Forget the right-wing rags, their lies and political agendas. Forget Gove and his cronies and their classic political distraction tactics in the light of their failings. Time for some truth and clarity.

As a local school representative for one of the teachers’ unions I can assure readers of the following:

Firstly, our teachers have never refused to go back to school. We want that to happen for all our students as soon as possible.

Secondly, my union and its members have never refused to engage in the planning process of re-opening schools. In the local area, unions are working positively and collaboratively with school leadership to find a path through the quagmire to make this happen as soon as and as safely as possible.

Thirdly, our staff and the schools they work in are planning to do this in a timely and justifiable manner. Our schools are planning to open up FROM June 1, not ON June 1. This will happen slowly and carefully. We are not just blindly following a political timescale soundbite thought up on the back of a fag packet. We are working in the real world.

I ask readers, all parents and carers and our students to feel assured that the teaching profession in this area sees the safety of our students and all staff in schools is of paramount importance. Therefore we are all working together to ensure that all our students get the best possible education under the circumstances; and will get students back into school when we have school spaces that are as safe as possible to do so.

Since the lockdown the students at my school have received work for every single lesson they usually have. Staff are constantly setting, marking and feeding-back on this work too. We are also updating how the work is set and training ourselves to use new, innovative technology to make lessons as accessible and enjoyable as possible when appropriate. This work will continue for all students for as long as possible, whether they are in school or not.

Finally, our school has the welfare of all its students at the centre of the above plans and are supporting families with this aspect of lockdown life too. When students don’t have access to technology at home we have done our best to find a solution. We are constantly in touch with the student body and their families, either by email or phone, to check how things are at home.

It is time for the demonisation of our profession to stop.


NASUWT school representative,

Cockermouth School.

Care home is doing us proud

I FELT so moved that I had to sit down and write to you to let you know my story of gratitude for all those nurses, carers, cleaners, kitchen staff and administrators in Dalton Court Care Home, Cockermouth.

They are all doing such a sterling job and looking after the residents and keeping Dalton Court coronavirus free. They continue to do their utmost to keep the residents safe and well.

My own mother, Isabella Morgan, has been in their care for about five years or so and has been bedridden for most of that time. I am convinced that the wonderful care she receives is why she is about to celebrate her 102nd birthday on June 4.

Lockdown has prevented us from seeing her so far, but if it continues we know from experience and with confidence that Dalton Court staff will make it a truly memorable day for her and, as in the past, make her a marvellous birthday cake.

But my mam is only one of the many they care for day-in day-out... regardless! So do many other care homes, but our very own Dalton Court is doing us proud and deserves a huge thank you!



In the name of God, go

150,000 – the estimated number of virus victims undiagnosed. We do not know who they are or where they are.

150,000 – the number of tests per day never achieved, while Germany tests 500,000 per day,

1,500 – the number of tracers so far organised whereas it is said we need 18,000 and a month ago we were supposed to have 750,000 volunteers. What happened to them?

Whether testing,tracking or isolating, we are in a desperate state. We have lost around 40,000 people. The situation is intolerable.

This government is led by a Chamberlain-style appeaser who has refused to take the swift decisions to fight this virus. ‘’In the name of God, go!’’ should be the response to him now as it was in 1940.



Back to it

Mark Jenkinson MP has said he is going to send his five-year-old (and his other three children) back to school. I assume he is showing a similar determination and enthusiasm to return to the House of Commons so that he can speak for us all in the constituency.



Billy Bowman's VE Day memories

My memories of VE night are, as a nine-year-old boy, standing on Main Street, Cockermouth, and seeing my father and my Auntie Florrie marching over Cocker Bridge, each playing an accordion, followed by virtually the whole town.

They continued down Main Street to where two air-raid shelters were built, in front of the Mayo monument. They were then hoisted on to the shelters and continued to play well into the night, while the crowd danced around and sang.

What memories.

The air-raid shelters remained in place for quite some time after the war. They were used as a platform to stage a talent competition on the evening of one of the first carnivals after the war.

A pal of mine, Eric Ainsworth, and myself took part playing a duet on harmonicas. Happy days.


Broughton Moor

Thank you!

I WANTED to thank again the gentleman who gave me a lift home when I fell near Norham House on Cockermouth Main Street at lunchtime on April 30.

Although I was a complete stranger, he saw that I was struggling and drove me home. I ended up at A&E as I had fractured my leg, which is now in plaster. I am so grateful for his help and kindness.


By email

Vital role of Vitamin D

Vitamin D has a very important rôle in the immune response to infections.

It has been suggested that low levels of vitamin D may be partly responsible for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), the severe, often fatal, complication of Covid-19.

If this proves correct, it would give a simple and safe method to provide some protection against the worst effects of this dreadful infection (it is not suggested taking vitamin D would prevent infection).

A large proportion of the body’s vitamin D is produced by the action of ultraviolet light on the skin. Lack of sunlight in winter in countries north of latitude 35°N leaves many people with a significant vitamin D deficiency. Countries with the worst Covid-19 mortalities, such as USA, UK, Italy, France, Spain, Russia, lie north of this.

There is no direct evidence yet in terms of clinical trials etc, but the correlation between groups who are vitamin D deficient and those who develop ARDS is marked.

Research is urgently needed. But as one of an endangered species, I feel there is nothing to lose by taking vitamin D in recommended doses. There is possibly a great deal to gain.


Lorton, Cockermouth