Letters August 30: City should go for light rail system

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Alan Haigh, Morley

Regarding the story ‘Park and ride group vows to fight plan,’ (YEP August 25), Stourton residents are quite right to complain about the proposed park and ride as it will not improve public transport.

Instead Leeds should go for a quality, modern light rail system as they have in every other large city.

Making the most of the city’s heritage

Val Smith, Leeds 29

2018 Heritage Day is fast approaching. All around Leeds people will be able to discover some of the city’s historical gems.

Make the most of this year’s Heritage Day because if speculative planners have their way, in future years, there will be fewer historically significant iconic building to look at in Leeds. They may well have been demolished or mutilated beyond recognition by speculative developers.

YEP August 24 edition gave us “an artist’s impression of the proposed development” of the northern civic quarter.

It showed part of the Art Gallery and the proposed hotel building across Calverley Street. One building a fine example of Victorian design, creativity and workmanship; the other a characterless, Lego-like block, a clone of most other new buildings around the city centre. No need to say which is which.

The next evening we had a photo of The Golden Lion at the corner of Swinegate and Lower Briggate.

Also sneaking into the picture on the left-hand edge we could see two more characterless, Lego-like blocks.

The interesting bit of the picture was the Golden Lion, designed by Thomas Ambler and built in 1879. It is “now a trendy cosmopolitan bar and hotel BUT the architectural splendour remains”.

The by-line drew attention to “the decorative arched ... symmetrical windows with keystones and Yorkshire Roses embedded... the roof windows and curved bricks.” It also has a Mansard roof, all of which is noteworthy and historically significant.

However, I can think of nothing noteworthy about the Lego-like buildings on the left. They are not peculiar or unique.

They look like scores of other blocks of flats or offices; dull, bland, uninteresting. They do not command a second look as does the Leonardo building and some of its neighbours.

Recently at great cost the “New” Victorian Quarter was developed in hope of attracting more people to the city.

Now there are proposals to “develop a northern civic quarter” by short-sightedly sacrificing some of the city’s genuine Victorian heritage – the area around Calverley Street and Great George Street. How lacking in imagination is that?

The Leonardo building, the Thoresby High School and Central High School buildings bear witnesses to the acumen of Leeds’ Aldermen and first entrepreneurs who laid the foundations our city.

Surely the council should be looking to capitalise on these iconic buildings by flagging them up as features in a genuine Victorian Heritage Quarter, a counterbalance to the New Victorian Quarter.

Might that not attract people to the city to see buildings peculiar to Leeds?

Exams not education

Mick Webb, Leeds.

IN response to letters and columns re GCSE exams, children from the age of six or seven can, at a price, be sent to certain schools with the sole intention of learning the art of passing exams.

They learn parrot-fashion and have no real understanding of the subjects they are being taught.

Exam results are not a total indication of intelligence, there’s many a successful entrepreneur who left school with no qualifications.

On the other hand there was a well educated, ex-Eton boy who became Prime Minister, made a complete mess of the job and left us with Brexit and the current political mess.

Careful look at sell-by label

Ron Jevons, by email

LET me firstly admit to having noted ‘use by’ and ‘sell by’ dates without duly reading the rest of the information provided, for I now note that what is of more concern is the subsidiary information stating how long food should be kept in the refrigerator once opened. 
On many items, I have only too recently noted that the recommended life span of many products is only two or three days once opened.

With only two of us in the household it is quite difficult to consume half, let alone the whole, of many products in the time stipulated. Perhaps chilled products should be sold in smaller portions.

Sound of silence is golden

Brian H Sheridan, by email

THOUGH I have no talent whatsoever for it, I stoop to nobody as a music lover.

I have an eclectic taste ranging from rock to chamber music.

However, I know I am not alone in hating having it foisted on me.

Why does it have to be inescapable in public places? I first noticed my aversion at an ice hockey match, where the frequent pauses in play are filled with loud music.

This has now been extended to cricket (between overs and wickets), tennis (at every change-over) and many other sports – football has so far been spared, though I dread the day when players have to wait for the music to subside before taking corners, goal-kicks etc.

Half-time entertainment is fine, in fact I loved the brass bands that played at early post-war matches.

At a recent T20 cricket match the music was “enhanced” by the appearance of scantily-clad cheerleaders. Heavens above.

As for the High Street, I love to hear buskers and sometimes pause to listen; that is my choice, but I don’t go into a departmental store to be greeted by the piped music of Black Lace or even Mozart. I might go in to buy their records though.

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