It was good to see your article (YEP, September 19) about the passing of Sonny Marks.
Sonny was one of those remarkable unassuming unsung Leeds heroes, who contributed so much to the Leeds steelband scene from the late fifties to the present day. And he did that while still being a great family man.
What singled Sonny out in Leeds and indeed in the UK was his total commitment to both music and to his family, and his dismissal of petty politics. There have been times in Leeds and indeed in UK when it was either suggested that only black people or only West Indians could play steelpan. When we met I was running a steelband from Foxwood School, which was necessarily entirely white apart from Sonny’s own daughter, Natalie (who, at the time was the only non-white student at our school).
Sonny and wife, Margaret, invited us time and time again to play for us - at his 60th birthday party, and for many a family barbecue at home. They lived, a mixed race couple in Seacroft, but such was Sonny’s sunny nature, they never encountered any racism.
A car mechanic by training, Sonny was forever fixing people’s cars, mending the local kids’ bikes, making steelpan stands for me. One minute he was spraying your bodywork silver, the next minute he was on tour in the Middle East. The success and fame of his band, the Caribbeans, never went to his head.
Unsurprisingly St James Church was packed to say goodbye to this wonderful man. So sad to lose him, but so very glad to have known him.
Help with my family tree
I WONDER if any of your readers could help me with my family tree.
My grandmother was Hannah Ellen Shaw (nee Petch) and was born in 1875 in Yorkshire. I believe she went to live with her daughter Edith Jane Paley (nee Shaw) in Leeds.
Edith was married in 1942 at Holy Trinity Church in Leeds and her address at this time was 80 Wellington Street, Leeds.
This is the only information I have of my grandmother. Hannah is supposed to be buried in Leeds but the year and place is unknown.
Any help would be appreciated.
K Evans, Macclesfield
Elderly deserve free bus travel
IF WE all adopted Nick Keer’s attitude (YEP, September 20) what a selfish world we would live in.
The senior citizens deserve their free travel to enable them to get out and about.
You too will be elderly one day Mr Keer and don’t forget that the senior citizens help keep the bus services running during the day, otherwise you may end up with a cut in services as has happened in some parts of the country.
So please, have some respect for elderly people.
C Woodwark, Morley
IN RESPONSE to the recent letter by Nick Keer and that old chestnut about free bus passes for pensioners, well, I am one of them.
I frequently use my bus pass and I am extremely grateful, as obviously it enables my husband and I to get round and about.
I just wonder what Mr Keer’s occupation is? I dread to think that it maybe a carer for the elderly. He would be trying to introduce mandatory euthanasia for people over a certain age, thus saving not only on free bus passes but free eye tests and prescription charges.
Mrs McGrath, Leeds
WHO DOES Nick Keer think he is?
I have paid for everything I get. Do you work or are you one of those that do not like work?
What will you say when you get old?
N Dobson, Rothwell
I am not saying Nick Keer is completely wrong with his vitriolic views on never giving up his bus seat.
But, I wonder if he has ever heard the saying “Manners Maketh Man”. Maybe not?
Jennifer Bookbinder, LS11
Devolve power to the North
Thanks to Gordon Brown, the Union has been saved. What is now needed is the re-convening of the Council of the North, first established by Edward VI in 1472, to enact devolved legislation for the whole of the North of England. Its Council Members could sit in York.
The consequence would be a reduction in the number of current MPs that we currently send to Westminster and a movement of civil servant jobs from London to places such as Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield.
Stephen Clark, LS12
NGT won’t cut congestion
Once again we read the assertion that NGT (trolleybus) will reduce congestion.
I would like this claim substantiated as NGT’s own literature says that this is NOT on achievable objective.
I have written to you about this before and I am dismayed to see my much loved and respected local newspaper printing what could be politely described as remarks when they should be more accurately described as mis-information or even as lies!
The inquiry has indeed taken a long time – this is due to the forensic dissection of NGT’s case by objectors – and in many instances sloppy or irrelevant work has been exposed.
May I remind your readers that they are paying for all this!
Margaret Thompson, LS16
Jail’s a favour for homeless man
i have been reading about the homeless man who was jailed for eight months for threatening a security guard in a supermarket with a knife in Seacroft.
Does the judge not realise he is doing this man a favour by jailing him?
Regular daily meals, a warm bed instead of a rainsoaked cardboard box, and a roof over his head.
As good as winning the lottery for this thief.
Malcolm Shedlow, Moortown
Sweep grass with a t-shirt
has anybody out there, just come back from holiday to find the grass over-long but too wet to mow?
How about tying an old t-shirt over the bristles on a yard broom and “sweeping” the grass?
The t-shirt can be dried off and re-used.
You might have to do a large area in stages (unless you have a plethora of old t-shirts!)
The idea might be a little ‘out there’ and not the most exciting of ‘inventions’, but it could work. What do you think?
Perhaps your readers would try it, and let me know how they got on.
And no, I haven’t been drinking!
Denise Marsden, Cookridge
Shallowness of iPhone queue
I have just read that there was a queue of over 300 people, some queueing overnight, to buy the latest iPhone. “Sad” is the first word that springs to mind.
Sad that these young people (I presume young) are so low in self-esteem that they have to have this latest gadget to impress their peers. I despair at how shallow and materialistic our society has become. Have people nothing more worthy to do with their time and money than to spend hours queueing for such an item?
Carol Lee, Cookridge