This is the page for you - the Members, to contribute to this website.
Would you like to share a life story? Maybe you spent time in the services or have a precious memory to share - a family recipe, old photographs of places or people.
Do you have any tips or advice, poems or jokes to share?
Whatever it is please contact Helen Cowlyn at Gateshead Older People's Assembly.
A letter from Mr Henry S Rawlinson
Gateshead Lord Mayor
At the moment the Lord Mayor is appointed from sitting LABOUR COUNCILLORS in rotation so each knows when it was or will be his or her turn. Thus there has never been any other than a LABOUR COUNCILLOR as Lord Mayor for many years. CHECK UP AND SEE.
Surely it is time that the Lord Mayor was democratically elected in a public vote as are our councillors – LABOUR OR LIB DEM.
With such an election you the reader could put up and may even be elected!!
And of course a good LABOUR MAYOR could even serve for a second or third term!!!
Yours sincerely Henry S Rawlinson
Voice North - Driving Trial
Some weeks ago I received an e-mail stating that they were looking for 20 participants to take part in a driving trial in order to gain a better understanding of the older drivers stress levels under various driving conditions so I applied and was accepted.
On Monday 11th September I made my way to Nissan's Sunderland Plant. I never realised that this plant covered such a vast area! Here I would be driving a Peugeot Ion electric car, first on the Nissan test track and then, using sat-nav, driving a predefined route of about 10 miles round the Sunderland and Washington areas. The test vehicle was fitted with CCTV cameras and I was fitted with a belt around my chest in order to monitor my reactions.
The Peugeot Ion cannot be described as an attractive looking car, unlike its rival the Nissan Leaf which does look like a proper car but sadly was not included in this trial. The Peugeot Ion is higher than normal, to accommodate the batteries, and prone to the effects of side winds - and this was a very windy day! It has a very small boot but the passenger space was reasonable. Other than strangely the lack of a mileometer the instruments were very clear. The automatic gearbox was simply Park, Reverse, Neutral and Drive. Acceleration was smooth and very fast up to 70 m.p.h. but its top speed was only 83 m.p.h. (on the test track). Steering was excellent and it was the most maneuverable car that I have ever driven.
After some time racing round the test track it was time to drive on public roads taking my directions from a sat-nav., I had never used one before but this was clearly explained. Having managed to get lost in Washington several times in the past I was willing to give this gadget a go. I am now a convert to satellite navigation, now I know how to use it.
I enjoyed my drive around the Sunderland area. The only problem was encountering "sleeping policemen" - the last vehicle I drove with such poor suspension was a "bogie"!
Would I buy an electric car based on this road trial? Sadly NO. The maximum range of this model was only 80 miles which is decreased by 10 miles if you switch the blower on and further still if you use the lights, radio & heater. This is again decreased during the lifetime of the battery. Whilst it is a good car for driving short distances and very easy to park it is certainly not my dream car.
The University Researchers were very friendly and helpful; I enjoyed the trial, learnt how to use a sat-nav and got £20 in vouchers for around 2 hours work.
Contributed by George Law
Joke of the Month
At the Assembly AGM a dedicated Committee Member was encouraging people to buy raffle tickets for a good cause, announcing "Pound a Strip, Pound a Strip". One of the attendees with his back to the lady misunderstood her intention's, he remarked "Well I know someone who would do it for far less".
Contributed by Bob Lewer