chemical weapons on his own people now that Mr Trump has let the people of Syria down, I would not be surprised if chemical weapons are used again and Mr Trump will not be able to do anything about it.

The other danger is that ISIS will rise again and start a terror campaign because they are not yet defeated, contrary to Mr Trump’s claims.

Sadly, the Free World is leaderless and the European Union is unable to take over because the Eurozone is about to collapse in chaos because Brussels insists that Greece, Italy and Spain follow the Euro rules while allowing France and Germany to break them with impunity. This cannot continue.

In addition Germany has allowed itself to be so dependant on Russian gas that all Russia has to do is to threaten to cut it off and Germany will have to what it is told by Mr Putin.

This leaves Britain as the only other country that is capable of leading the Free World, but the tragedy is that the extreme Remainers, their European Commission Allies and the advocates of the so called “people’s vote” make this impossible until Brexit actually happens on March 29, 2019 – and then only if the current agreement is rejected as it must be if the Brexit vote is to be honoured.

In the circumstances, the US Senate has no alternative but to insist on Mr Trump having sensible advisors and insist that he acts on their advice to keep world peace.

And the extreme Remainers must accept the decision of the British people.

We’ve got a new vegan brunch spot in Dalston, writes Luke Costello, address supplied.

My verdict? 7/10. The taste is good but it wasn’t actually warm, which I found surprising. I thought these sorts of things would be served hot.

Also, minus another point since there aren’t actual chairs to sit on in the establishment. I need to get “Greggs on Kingsland High Street needs chairs” added to the Dalston Conversation.

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