Recorder letters: MSG Sphere, Forest Gate lightening strike, get physical for refugees and coping with diabetes

PUBLISHED: 08:30 11 August 2019

The proposed MSG Sphere. Picture: MSG

The proposed MSG Sphere. Picture: MSG


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

Sphere plan will not boost the Olympic legacy

David Donoghue, Whitechapel, full address supplied, writes:

The letter from representatives of Newham College, University of East London and Newham Chamber of Commerce show a callous indifference to the Olympic legacy promises and to the fate of thousands of Newham residents if the Sphere, taller than Big Ben, wider than the Millennium Dome, were ever to be built on the proposed site in the middle of a dense residential area (Recorder).

Those promises included in large part the vital need for affordable housing in the Olympic borough of Newham. We have already lost large parts of the Olympic Park to huge single occupier users. That commitment by the LLDC has failed.

Of course a large project like the Sphere will produce jobs. So would a nuclear power station or a prison. Those jobs will exist whether the Sphere is located in west, north, south or further east in London. People travel to work just as they travel to Newham College and the university.

Research shows that where large scale single operators like the Sphere move in, existing small local businesses are forced to move out or go bust due to increased rents, rates and competition from large corporations.

The above issues together with the devastating effect on local transport and health are not what so many of us who worked on the Olympics legacy were aiming for.

The legacy has failed.

Church lost tiles in storm

Bob Rush, Monega Residents' Association, writes:

A huge flash of lightning hit a Forest Gate church last Thursday.

A Monega Residents' Association neighbour witnessed the strike, explaining that "at about six in the evening there was a terrifying crack, and I happened to be looking in the direction of the church at the time. A brilliant blue fork shot down from the dark sky and turned red as it hit the roof. It then went onto the tiles of Wakeling Court, next door, before throwing a rain of sparkling arrows across the forecourt of the Alnuur Cafe on the corner of Halley Road' said Shiraz Tohid. Thank God nobody was sitting outside at the time."

St Edmund's Church on Katherine Road lost nearly 20 ridge tiles in the strike.

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Supporting the vulnerable

Janine Thomas, refugee services manager, British Red Cross, writes:

Would you get involved in a physical challenge if you knew it would help some of the most vulnerable people in the UK?

Here at the British Red Cross we believe that every refugee matters. That's why we are asking everyone to get active and take part in Miles for Refugees, our brand new fundraising challenge that will help refugees and people seeking asylum in the UK to get the support they need to rebuild their lives.

People make desperate journeys because they are truly desperate. Miles for Refugees allows you to pick the distance of one of these journeys and cover the miles during the month of September.

Cycle the distance of Damascus to Athens (1,000 miles), run the distance between Calais and London (108 miles) or select another one of the journeys you'd like to complete, either individually, or part of a team.

Whether you choose to walk, run, cycle or swim, the money you raise will help the British Red Cross to ensure that all refugees are made to feel welcome in their communities and are given the support they need to rebuild their lives in safety.

Learn more and sign up at

How to cope with diabetes

Jenny Hirst, co-chairwoman, InDependent Diabetes Trust (IDDT), writes:

There is no doubt many of your readers will have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.

Unfortunately we have found that many people with diabetes feel they do not have enough information to help them with their diabetes

With this in mind, the IDDT offers free booklets including, Understanding Your Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes - Management and Medication. They provide information in non-medical language to help people understand their treatment, improve their health and to make life easier.

We also have a free booklet Diabetes - Everyday Eating which contains 28 days of menus of everyday, affordable meals, and much more.

All our booklets are free of charge.

To find out more contact IDDT, call 01604 622837 or email:

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