YEP Letters: September 10

First White White Cloth Hall in ruins 6 Oct 2010 reproduced courtesy of Leeds Civic Trust
First White White Cloth Hall in ruins 6 Oct 2010 reproduced courtesy of Leeds Civic Trust
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Here are today’s letters from the YEP.

Consign White Cloth to history

WAS there ever a more blatant example of Leeds City Council wasting public money in a more misguided way than trying to salvage something from the wreckage of what bits are left of the 18th century Leeds First White Cloth Hall?

Very little of the original structure or neighbouring ones is left standing, as that building has been butchered so many times over the intervening years it’s like a car that has been in a motorway pile-up, ie beyond economic repair. Surely the best way forward for sympathetic redevelopment would be to clear the site completely then use the skills of the architects engaged to create something entirely new which could incorporate aesthetic features to reflect its previous history, maybe with a blue plaque or other indication.

Motor magnate Henry Ford once said, “history is bunk” and where rotten old buildings are concerned I am inclined to agree with him. The cloth trade of Leeds where hand loom weavers toiled away in attics then carried un-dyed pieces on their backs into Kirkgate to sell is ancient history, and belongs only in a museum.

DS BOYES, Upper Rodley Lane, Leeds LS13.

Ernest Lundy, by email

In spite of the fact that the Leeds hierarchy expresses the wish for the city to become a City of Culture, the issue becomes clouded when considering the problems which have been foisted upon what they name The South Bank regeneration scheme area and Holbeck Village, with particular regard to Holbeck and Beeston. As a result residents of these areas feel totally disenfranchised, in spite of the many new housing developments.

Consider these facts: entering the city from the new, much vaunted station exit, one can be met with a wind sufficient to blow people off their feet! In sharp contrast it is possible to see the mock Egyptian Temple in Marshall Street, and the still standing Florentine towers of Colonel Harding on Globe Road.

Unfortunately, while so doing one is likely to be confronted by one of the street ladies of the district who are legalised by the council for such. Avoiding those it is possible to view the old Railway roundhouse close to Wellington Bridge, before returning to view the memorial to engineer Mathew Murray in St Mary’s churchyard at the top of Domestic Street.

Moving on to Elland Road one sees the M621, one of the busiest roads in Yorkshire, and the noise and fumes emanating from it. Farther along one sees the monstrosity of a building that is the new Leeds police headquarters. Opposite is the new park and ride facility, near Leeds United’s football ground, also the proposed site of the new ice rink which can only add an extra burden to congestion when completed.

Now can anyone imagine these kind of developments in the north of the city? I think not! But as has often been said before, the south of the city seems to be a dumping ground for things the rest of the city would never tolerate. As one of the most historic parts of the city, mentioned in the Domesday Book as Cad Beeston, the proud folk of Holbeck and Beeston have had enough, and the time for those in authority to take notice and act upon these issues is long overdue.

Remarks were misunderstood

Richard Gallagher, Guiseley

Your correspondent Mr Kimble (YEP Letters, September 8) appears to have inadvertently misread or misunderstood my earlier remarks regarding the differences and similarities between our response to Argentinian invasion of our Falkland Islands territory and the coalition forces hostilities against Iraq.

My letter did not actually mention the UN regarding the Falklands war, although of course it was the result of Argentina’s failure to remove all their occupying troops from the Falklands as required in UN Security Council resolutions 502 followed by 505 that validated our use of military action to defend our interests in accordance with Article 51 of the UN Charter.

And I am sorry Mr Kimble thought my reference to Jesus as sneering - I am not sure how he arrived at that conclusion as it was definitely not intended to be so.

It was rather an observation that as a mere mortal I fail to follow our Lord’s example and love others as myself.

School not the be all and end all

George Marsden, Colton

With grammar schools back on the agenda, I can still recall the morning 65 years ago, standing in the assembly hall of my primary school, waiting for the results of the 11-plus.

The headteacher called out the names of the boys who had passed to the grammar school and we went off to another part of the school, leaving the remainder to hear their fate.

I’ve recently been reunited with two of the boys who failed their 11-plus. One became managing director of an engineering company, the other a high ranking police officer.

As for myself, I never achieved the high profile careers these two had.

So to all the parents and children worrying about the 11-plus, I would say that one look at those two classmates and me should tell you that where you end up at school isn’t the be all and end all.

Mental health project will help

A Hague, Harehills

I welcome the report of Robin Kaye, a psychology student of Leeds Beckett University, who is launching a project designed to help people who are experiencing mental health crisis in Leeds (Yorkshire Evening Post, August 23).

After a breakdown myself I went to drop-ins for 20 years and you could not meet nicer people and most of them never complained of their illness.

Unfortunately most of them lost their games tables and canteens seven years ago with government cuts and interference on the way they were run.

Private consultations took over and friendships were lost, leaving many to just walk the streets lonely.

This new project will help alleviate the problems for many, as a person with depression can wait over six weeks to be seen.

Children need mentor access

Steve Oversby, Director, Barnardo’s East Region

Every child in care in England has the right to an adult mentor who visits, befriends and advises them.

In reality though the support simply isn’t available to the vast majority of children in foster care.

The positive impact that a mentor can have on any young person’s life is immeasurable – and yet Barnardo’s research shows just six in 100 children in care in Yorkshire getting the independent support they may be entitled to by law.

Nearly 200 children across Yorkshire are currently on a waiting list to be matched with an independent visitor.

In councils where there is no waiting list, mentoring services may be little known or may not exist at all.

To make sure children get the support they are legally entitled to, Barnardo’s and the National Independent Visitor Project are asking government, local authorities and voluntary sector organisations to sign up to our new set of quality standards.

The Government says it wants to provide more support for care leavers as they move into adult life - ensuring mentors are available for young people who are at risk of dropping out of education, training or employment will go a long way towards achieving this.

A tribute to village’s spirit

Coun Robert Finnigan, MBI Morley North

I had the pleasure and the privilege to attend the Gildersome village annual show this weekend.

This excellent event is in its 54th year and offers a brilliant opportunity for residents to show their talents in flower and vegetable growing, crafts such as knitting and photography along with a fabulous range of home-made cakes, buns and pies.

Gildersome children were also involved with competitions for handwriting – all examples which were substantially better than mine – along with art competitions. The event is a fabulous tribute to the community spirit in Gildersome and confirms what a depth of talent residents possess. I would also pay the biggest compliment I can to Barry Gomersall and his organising committee who do a fabulous job. Their work was well rewarded with an excellent crowd who turned up despite the foul weather! Here’s looking forward to next year’s show – perhaps my own handwriting can be improved enough for me to enter!