Your Letters

Due process should be followed

Letter of the Week: R Spreadbury, Liversedge

Dear Sir,

Now we have all said our goodbyes to Jo Cox, we have to face the unpalatable reality of having to choose a new MP for Batley and Spen.

I do not know the current  situation regarding appointing a new Westminster representative for us, but the last I heard was that the seat will not be contested by the other political parties and Labour would be left to choose our new MP.

While on the face of it this appears laudable, I fear it is misplaced.

Many of us voted for Jo the person, and not necessarily the for the Labour Party per se. Jo, like any person, is irreplaceable, we are all unique.

If a candidate were selected by Labour, I feel it would be grossly unfair to that candidate.

It would put them under intense pressure and scrutiny, either by any attempt by them to either follow in Jo’s footsteps or walk their own path.

Consequently, I would suggest to whoever it may concern, that as a legacy for Jo, due political process should be followed and a proper by-election be called where all the candidates can be judged and voted for on their merits, just as Jo was.

Like all tragedies, in the end, a clean break and a new start allows the healing process to commence, run its course and hopefully be concluded.


Town centre is full of flats

From: Jabar Khaliq, Dewsbury Moor

Dear Sir,

I am wondering if I may through the paper point out what I feel about Dewsbury town centre and express my opinion.

Dewsbury town centre was second largest in Kirklees and has now become full of empty shops and market stalls, and  full of flats and two-bed houses.

The governing body who are fast-tracking and passing plans for housing developments in Dewsbury, do they actually realise that by increasing the number of residents with no employment and a recession in progress they have actually caused the most damage that anyone can think of and made the town centre a proper ghost town?

I have only one thing to say, and that is “shame on you”.


Thank you for festival help

From: Donal O’Driscoll, Crown of Lights Free Music Festivals

Dear Sir,

The 14th Heckyfest was just totally amazing.

It was very tough for me doing my tribute speech to Jo Cox MP, and thank you to Brendan for making the time to join us with your children earlier in the day on Saturday.

May I also thank Jo’s mother and sister for taking time out to talk with me privately. It gave me the opportunity to tell them my own thoughts about Jo.

Totally unexpected and incredibly therapeutic for me, and all this just one day after the funeral.

The cortege on Friday morning was totally heart-breaking for me as it passed the festival ground.

I had to make the festival a happy occasion over the weekend.

I asked the crowd not to observe a minute’s silence after my speech. Instead I asked everyone to applaud and cheer for her and the massive things she has already achieved, and still continues to do so.

It was what Jo would have wanted. Thank you to everyone who helped me through this.

You all know who you are.


A few drinks in the Knott?

From: Michael Clarke, Batley Carr

Dear Sir,

It’s sad that the disco lights at the Batley Frontier (Variety Club) are set to flash one last time.

I wondered if readers remembered a pub on Bradford Road across from the Variety Club, where Legends Bar is today, called the Knottingley Wells Hotel?

My parents, Arthur and Mary Clarke, were landlord and landlady, and ran the Knottingley Wells pub from 1967, the same year as the Variety Club opened, until 1973 when we left the pub.

We had some good times in the pub when people used to have a few drinks in the Knott before heading over the road to Batley Variety Club to see the top turn of the week; and what top turns they had at the club; Louis Armstrong, The Hollies, The Bee Gees and, not forgetting the Big 0 – Roy Orbison and Shirley Bassey, etc.

I also remember when ITV did ‘This Is Your Life’ from the club for Charlie Williams.

All I can say is that James Corrigan put Batley on the map by opening Batley Variety Club, and it is a sad day that it is now shutting its doors for the last time.


Let’s look after our canals

From: John Appleyard, Liversedge

Dear Sir,

I was born in Leeds and our family enjoyed riverside walks, particularly alongside the Leeds and Liverpool canal from Kirkstall to Rodley.

Recently I borrowed a new book from Cleckheaton Library called ‘Barging Round Britain’, written by John Sergeant and David Bartley, which explores the history of our nation’s canals and waterways.

In July 1766 – 250 years ago this month – a public meeting was held at the Sun Inn, Bradford, where the impetus to build the Leeds and Liverpool Canal came from the wool merchants of Bradford, Leeds, Wakefield and Halifax who wanted to access Liverpool, and then the American trade.

It was agreed at the meeting the canal would start at Leeds and travel through Bingley and Skipton. The canal when completed would eventually stretch 127 miles.

The canal also carried huge amounts of coal, and let’s not forget the ‘navvies’ whose sweat and toil helped put these canals into action.

In this small island of ours are more than 3,000 miles of canals passing through some of the most beautiful landscapes, let’s look after them and respect their contribution to our history.


A galaxy of top arts events 

From: John Walsh,  Earlsheaton

Dear Sir,

I attended Mirfield Arts Festival last weekend and would like to congratulate the organisers, Mirfield Maltings on producing a galaxy of events to make such a splendid day’s entertainment.

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