Churches are much-loved
Regarding last week’s story ‘Churches could be sold to meet redress’, the populations of these small towns worked tirelessly to build these churches to worship. Why should they be sold off to pay for the horrendous crimes committed by paedophiles? They sinned against their flock, and the parishioners are expected to pay for it.
These rich institutions have investment properties, so sell some of those, or open your coffers. These buildings are much loved.
Eve Witherspoon, Kurri Kurri
Another use for straws
A recent report in the media suggested that the common plastic straw is to be replaced by a more environmentally-friendly paper straw. This particular item caused me to recall a distant period in our local history.
The Aberdare Picture Palace was an immensely popular venue. The building was constructed almost entirely of corrugated galvanized iron, meaning that patrons had to endure the sizzling heat of the summer months or the freezing cold of winter.
To alleviate this problem, the theatre owners decided to insulate the entire building. This was achieved by first of all installing a large log fire on each side of the interior of the theatre. These fires were attended by the doorman who would regularly put another log on the fire and stoke it up. The smoke that permeated throughout the building was accepted as a necessary inconvenience in order to keep warm.
In an effort to keep the heat in and the warmth of summer out, the building was clad internally with a revolutionary new product that consisted entirely of compacted paper drinking straws, thousands and thousands of them compressed together into slabs about seven centimetres thick.
Just how successful this method of insulation was is lost in the pages of time, but to my knowledge there was never anyone who complained, for the population in those days were a hardy bunch who had more to worry about with the depression and the war that involved them daily, than whether their picture theatre was air conditioned or not.
Phil Baird, Cessnock
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