In praise of youth

SIR - Hear, hear Mr. Gingell. In reply to your letter. On the Thursday night in question, my husband and I enjoyed listening to the music of a local band at Dukes. The ‘yellow shirt brigade’ were there, enjoying themselves and having a bit of ‘harmless fun’. Weren’t we all young once?

I am a very proud parent of two children, both educated at Sidmouth College under the leadership of David Birch.

My 24 year old son, David - a carpenter - has recently been made redundant from a local firm, who put him through his apprenticeship for which he was ‘Apprentice of the Year’. He was with them for eight years, with two days off sick in March. Is he out rioting and looting? NO. Has he got a house? NO - he has made three offers on rundown local properties and been ‘outbid’. Instead, he has gone self-employed and works hard, with a busy schedule for the next couple of months. As one of his customers said this week, he is “the most conscientious tradesperson they have ever employed”.

My 22 year old daughter, Laura, has recently graduated with a BSc and a debt of �20,000. She is currently working at Sidmouth Tandoori to earn some money to enable her to do an internship in Prague, she was one of 12 selected out of 30 interviewed.

I feel that while ‘helping’ less fortunate youngsters, we should also be rewarding others for what they have achieved. It is about time that people in the Sid Valley recognised the wealth of talent living and working here. We should be supporting them and doing our utmost to encourage them to stay in the area.


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We could start by rewarding their contributions to society, perhaps the Sidmouth Herald could take the first step, maybe some ‘special features’ on these young people who have learnt a trade, gained qualifications and/or worked in the area.

Even though I am the wrong side of 50, I am looking forward to seeing the ‘Yellow Brigade’ in and around Sidmouth enjoying life! (If I’m lucky, they might even ask me to join in)

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Lesley Clapp

via email.

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