YEP Letters: March 4

Check out today's YEP letters

Phones menace to road safety

DS Boyes, Leeds

Isn’t it time for positive action by the government to halt the carnage on our roads caused by the distraction of mobile phones?

The suggestions of our wishy-washy transport secretary simply don’t go far enough. Use of a mobile phone while driving should be like drink driving, an automatic ban for three months for first offence, increasing on subsequent ones.

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Once lauded as a useful business tool, these phones are a menace to road safety, whether hand held or hands free. Making or receiving calls or texts while at the wheel should be outlawed with drivers having to pull over at the first safe place to stop before dealing with them.

Voicemail would store up any outstanding ones. Things are so out of hand, only a short sharp shock as I suggest will make any difference.

New owners for one of city’s landmarks

A landmark Leeds building which dates back to the 19th century has been bought by a developer as part of plans to rejuvenate a key city centre area. Rushbond bought the grade one listed Corn Exchange for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition follows its purchase of the First White Cloth Hall in Kirkgate which is near the Corn Exchange.Here is how our readers have been reacting to the news on Facebook..

Kevin Moyles

If you have never been in here then hurry up and do so, before the developers suck all the charm out of it and change things and cover things up with plastic and clad in tin. It’s what “developers” do best. Sit down and have a coffee and marvel at Cuthbert’s second best building in Leeds before it’s changed beyond recognition.

Jason Bancroft

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Let’s hope they don’t ruin it by turning it into offices like the majestic building.I love the fact we use it for independent trade so the people of Leeds get to use this iconic building of ours every day.

Tracey Payne

Let’s hope they encourage more independent traders and not push them out and turn it into more bars and restaurants.

Rich Knight

They won’t be able to do very much I imagine because it’s listed, so they will have to make every effort to preserve it.

Trish Packham

lovely building to browse and have lunch. Let’s hope the new owners remember its importance to Leeds.

Maureen Kershaw

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Last time this building was changed (into restaurants, upmarket food shops etc) it failed miserably. Much better when it turned back to original format of independent retailers. Do hope those businesses will be safe.

Horace Sebece

Let’s hope this fantastic bit of architecture doesn’t end up hidden in mass apartments.

Aiden Fryer

Make it into a event space? Have chairs around the top and use it as musical theatre could have orchestra performances choir of the year competition or something classical. Be perfect for Leeds 2023.

Referendum vote was advisory only

John Cole, Shipley.

I AM tired of the intellectual dishonesty of the Brexit Brigade who repeatedly assert that “the country voted clearly to leave the EU”.

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To remind readers, the vote was 52-48 per cent – more a case of very fine margins rather than a substantial majority.

Moreover, the electorate excluded 16 and 17-year-olds, EU nationals working in the UK and paying tax here and ex-pats. All three of these categories were allowed a vote in the Scottish independence referendum, but not on June 23 last year. Why the inconsistency? The numbers excluded exceeded the size of the “Leave” winning margin.

Finally, the referendum was clearly marked by Parliament as being advisory only, meaning the Government did not have to pick up and run with the result.

Mental health help for men

Jaimes Lewis Moran, Seacroft

I once attended a radio show on the subject of health with a local men’s group organisation.

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We found that there’s a misplaced belief and pressure for guys to have everything in their lives completely sorted by the time they’re 24. Things such as having a house and established families, and that if you hadn’t by then you were considered a failure to yourself and society. However, the reality is that this is happening quite a lot, and it leads to poor mental health in males. It doesn’t help that the figures for male suicides are increasing either. Thankfully though, there’s efforts being made to stop this from men’s groups across Leeds. This is something we as a society should support, because everyone will struggle sometime in their ife, yet at least they’re not alone.

Fees killing live theatre

Hilary Andrews, Leeds

SO glad to hear that the Birmingham Theatre Group is refusing to put on productions at the Grand in Leeds because of the outrageous booking fees for school parties. I love opera but have given up going to see Opera North because of the ticket charges and the indignity of the booking fee – even when I’m booking in person. I can see three productions from the Royal Opera House on screen for the price of a half decent seat at the Grand. Sad.

Work together for NHS

Brian Taylor, Leeds

PERHAPS if our politicians and leaders began to use the crystal ball they already have – let’s call it common sense or thinking things through – things might change.

Politicians of all colours would say that maintaining and improving the NHS is a priority.

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If this is so, then working together in a less adversarial manner would achieve a better outcome. Perhaps I am asking too much? I will have to check by gazing into my crystal ball.

Remembering city’s jazz scene

Dave Lewis, Leeds

I read with interest the article on the Hut River Province which declared itself apart from Australia.

In the 60s I was the trombonist with the White Eagles Jazz band in Leeds.

One day I went to The Hussars to hear Ed O’Donnell’s band and as I entered I saw a small, portly man in an old type sports jacket leaping from table to table in time to the music while a lady (presumably landlady) tried to catch him to great cheers. He finally fell in a great heap.

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This was Frank Pash, who became a well loved eccentric on the then vibrant Leeds jazz scene. he styled himself the roving ambassador of the Hut River Province and declared The Coburg pub as the unofficial Hut River embassy.

Al Potts, a fine clarinetist was the landlord and he was honoured by Frank Pash with some Hut River position.

Frank was a wild man, always in some caper or other, well loved, a real character. Ah, happy days.

Chance to join Association

David Griggs, membership secretary, British Element Trieste Force Association

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Thanks to newspaper editors up and down the country the British Element Trieste Force Association has recruited 40 new members over the past 21 months.

This Association was formed in 2002 for those ex-servicemen who served in the Free Territory of Trieste from 1945 and 1954. In addition to the veterans, average age 86, we welcome family members as associates, some of whom spent time in Trieste as children.

Photographs and memories are published in a quarterly magazine and further information is available on the association website. Regional meetings are held in various parts of the country. The 2017 annual reunion will be in Cardiff from March 17-19. If you are interested in joining contact me by phone on 01665 589289,by email [email protected] or write to Suilven, Ellingham. Chathill. Northumberland NE67 5HA