Letters to the editor: “We need facilities not groceries.”

MCBT Letters to the editor
MCBT Letters to the editor

Lepers? No, it’s ‘person affected by leprosy’

Dr Andrew Markus,


I HAVE lived in Thame for some 50 years and have been much involved in its evolution as the pleasant busy market town it is, by having been a GP here for all my working life and having also been an elected member of Thame Council for some 30 years.

There have been other major turning points in Thame’s past, for instance being given the choice, in the 60s, of growing fast like Bicester or Didcot and getting community facilities quickly, or growing more slowly and in my view more organically, as we did.

The cattle market is the last large site available for building in the town centre.

I can see why the cattle market owners wish to move out of the town centre, but that doesn’t mean that we should have another major supermarket on this site in their place.

The effect of this would, in my opinion, be very harmful to the smaller shops which already have one large and two smaller supermarkets (one Sainsbury’s) to contend with. What we need on that site is more community facilities – that on offer on the Sainsbury’s plan is hopelessly inadequate.

Miss M E Martin,

Address supplied

YOUR interesting article about the facts discovered during the restoration mentioned that the building was once used as a ‘leper house’.

The designations ‘leper house’ and ‘leper’ would have been common ones in the past centuries and the term ‘leper’ is still used today, regrettably.

May I point out that the term was banned by the World Health Organisation many years ago, because of the stigma unjustly attached to the disease.

Suitable substitutes are ‘leprosy sufferer’ or ‘person affected by leprosy’.

Leprosy is not easy to catch, and can be cured by multidrug therapy in six months to two years.

Leprosy care organisations such as The Leprosy Mission all work for the cure and rehabilitation of leprosy sufferers and public health education about the disease.

They aim to eliminate stigma and fear of the disease, and restore sufferers’ dignity.

I enclose further information about this disease and the excellent work being done to heal and – hopefully – eradicate it.