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H.M.S Seaham was a minesweeper built in 1942 following a fund raising effort by the community of Seaham. As part of the war effort communities were able to raise funds to buy their own warship for the Royal Navy.
Under Captain Robert Brett, H.M.S Seaham served with distinction, clearing mines from the channel for the invasion fleet, and capturing the Italian submarine, Bronzo, off Syracuse, Sicily. In December 1943, H.M.S Seaham sailed through the Bay of Biscay and rescued 62 survivors from the German blockade ship Alsterufer, which had been sunk by the Royal Air Force.
Following the war, H.M.S Seaham served as part of the Fisheries Protection Flotilla, until she was sold to Burma in 1947. H.M.S Seaham was sunk in 1948 by an uncharted Japanese mine.
Speaking at the unveiling of the memorial Grahame Morris said:
“I am immensely proud and honoured to be asked to unveil the memorial to H.M.S Seaham.
Seaham as well as the wider community have a close affinity to our Armed Forces. Historically our region has been a major recruiting area, which can be seen through the ways in which we honour and commemorate those who have served, from the restoration of the war memorial, to the pride we take in Tommy; the tribute at Seaham High School and now the memorial to H.M.S Seaham.
The history of H.M.S Seaham is fascinating and I must thank Dave McKenna and the Remember Them Fund for all their time, effort and research which has made this memorial possible.”
Easington’s Labour Parliamentary Candidate Grahame Morris helped launch a new weight awareness campaign devised by Dogs Trust in partnership with Durham County Council and Durham NHS. The launch of Woof, Waggle and Waistline, at Seaham Leisure Centre in County Durham, will be the first of many community events aimed at improving the lives and welfare of overweight dogs and their owners, across the North of England.
Woof, Waggle and Waistline aims to help thousands of dogs in the North of England due to a growing trend in canine obesity hitting the region. Statistics gathered by Dogs Trust’s campaigns team in the North of England show that almost half of the 12,607 dogs who attended their community events in 2016 were overweight, while the NHS tells us that 2 in 3 adults are considered overweight.
Dog owners who attended the launch were provided with important information on supporting the health and wellbeing of their dog, including how to ensure they maintain a healthy weight. Owners of dogs identified as being overweight were given a free pack which included a comprehensive information booklet with lots of useful dietary advice.
The Durham Council Walk4Life and Wellbeing for Life team also attended the launch to highlight the benefits of regular exercise and how having a pet dog can help you get fitter. The Wellbeing for Life team also offered blood pressure checks to any dog owners who were interested in receiving them.
Labour Parliamentary Candidate Grahame Morris said:
“Woof, Waggle and Waistline is a great initiative which will ensure more dog owners are aware of the importance of responsible dog ownership and how putting Dogs Trust’s advice and resources into practice can be a very rewarding experience for them.
“Obesity remains a huge problem across the UK for many families, including their dogs, so it is encouraging to see creative solutions being rolled out which can tackle this in a way that brings families and their pets closer together.”
Denise Kelly, Campaigns Manager for Dogs Trust North of England, said:
“We are very grateful that Grahame could come along and support the launch. We received some fantastic feedback from families who attended as they got to have fun whilst learning a lot about how we should be treating our family pets.
“We plan on holding a number of community events across the North of England throughout the year that offer informative advice to dog owners and potential dog owners alike on the fundamentals of owning a dog. This will include the importance of neutering your pet, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, the cost and time involved in owning a dog and resources on dog training and behaviour, as well as the legal requirement to have your dog microchipped.”
Dogs Trust will be holding regular community events across the North of England. For more information, please visit www.dogstrust.org.uk/ifwoofswerewords
In 2015, the RSPCA investigated 3253 complaints about animal cruelty in the county, with this number increasing to 3388 complaints last year. Calls to the RSPCA’s 24-hour cruelty line rose by nearly 4% last year, averaging one call every 27 seconds.
While saddening that such incidences of animal cruelty are continuing in Durham, this does not necessarily mean that residents are becoming crueller. Rather, people are now simply less willing to stand by and do nothing if they think an animal is suffering.
These latest statistics clearly show that animal cruelty remains a major issue in the UK. However, we take satisfaction in knowing that because of the RSPCA’s intervention, they have prevented many more animals from suffering at the hands of those they have investigated and brought before the courts.
The RSPCA has been investigating and prosecuting animal welfare offences since they were founded in 1824. Each year they investigate almost 150,000 complaints of alleged animal cruelty across England and Wales.