I write in response to a letter you published last week entitled ‘A good walk spoiled’ from a tourist staying in Detchant recently.
I wish to add a voice of rational reason to the paper as an antidote to the sensationalised and skewed version of reality presented by the writer of that letter.
My daily experiences of that road are at such odds with the account given in the paper this week that I have been compelled to write.
They use words such as ‘common occurrence’ and ‘many feel.. .’ but as they were only here for a holiday visit I wonder how they can possibly know this?
I, for one, as a local resident find little recognisable in their account and feel that it is only fair the record is set straight for the benefit of Bedmax, its employees and those of us who live in the vicinity who have no axes to grind.
As a local resident, I walk alongside the road mentioned almost daily when exercising my dog and drive along the road, through Detchant, on my way to and from work every day.
The road to Greymare, described by the letter as a pot-holed speedway, is anything but.
The traffic on the road is incredibly light in terms of volume and many days I walk along a significant stretch of it without even hearing, let alone being passed by, any vehicles.
There are certainly wagons that transport materials to and from the Bedmax factory, but I have never witnessed them being driven at anything above the 20mph limit indicated by the signs on the roadside and the drivers are always courteous and mindful of pedestrians and other traffic when I have been passed by them.
Indeed, when walking along the road in the summer with my young nieces we were only ever passed by two wagons and, on both occasions, they slowed to a crawl to pass us and gave us plenty of time and room to stand safely on the grassy verge.
In addition to the dis-service directed towards the wagon traffic and drivers by the previous letter, I must also note that the ‘drone’, ‘billowing smoke’ and ‘smell’ attributed to the Bedmax factory itself is in complete contrast to my own impression of the factory and its impact on the surroundings.
As a resident walking outside here every day, the loudest sound I can attribute to the factory is a low buzz that is hardly irritating or loud in comparison to the A1 traffic.
The narrow plume of clean, white smoke has barely any impact on the views which are stunning regardless of smoke and as for the smell, I can honestly say I have never noticed one at all and especially not when compared with the aromas of farm life that accompany residing in such a beautiful rural location.
As the original letter mentioned, Bedmax is a business which creates employment for local people and brings money into the local community.
In a rural area such as ours it is essential that we have employers like Bedmax who can give young people work and encourage them to stay in the area.
Without businesses like them there we will lose even more working-age individuals and families to the cities and towns and the communities of Detchant and Belford will be all the poorer for that.
In an economic climate as unstable as the one we have been enduring recently I believe successful businesses such as Bedmax should be applauded and encouraged to continue thriving in rural Northumberland.
I feel it would be a sad day indeed if the views of a minority be allowed to disrupt the livelihood and ambitions of the majority.
Name and address supplied