Check out today’s YEP letters
Building Headingley war memorial
Katie Jacques (nee Bradley), by email
Following the recent article about the restoration of Headingley war memorial, I thought this copy of an original and possibly unique photograph may be of interest.
It shows the memorial being erected by the monumental masons who worked on it. Their yard was adjacent to the Skyrack public house, just where the outside seating is now, as can be seen at the back of the photo.
My grandfather, John Frederick Bradley of Woodhouse, who had himself served in WW1, was the foreman responsible for the job and did most of the stone carving. He also had to design the scaffolding, which enabled the various parts of the memorial to be lifted in to place. It looks rather ungainly but closer inspection shows that there were strong metal girders to support the wooden structure and to carry the weight of the stones.
He can be seen, wearing his trilby and peeping through the wooden rails on the lower platform to the left of the stone being placed. He also built the war memorials in Lawnswood Cemetery and Armley Park.
He went on to become a Clerk of Works for Leeds City Council and oversaw the building of Middleton Primary School, the original Lawnswood High and Leeds Modern schools.
He died in 1944 from silicosis, now recognised as an industrial lung disease caused by breathing in fine dust, presumably from cutting stone. No health and safety in those days!
Council should reconsider Go Ape proposal
Daniel Gaunt, Leeds 15
So having been shown the strength of opposition to Go Ape! at Roundhay Park, the council in its benevolent wisdom has decided to impose it instead on Temple Newsam Park.
When almost exactly the same reasons for originally rejecting it apply equally in both locations, it seems highly cynical of the council having been thwarted by the affluent residents of leafy North Leeds to attempt to sell it to the folk of East Leeds as a great boon to Temple Newsam Park. Either that, or our three Labour councillors and the Labour leadership of the council think we’re all too disorganised and too stupid to object.
Having looked at the council’s consultation, I am inclined to believe the latter option. The FAQ states that access will not be stopped to any part of the estate, yet Go Ape! run corporate events with exclusive ‘Forest Shelters’ for their guests – how can they be ‘exclusive’ without preventing access? It states that traffic won’t be an issue, yet where will 30 or more extra cars park on a busy weekend when the car parks are already massively overflowing?
It states the course won’t attract antisocial behaviour, yet what about the nuisance caused by Go Ape!’s event barbecues and the damage to the park caused by visitors encouraged by this to bring their own?
It implies that this will enable investment in the park, do any but the most naïve among us expect to see anything ring-fenced to the budget for Temple Newsam while the council is cutting so much everywhere else?
Most disingenuous of all though is the attempt to sell this as an attempt to make Leeds ‘child friendly’. How is closing or restricting access to mature woodland close to some of the most deprived areas of Leeds, and then charging a family of four the equivalent of one third of a weekly wage at the National Living Wage to access it for a couple of hours, in any way going to show those children that they are “valued, supported… [and can] look forward to a bright future.”?
I sincerely hope that the council will reconsider this unwelcome and destructive proposal, and instead concentrating on enhancing Temple Newsam Park for all the people of Leeds, rather than at their expense and in favour of the few able or willing to pay hundreds of pounds for a couple of hours of curated entertainment.
Lack of thought on transport system for city
Dennis Angood, by email
Coun Lewis in his response (YEP Letters April 4) to the comments of Martin Phillips (YEP Letters March 18) argues that the panel of “experts” the council consulted or organised into a panel, namely “Expert Advisory Panel” cost nothing but minor expenses.
His response also includes the remark that the “Transport Experts Group” made no recommendation towards a tram/train system. Is this the same as the ”Expert Advisory Panel” or have we two sets with differing views, one of which the council does not agree with? What scheme or proposal did these group(s) decide to recommend if they did not favour a tram/train system?
A proposal to join the Harrogate and Wharfedale lines via a station at the airport is a very practical and viable option. It would, of course, be very expensive but support for it is there, but who is willing to fight for the funding? The potential for county wide access of the airport by rail is a massive factor if the right option is followed.
What did the panel of experts think of options of a rail connection to the airport? How would the experts propose to provide a link or were they dissuaded from any thoughts in that direction because the powers that be refuse to consider such because of the cost? Coun Lewis says if such an option was considered it would take the “lion’s share” of the money earmarked for public transport. His remark that it will go on a single scheme that will benefit a minority is a mite hypocritical when you consider his support for the NGT. The money he is talking of is the residue of the funding raised for that folly.
The UK is the founding father of railways and the technology, equipment and expertise are present and I am sure available. He also talks about delaying real improvements for a decade or longer.
Just how long have LCC delayed improvements in transport up to the present day? The blame always seems to lie with central government never their own shortcomings or lack of ideas. He really does inspire confidence in the future with the phrase “whatever that may be” with regard to plans for a system.
Not only a lack of thought about what may be but also with his response.
Working hard to improve service
Paul Matthews, Managing Director of First West Yorkshire
I’d firstly like to apologise to Alan Freeman who recently wrote into the Yorkshire Evening Post (April 5) about his experience on board one of our services.
It saddens me to hear from unhappy customers and I therefore wanted to acknowledge Alan’s letter and to also invite him to get in touch with us directly.
I also wanted to remind customers that on 24th March we launched a new partnership with other local operators called Bus 18 and this is a commitment to better customer satisfaction and so from now on, if any passengers are not happy with their bus journey they will be able to claim a free travel voucher from either; First West Yorkshire, Arriva Yorkshire or Transdev.
I hope that I’m able to provide reassurance with this letter that we listen to your feedback and that we are working hard to improve the reliability of the bus services we offer across Leeds.
I’d like to remind customers that we are approachable and offer a dedicated customer services team throughout the week and weekends, who are on hand to answer questions or queries you may have about our services.
To speak to a member of the team please call 0113 381 5000 or tweet @FirstWestYorks.
Tea and scones for TSC charity
Kathryn Harrison, TSA Fundraising Officer
Every month 10 babies are born in the UK with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC), a rare genetic disease.
The Tuberous Sclerosis Association (TSA) is the only charity that supports people with TSC. We have our annual national fundraising and awareness week from 15-21 May and we are asking people to join with friends, neighbours and colleagues and hold a Tea & Scones for TSC get together.
It’s so easy and a really sociable thing to do – simply drink tea, eat scones (or any cakes you fancy) and use the materials in our fundraising pack to raise awareness of TSC as well as much-needed funds to pay for research into this condition. We value all the support that we can get, so if anyone would like to find out more or hold an event go to www.tuberous-sclerosis.org and download a fundraising pack. Or people can email me at email@example.com or call me on 0161 681 6015.Please look for the hashtag #TeaandSCones on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Government is out of control
John Rossington, Dewsbury
So Tory Brexiteer Andrea Jenkyns believes we are taking control by triggering Article 50 to leave the EU.
However an objective look at the facts points to a very different story. As a result of Brexit inflation is soaring. We are all noticing prices going up as we do our shopping. This has meant the just managing have become the not managing. At the same time a lot of share prices have gone up dramatically. Brexit means the rich have become considerably richer and the poor have become a lot poorer.
Meanwhile both Gibraltar and Northern Ireland have gone from stability to political turmoil almost overnight. The EU helped both these communities to live in comparative harmony. They both voted overwhelmingly to remain and are now paying the consequences. Brexiteers respond by shouting abuse even threatening to invade a former ally, hardly the way to encourage positive negotiations with our neighbours.
Finally, hate crime has gone up markedly since the referendum as Brexiteers seek to blame foreigners for all our problems. Only this week in London a young man was attacked and put in intensive care because he was an asylum seeker. In Somerset a 15-year-old Polish boy was attacked on the street and the Sikh shopkeeper who came to his aid and was attacked with crow bars and then run over by a car.
The government does not appear to be taking control but to be completely out of control. In the chaos we now face it is the poor and the weak who suffer the most.
Common sense on term time holidays
Ivan Kovacks, by email
At last common sense from the Supreme Courts.
I see they have overturned the decision made at the High Court saying it was okay to take a child out of school during term time for a holiday.
This latest order will give strong support to local councils, schools, teachers who all say taking a child out of school during term time is bad in so many ways. If this means councils use fines to control this, then so be it.
Remember schools have discretion to allow removal during term time for the likes of bereavements, or special circumstances such as a parent being in the forces and having no choice of when they take their holidays and so on.
If a child is removed during term time they will have to catch up, this will mean more time paid to that child from the teaching staff, this will have a knock on effect meaning less time can be devoted to children of the more responsible parents who keep their children at school all the time.
If this court had found for the parent then imagine the difficulties schools would face with more and more parents taking children out of school during term time and then they would all be at different times, thus magnifying the problems for the teaching staff. All the teaching unions, head teachers and other educational organisations say removing children from school is a bad idea.
Also remember these hard pressed teaching staff can only take their children on holiday when teaching finishes.
Many parents I know of who do this all cite the higher costs of holidays taken during school vacation time, however, several also try to justify their actions by with the facile argument that travel is an education.
The arguments that travel firms put the prices up during school holiday to rip off parents, this is clearly not true. If these companies had the same off peak costs all year round then they would soon go bust.
The prices charged during holiday times are realistic and the lower off peak costs are needed to fill up surplus capacity, simple supply and demand.
And these parents who do take their children out during term time are largely selfish, do they consider people who take holidays during term time because they don’t want it spoilt by noisy children? No they do not.