YEP Letters: November 25

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Theatre proves what a bold council can do

Coun Peter Gruen, Leeds Civic Hall

Is it really 10 years since the launch of the Carriageworks Theatre?

Neil Hudson rightly reflects on some of the great experiences so many people have enjoyed at this theatre in the heart of our city.

As he says it was conceived out of the changes creating the City Museum and displacing some very important arts groups.

His story however also reminds me of the intense and difficult discussions within the council and our partners at the time.

This was not an easy or straightforward decision and needed real civic vision to bring together the physical, financial and artistic elements as well as courageous leadership when there were many different opinions, both about the theatre and Millenium Square itself.

I’d like to thank former councillor Elizabeth Minkin, who was central to these initiatives and like all good changes, the vision has prospered so that people think it has always been there.

So let’s not forget the difference a bold, forward-looking and democratic council can make and that investment in our cultural heritage pays dividends in the participation, enjoyment and education of both young and old.

Bickering may delay decision

Lionel Pyrah, by email

With regard to the issue of a mayor for the so-called ‘Greater’ Yorkshire region, may I respectfully suggest that the idea is consigned to the dustbin.

We are all well aware of the Yorkshire brand and our glorious county will continue to flourish far beyond any Westminster scheme but to convert it into some kind of overlarge ‘super city’ would surely be folly on a grand 
scale.

No doubt the new administrative centre would be located in York and, therefore, away from the influence of the West Yorkshire conurbation and the mayor would need nerves of steel, too.

In addition, we have recently learnt that Manchester, Birmingham and Sheffield have agreed to embrace the concept of city regions for each of their immediate areas.

I firmly believe this to be the correct course of action and a step in the right direction towards the establishment of the much-needed Northern Powerhouse.

However, I am even more in favour of Leeds and its near-neighbours doing exactly the same because if they were to miss the opportunity this time around, it could be argued that such an event, as now presented, may never occur again, or at least not for a generation.

At the moment, it would seem there is also considerable political infighting between some White Rose councils –especially those who reside in the ‘Greater’ Yorkshire camp.

But constant bickering and dithering ultimately may only serve to delay one of the most important decisions West Yorkshire in general, and Leeds in particular, has ever had to make, possibly resulting in Leeds becoming a bit-part player in a future local authority area no-one wants.

Stories shaped my whole life

Ernest Lundy, by email

I found much to admire on a subject raised on BBC radio Leeds recently, in which listeners were requested to reveal books they read as young children or as teenagers in their formative years.

In those days of course there was no TV, few homes had a radio and apart from the cinema there was little other than newspapers, book and comics to reveal the world outside.

But how lucky were those of us with a library nearby, who took the opportunity to read. What a magical world it was, even in wartime, to sit by the fire and take-off to wondrous places, meeting characters who became our heroes.

Men and woman performing deeds in faraway places in dignity and honour; with love between men and women mentioned only in ways suited to our tender years.

If we were lucky of course we had the Dandy, Beano, Wizard and other periodicals. I remember having to borrow those from the son of a neighbour, as in wartime they were in short supply. But to mention just a few.

Other authors’ stories related to different times, places and events. Enough to increase my desire to read more and of course to travel.

Which, may I say, resulted in my joining the merchant navy at the ripe old age of 16. A never to be forgotten experience.

Yes! I read; and I am eternally grateful that I did.

I hope it made me a better and more understanding human being!

Searching for soldier’s family

Jane Burrows, York

I am looking for relatives of Private Alfred Upton, army number 305496 who was killed on July 25 1917 and is buried at Mont Huon Military Cemetery, Le Treport, France.

Alfred belonged to the West Yorks Regiment ( Prince of Wales Own ) and was the son of Mr and Mrs Upton of 24 Viceroy Street, York Road, Leeds when he was killed.

Alfred is buried alongside my relative, Fred Maskill and I believe they were both killed in the same gas attack, Fred dying at the nearby military cemetery.

I am willing to share the information I have and would love to see a photo of the platoon or one of Private Upton.

I can be contacted at 17 Oakland Avenue, Stockton Lane, Heworth, York, YO3 1BY.

Please help to support a family

Hugo Taylor, Made in Chelsea star

Christmas can be a wonderful time of year for parties, celebrations and making wonderful memories with friends and family, but in the midst of this thousands of families will be spending this festive season either in hospital or at home caring for their seriously ill child.

Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity will be supporting families across the country over the Christmas period, ensuring they get the support they need to help make life just that little bit easier.

I am a proud supporter of this incredible, caring charity and I urge your readers to help this Christmas by making a donation to fund more Family Support Worker time with families this Christmas. To make a donation visit www.rainbowtrust.org.uk/donate, call 01372 363438 or text Rainbow to 70111.

YEP Letters: June 27