Your Letters

Poppy perfection in a proud town

Letter of the Week: Tim Wood, parade organiser, Mirfield

Dear Sir,

I would like to thank each and every one who turned out and took part in the Mirfield Remembrance Day parade and service.

Over the years we have encouraged the youth of the day to learn all about what the poppy stands for.

During Remembrancetide, special DVD and information packs go out to all the schools and they respond magnificently, both buying and wearing poppy-branded items.

The turnout by the Scouting and Guiding Association has increased over the years and, despite the weather conditions, it’s always great to see their cheery faces on parade, marching with their proud and attentive leaders.

The focus has to be on the youth of today, as our proud veterans know so well the horrors of conflict and the sadness it brings to so many.

The marching veterans always turn out immaculately as though they had just passed off the parade square; they set a standard for all to see.

Serving troops from bases all over the UK come back to their home town to march, pay their respects and swell the ranks.

Leading the parade for the third year running we had serving soldier WO2 Chris Horrobin, from the Royal Artillery based in Catterick.

Having a serving soldier to lead makes a great difference to the Parade and we can only thank him and the other serving ranks who made it home to be with us all.

The police and our own marshalls, again, did a great job in making our route safe to pass.

Our RBL Pardre, Mr Ian Grange, conducts the service with dignity and tradition.

The PA system is run by a good friend, ‘Big Geoff’, who is always there to give me his advice in many forms.

There are dozens of individuals doing their own tasks, briefed for various specific purposes and all adding to the overall impact of the event. The four bands – two brass, one pipe, the Salvation Army Band for the hymns, the 868 squadron, ATC Corps of Drums – and our own trumpeter, Peter Rhodes, played their part perfectly.

The motorcycle riders from the RBL Riders Branch added their noise to the occasion – while the Americans have their own version called Rolling Thunder, we’ve gone one better with Mirfield’s own Remembrance Rumble.

The Willis Jeep carried 91-year old WWII veteran Harry Thrush to and fro, and his smile back at the pub was a joy to see.

There was lots and lots of activity from many different organisations; guides giving out programmes and passing the collecting bucket around and people who helped out the night before laying out traffic cones.

There’s a thousand and one things, if not more, behind the scenes, all jigsawed together to make Mirfield’s parade second only in numbers to Whitehall.

What a proud little town; you wore your poppy with pride, and it gives great pleasure and comfort to see it.

Thank you, and very well done.


We all owe Joe so much

From: Joe Elders, Tauranga, New Zealand (formerly of Batley)

Dear Sir,

My wife Mary and I would like to congratulate Joe Weaver on his award of the French Legion of Honour for his part in the D-Day landings.

What a lovely man. Well done Joe, to you and your fallen comrades in the landings and afterwards.

We owe you and many others so much.


Ignorance and confusion

From: Michael Hutchinson, Mirfield

Dear Sir,

I am sorry Mr Whitley cannot distinguish between the actions of Mirfield Town Council, in depriving me of my seat on the council, and the action taken by a number of residents to try to correct that injustice.

At least Mr Whitley admits he is confused.

Could this be the same Mr Whitley who thought, wrongly, that town councils were sufferring under the same government financial restrictions as principal councils like Kirklees?

If so, it really seems time for Mr Whitley to resolve his ignorance and confusion by means other than the press.


Support the junior doctors

From: Christine Hyde, Dewsbury

Dear Sir,

I refer to David Honeybell’s letter last week. Junior doctors are fighting for the NHS, as Jeremy Hunt’s plans involve de-skilling and downgrading NHS professionals. Why? Because health multinationals want the franchise and a profit, like the trains and utilities.

The ‘Hunt Effect’ led 40 people in just two weeks to delay going for hospital treatment on Friday to Sunday believing no doctors would be there.

In most cases their condition had worsened to become life-threatening and two of them died as a result.

The doctors believe that since Hunt is an intelligent, educated man, his actions are a deliberate attempt to turn the public against comprehensive treatment, free at the point of use, available to all.

To underfund it means that immigrants, who for the most part are young and healthy, can be used as a scapegoat by people who forget that governments choose where to spend our money and that their own kids and grandchildren are never going to be able to afford the £500pm comprehensive health insurance premium.

Just think, why should the NHS treat the skin and lung disease created by toxins from fracking for gas, or breast cancer caused by pesticide residue in processed food and milk?

Support the junior doctors at


Dealing with barbarians

From: Aleks Lukic, Staincliffe

Dear Sir,

I am in no doubt that all our thoughts this week are with the victims of the Paris attacks, who lost their lives to the cowardly actions of barbarian infiltrators.

The international solidarity in response has been tremendous and will hopefully help the affected families to find solace at this time.

It is a regrettable fact that we had forewarning of this.

The barbarians publicly threatened to masquerade as refugees and cross to Europe on the people traffickers’ boats to carry out their plots against Western civilization. These threats were not taken seriously enough.

In due course, we will need extensive debate on how we can discharge our humanitarian duties without causing people who already live here to suffer and fear for their safety.

These atrocities ought to sharpen minds across our communities and draw attention to the just course of action.

People will already know of or will become aware of suspicious activity and plots. Imminent threats must be reported to the police by telephoning 999.

Otherwise, I call on anyone who suspects a threat to telephone MI5 on 0800 111 4645, or send them a message online.


Terrorism has no religion

From: Elyas Patel, Savile Town

Dear Sir,

The tragedy at The Belle Equipe Cafe in Paris, where two monstrous and cowardly gunmen brutally slaughtered 11 innocent victims in a hail of bullets, is proof that terrorism has no religion and Muslims were also victims of this unspeakable act of murder.

The 11 inside the cafe who were cut down so brutally were all friends.

They were there to celebrate the birthday of their co-worker Houda Saadi, a French Muslim of Tunisian descent.

Houda had invited her sister Halima and her two brothers, Khaled and Bashir.

One of the sisters died on the spot. The other, who was shot in the head, died later in hospital.

The two brothers who miraculously survived cradled their bleeding and dying sisters in their tragic final moments.

The sisters were just 35 and 36 respectively. They were mothers, too.

May their souls and those of all the innocent victims rest in heavenly peace.

May the injured quickly heal and the bereaved be comforted for their tragic losses.

May the perpetrators of this unspeakable evil be brought to account in every conceivable way possible.

The deliberate targeting of innocent men women and children can have no justification whatsoever, wherever and by whomsoever such appalling acts of brutality and inhumanity are committed.

Our hearts as peaceful Muslims go out to the victims of this and every such atrocity the world over.

May the Almighty bring peace the world over and allow human beings to respect all LIFE and live in peace and harmony irrespective of ethnicity, faith, or no faith, and with a universal respect for life and property in every corner of the world for all the people of the world.



Thanks, folks!

From: John Walshaw, Earlsheaton

Dear Sir,

The Oakwell Art Group would like to thank all the people who braved the atrocious weather on Saturday and Sunday to attend our annual exhibition.

Despite the weather, it was a success, with the tombola collecting quite a sum for charity.


Obvious equations

From: David Williamson, Emley

Dear Sir,

Although back in the late 1970s my maths teacher Mr Hodgson at Earlsheaton High School tried his very best with me, I’m still no mathematical genius.

But in my reckoning, the money lost to taxpayers by Kirklees Council to the Muslim Mosque Burial Committee falls into one of the following two equations:

1. Money owed to Kirklees by the MMBC that could be spent on vital council services, or, money received by Kirklees from MMBC that could be spent on vital council services = a lot of money that could be spent on vital council services.

2 Money that would have been received by Kirklees if persons buried by MMBC had been buried in Kirklees that could be spent on vital council services, or, money received from the MMBC that could be spent on vital council services = even more money that could be spent on vital council services.

Either way, when the present site is full, I would recommend that Kirklees use the following formula to resolve the problem in future: KMC – MMBC = £££££££, or, KMC – MMBC = less council tax for everybody, or, KMC – MMBC (plus money owed from MMBC) = even less council tax for everybody.


Nicely done, Mirfielders

From: Brian Green, Wakefield

Dear Sir,

Could I congratulate the townspeople of Mirfield and the organising authority that produced such a magnificent, proud and patriotic Remembrance Day ceremony.

Mirfield has set a standard over many years for others to follow, and civic heads across the country to take notice of.

The town should have the accolade ‘Royal Mirfield’, in recognition for the turnout and high standards. Nicely done, Mirfielders.


Good things in Dewsbury

From: Harold Laycock, Mirfield

Dear Sir,

Most of the publicity regarding Dewsbury over the past few years has been bad. There are, however, many good things occurring in the town!

As we approach the end of 2015, we are looking forward to the last Wednesday lunchtime concert before Christmas.

This concert will feature the highly-talented students who form the Huddersfield University Brass Band with their Christmas concert.

Once again, internationally renowned orchestras, musicians and vocalists have provided top-quality entertainment over the past few months.

These concerts are once a month on a Wednesday at the town hall. They last one hour and are at the very reasonable price of £4 for the elderly with passes.

These are not the only organised events in Dewsbury and whilst I don’t know of them all (for which I will apologise), I will list just a few.

The Collegians theatre group put on a show at the town hall every year and there is also an arts theatre.

The Owls (for the over 50s) meet weekly at the sports centre as well as the history group.

So the problem is not really Dewsbury; rather, those people who don’t go to Dewsbury but knock the town.

They are the cause of its demise.

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