Sir: When I was at school in the early 1940s the local sewage works was near one of the school playing fields. I well remember not only the abundant tomato plants (letters, 26 February, 1 March) but also the tomatoes! Some of them found their way into the kitchens of the local council employees. I believe they were considered wartime "perks".
Sir: Lily Turner (letter, 3 March) wonders how the mother of a sick child would cope with the NHS Direct telephone advice service. The correct course of action for a mother with a very sick child is to bring the child to the surgery where he or she can be promptly and properly examined, rather than wait for a home visit. Hopefully any kind of nurse triage system would offer this safe and sensible advice.
Dr J MENAGE
Sir: David Aaronovitch may have jumped to an unwarranted conclusion when he reacted so strongly to the notion of changing his name (Comment, 2 March). How many times has he been irritated by misspelt versions?
I recently telephoned an office to speak with a Mr Nakonieczny, but got through first to his colleague. "By the way," I asked, "how do you pronounce his name?"
"I've no idea," came the reply. "We call him Steven."