IN THE last few days Mark Arthur, the chief executive of the Yorkshire County Cricket Club, has gone to the press to appeal yet again to Yorkshire folk to support the Test at Headingley.
When one sees acres of empty seats it is a sad reflection on the club.
Apparently during the winter Mr Arthur, along with Martyn Moxon and Paul Farbrace, visited 50 clubs and leagues in Yorkshire to appeal for their support for the Test match.
What I would be interested to know is did Mr Arthur have any ‘firepower’?
Did he have the power, for example, to tell the members of these cricket clubs that if they booked in December they would receive a 33 per cent discount, or if they booked in January and February they would receive a 25 per cent discount?
If the crowds were down, which they have been, did he suggest that the gates should be opened at 4pm and a modest charge (subject obviously to the availability of seats) of £10 to £15 be levied?
If he did not go with any firepower then his efforts fell on stony ground, as has been made clear by the empty spaces.
The Yorkshire Board were advised by the members’ committee that the prices they set were too high for the North of England.
Forget London, the capital is a different situation financially and workwise. They were told and they did not listen.
But remember these are the people who built a pavilion without a balcony for the players, so what could we expect other than the farce we have witnessed?
Sadly this reflects on the biggest cricket club in the world – Yorkshire County Cricket Club.
Brian Fleming, Adel
Having attended two enjoyable days at the Test over the weekend, a greater attendance on the first day would have been welcome to the Headingley authorities.
What was not welcome, however, was the officious approach by the security staff who quite gleefully confiscated soft drinks containers from families and placed them into rubbish containers at the turnstile entrances.
If Headingley want more people to attend Test matches let there be greater customer friendliness.
At Lords, which I also attended for the earlier Test, moderate quantities of alcohol including cans of beer are admitted to the ground together with soft drinks.
If they in the South can treat customers as adults, why cannot Yorkshire County Cricket Club do the same?
Hiding behind an ICC ruling on such matters does not deter Lords, nor should it Headingley.
Michael Ridgway, Ilkley
Nationalise and invest in railway
As a retired railwayman of 50 years, I would like to respond to the letter from Kevin Wilson (YEP, June 21) regarding the nationalisation of the railways.
When the railway was denationalised in 1993 it was split into two parts.
A new company, Railtrack, was formed to take control of the infrastructure – in other words the track, stations and associated buildings.
The running of trains was split into various franchises and the result was that they were not allowed to own any assets.
Thus all the trains were rented from train holding companies.
The Thatcher and Major governments closed down all the train building companies, with the result that no trains have been built in this country since 1993.
Since then, new trains have been built outside the UK. The fleet which operates in the Aire Valley, for instance, was built in Spain to a German design.
The present diesel fleet was built in the 1980s. This is why there is a shortage of carriages.
Stephen Byers took Railtrack back into public ownership during the Blair government and renamed it Network Rail.
It would be the easiest thing in the world to renationalise the railways. All that would need to happen is to allow the current franchises to run their course and be taken back into Government ownership.
This would not cost a penny piece. It has already happened to East Coast Railways, which is run by the Government and made £209m profit last year for the taxpayer.
The only future for the railways is to be nationalised and invested in, particularly in terms of trains and carriages.
The only difficulty would be having to start from scratch with a workforce of engineers having been lost to other industries.
Margaret Thatcher saw to that, as well as putting paid to all the other heavy industries which Britain used to have.
Mel Smart, Farsley
Great afternoon at band concert
I would like to say thank you to the Friends of Cross Flatts Park and to our councillors for the lovely afternoon’s entertainment we enjoyed last Sunday at the first of this year’s Bands in the Park concerts.
The band, Alligator Gumbo, is made up of six highly talented young musicians, and their programme of toe-tapping New Orleans jazz was of a standard that we could have paid a lot of money to hear in any other venue.
There was a happy, friendly atmosphere among the audience of all ages and lovely refreshments were available in a very pleasant setting – all on our doorstep.
We look forward to attending future concerts.
Kath Smith, Beeston
Staff’s kindness after ATM loss
AFTER A senior moment, I walked away from the cash machine at Sainsbury’s Moor Allerton store and when I realised and went back, the money had been taken.
It was only £20 but being an pensioner it made a big difference to me and left me really upset.
The staff at Sainsbury’s were amazing and even made the money up for me when whoever took it handed in half of what they had taken.
Thank you so much to the sales and security staff at Sainsbury’s Moortown for their care and kindness.
J Pierce, Moortown
Flying the Union Jack at sea
Mr Nichols is appalled that the Royal Tulip Hotel where England stayed during the World Cup, was ‘flying the Union Jack upside down’ (YEP, June 20).
I am also absolutely appalled.
Somebody so observant failed to realise that the flag of the United Kingdom is only called the Union Jack when displayed at sea.
Christopher Barnes, Leeds
PM’s treatment of MP revealing
SO, DAVID Cameron refuses to remove the Government whip from his former vice chairman, the Conservative MP Michael Fabricant, for threatening to punch a female journalist in the throat and advocating her deportation, even though she has lived in this country for 42 years and paid taxes.
Is this what the PM means by ‘British values’?
John Appleyard, Liversedge
Not as many lamps on roads
THE REPLACEMENT lamps on the roads in Leeds mean that you see less of them, as they are obviously not being replaced in the same numbers.
In many cases where there were three lights now there are only two.
On Stanley Road, Leeds 9 there were 11 lamps but now it is down to nine and with them all on one side it is dark on the other side.
On Sutherland Terrace to Harehills Lane there is a 70 metre gap between lights when it used to be 44 metres.
AE Hague, Harehills