YEP Letters: July 10

Leeds United.  John Charles. LU11
Leeds United. John Charles. LU11
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Check out today’s YEP letters

Time for a statue of John Charles

Graham Hawkridge, Woodlesford

While I fully agree with the creation of Bremner Square at Elland Road and the moving of the Don Revie statue to be alongside Billy, what I cannot understand is why there has not been a statue of the greatest football player ever from the British Isles - John Charles, the Gentle Giant.

There has never been another player to come up to his shoulders, he was a tremendous centre half and later became a brilliant striker. He could also carry off Sixteen Ton in good voice! A few years ago a gentleman put on an exhibition of John Charles memorabilia, it would be interesting to learn what happened to this collection - so why not a statue at Elland Road of The Gentle Giant (King John)?

Memories of the early days of the NHS in Leeds

Dr Martin Berger, by email

On July 5 1948 I was a second year medical student soon to be a clinical student able to visit wards, attend outpatients and casualties.

I remember there was a woman in surgical outpatients a little overweight who was hoping to acquire a corset as this was still fashionable for middle aged women. She was unsuccessful.

One evening I was on duty in casualty hoping to get some suturing practice but there were hardly any patients there.

There was no casualty department at St James nor outpatients as this was carried out at the Public Dispensary in North Street.

The casualty department at the dispensary was popular as waiting times were short usually. There was no A and E in the early years. Patients requiring admission just needed a phone call at the time.

When I qualified in 1952 my first appointment was in the geriatric department which was housed in what is now The Thackray Museum and adjacent building. It was there that I met my wife to be. She was a social worker there known as Lady Almoner at that time. After a year I did my National Service for two years and then it was time to enter general practice.

There was no retirement age for GPs at that time and they knew that if they were still in practice in 1958 they would qualify for a NHS pension. It meant that it was extremely difficult for a young doctor to find an opening in general practice at the time.

After a few months working as an assistant in Bradford I found a new house in an appropriate area, put a plate up and started a new practice from scratch in 1956. My wife became my receptionist, my secretary and my nurse. I retired after 42 years.

Turning city into a ghost town

Phillip Bell, by email

I read with interest that the powers that be at the Leeds City Council are deliberating over an additional railway station at the White Rose Shopping Centre.

I presume that the people working in retail within the Leeds city centre can’t wait for this new addition as the council seem intent in trying to turn our city centre into a ghost town.

Having vastly reduced the car parking spaces in the city centre over recent years; increased fees for evening and Sunday parking; additional costs likely to be incurred with the emissions scaremongering that is forever being talked about; closing the main routes into the centre on a regular basis, which seems like every other weekend; and don’t get me talking about the ‘white elephant’ which is the cycle super highway.

Keep up the good work Leeds City Council - not!

Do something about city centre grime

D Leek, Leeds 17

The pavements all over Leeds city centre are blackened with grime, dried-on liquid which drips from the bags the workmen remove from the litter bins, and thousands of bits of chewing gum. And don’t mention the litter being dropped all day.

Someone who had just got back from Nottingham told me yesterday that the pavements there are hosed down nearly every night.

I understand they do this in parts of London too. I know it hasn’t rained for a month but this is no excuse. If it’s a mess for Leeds people to look at every day, whatever must visitors think! Could the council please do something about it?

Thank you for helping wildlife

Annette Pyrah,The Wildlife Orphanage, Barlby.

On behalf of all the wildlife orphans in our rescue, I would like to say a huge thank you to the YEP and all the kind hearted readers who donated food following our appeal. This is a small, home based rescue which cares for hundreds of very young creatures each year, so donations are very much needed and appreciated. This spring and summer has proved to be our busiest yet as the prolonged heatwave is seriously affecting many young animals and birds.

Calls are coming in daily about house martin nests falling to the ground as the mud which binds their nests to walls is baked dry and crumbles. Baby blackbirds, owls and hedgehogs have arrived totally dehydrated along with many other emaciated little creatures. Thank you so much for helping us to help these vulnerable young orphans. It means such a lot to us.

If you would like to find out more about our work, please visit our website, which offers more advice and useful phone numbers.

Thanks to ambulance staff

Mrs N Stephenson, East Ardsley

I WOULD like to thank two brilliant and caring ambulance staff. Their names are Ash and Claire from Churwell Station (Morley).

I had a severe fall on May 22 and the above-mentioned arrived and made me feel I was in good hands and transported me to Pinderfields General Hospital. I could not have an operation that day but to my amazement waiting for surgery (on my hip and wrist) two smiling faces appeared at my bedside; it was Ash and Claire.

If I had been Her Majesty, I couldn’t have had more kindness and attention.Also I would like to mention how well I was looked after in Pinderfields General Hospital – even the excellent gluten-free foods as I am a coeliac. So thanks to all our ambulance staff who thoroughly deserve it.

No need to take our green space

Coun Mark Dobson, Leader, Garforth & Swillington Independents Party, Garforth & Swillington Ward

Regarding the public inquiry this week on the Site Allocation Process for housing in Leeds and the, way overdue, selective review of the Core Strategy that will re-set our housing number requirements, here’s some interesting facts that will hopefully inform the debate.

It’s not easy reading with our precious green space, the thing that makes Leeds a unique city of satellite towns and villages, at real risk of being built over should the Labour council’s plans be progressed unchallenged.

As of 1 April 2017, 20,774 units had planning permission and, of these, 14,675 had detailed planning permission. Considering that 2,021 units are under construction, this left 12,654 units with detailed planning permission that had not yet started.

So, with 12,654 units not even started why do the Labour council want to sacrifice green land in our communities and why are developers straight on to the more lucrative brownfield sites (such as the former Stocks site in our ward) within days of the ink being dry on the permission being granted?

Let me tell you. Money. There is simply no need to steal our precious green space, the city lungs if you like, while developers land bank elsewhere where housing and regeneration are desperately needed.

Let’s hope we can unpick this mess over the coming weeks or what makes Leeds great will be lost forever. And for what? A few quid!

“Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?”- Johnny Rotten (1977).

School reunion next month

Cath Holmes, by email

On August 25 we are holding a reunion for pupils who went to Margaret Clitherow and Cardinal Hinsley Grammar Schools at Westgate Hill, Tong, Bradford. It is for those of us who took their O Levels in 1975 and 1976, and A Levels in 1977 and 1978. It will be great to see as many old pupils - and staff - who trekked across West Yorkshire and up that very long drive to attend the schools!

We have ex-pupils travelling from USA, London, Liverpool, Dorset, Bradford, Halifax, Brighouse, Mirfield, Kirklees and Boston Spa.

Please confirm if you are attending to with your name (and maiden name if using a married name).

It is on Saturday August 25, from 4pm at The Establishment, 81-83 Westgate, Wakefield WF1 1EP. It is near to Wakefield Westgate Railway station. There are pay and display car parks nearby.

Can parents tell their off-spring ex-pupils who may now live out of the area?

Those on social media, will you please share this letter with your school contacts and pals?

It would be great to see as many former pupils as possible.

Get in touch

The YEP wants to hear your views. Please send your letters to Please keep letters under 300 words.