A Berwicker born and bred

I should like to exercise the right of reply to the somewhat critical and castigating attitude of your correspondent JR McIver (Berwick Advertiser, October 19).

Tuesday, 7th November 2017, 8:00 am
Updated Monday, 11th December 2017, 6:30 pm

There appear to be a number of what I would term ‘minor inaccuracies’ in their letter.

Firstly, he/she implies that the editor would give precedence to letters from members of staff or correspondents ‘on the Advertiser books’. As a former journalist, I take exception to this slur upon the integrity of the editor.

Yes, I am a Berwick man, born in Coxton’s Lane, raised within the town walls (within the sound of the Guildhall/Town Hall curfew bell at 8pm each evening), and, apart from a short period of service in the Royal Navy, have lived and worked in the town all my life.

I am now in my mid-70s so I believe that I can describe myself as a Berwicker.

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In my youth, at the tender age of 16, I worked for a short period as a trainee photographer with the Advertiser, but have had no connection with the newspaper for over 50 years.

Being a born and bred Berwicker, I have a great affection for my birthplace and its inhabitants. To the best of my knowledge, such an affection does not constitute a crime under any Act of Parliament.

After my period of naval service, I worked as a freelance reporter for both national and provincial newspapers, as well as being a private investigator for a former City of Newcastle police officer.

In journalism, it is impressed upon you to verify your facts and in private investigation work corroboration is always necessary. It would appear that your correspondent has neglected to do this, instead basing his/her contribution upon the frequency of appearance of my name within your columns.

I did note that the contribution was based upon two visits to the town, with the place of residence being given as Widdrington.

A reasonable conclusion would be that public transport or a car had been used for these trips.

It has to be assumed that the time spent in the town was of short duration and, therefore, not of sufficient length to form a ‘warts and all’ impression of what life in the town is like.

It would appear that your correspondent does not subscribe to democracy and the right to express one’s views verbally or in print, unless one’s views correspond to those held by the said correspondent and their immediate circle of acquaintances.

Eric Allen

Tweed Street

Berwick-upon-Tweed