Our neighbour Les was salt of the earth | Letters

Letters
Houses on residential streets in London. ‘The anonymity of big cities like London can be difficult for young and old alike,’ writes Mal Shepherd. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Carol Birch’s article (The cruelty of a me-first age that makes the lonely invisible, 27 March) struck a chord in the days after our neighbour and helpful pensioner, Les Rhodes, was hit by the car on Westminster Bridge and subsequently died. His life was a busy one, still working well into his 70s, though his cleaning jobs at places like Chartwell were well in the past. The anonymity of big cities like London can be difficult for young and old alike. Opportunities to engage with other people are there, but sometimes not too obvious for some. The simple act of greeting and “passing the time of day” is to be encouraged. Les would often be willing to do that and as such, had the common touch. Clapham omnibus man for certain.
Mal Shepherd
London

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