All welcome to take part in biggest parade
Letter of the Week: Tim Wood, parade organiser, Mirfield
This year is the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, which ended on November 18 2016. A battle that saw slaughter and casualties in numbers that shocked all the nations involved, only made possible by the killing machines of an industrial era.
A new invention, the tank, was brought into action in 1916 to break the deadlock of trench warfare, Local towns like Mirfield contributed towards the cost of building tanks. After the First World War was over the authorities thanked Mirfield and a MK IV Female tank climbed the wall at Ings Grove Park and lodged alongside the town’s recently-built war memorial.
In the Second World War people were encouraged to buy Government Savings Bonds for the production of munitions and weaponry.
Mirfield contributed a Spitfire and HMS Coreopsis, a Flower Class Corvette which also starred as HMS Compass Rose in the classic film The Cruel Sea.
Like many northern industrial towns Mirfield has a reputation for its turnout on Remembrance Sunday and has the accolade of being the largest parade of its kind outside Whitehall.
Marching alongside are many proud veterans who I have known over the years, including former Para Mick Webber, Durham Light Infantry man Steve ‘Chuckie’ Damon and ex-KOYLI Mr Demolition himself Trevor Hutchinson.
Among the ranks of many other proud veterans will be Mr Bernard Richardson. At 98 years young Mr Richardson is a Dunkirk veteran and this year received the Legion d’Honneur from the French Ambassador.
Sadly as I look along the ranks, faces are missing, years taking their ultimate toll on our brave veterans.
We need more members of our serving forces on our parade, as well as members of the ex-service community to come along and join in.
You do not need an invitation, please come along and we will ensure a place in the parade.
We will form up on Lowlands Road opposite Lidl on Station Road, Mirfield, no later than 1.30pm on Sunday November 13.
The parade stamps off en-route to the Ings Grove Park war memorial. Please come along.
Miners don’t want rewrite
From: David Honeybell, Heckmondwike
As I write this, the result of the presidential election in the USA is not known, so if The Press is published on Friday and this letter is printed, either Hillary Clinton has won, or Donald Trump has not found and pressed the ‘Destroy The World’ nuclear war button.
However, before he does, I must put Danny straight. In last week’s Ed Lines, he asks: “If the striking miners at Orgreave can stop the world and demand that we rewrite history after 30-odd years, why not everyone?”
Danny, what happened at the ‘Battle of Orgreave’ is well documented, and the miners are the last group who want or need to rewrite history.
On June 18 1984, the NUM went to Orgreave to stop lorryloads of coke from being delivered from Orgreave to be used in steel making in Scunthorpe steelworks.
The South Yorkshire Police, supported by officers from 18 other forces, corralled the miners at the top of a field overlooking the coke works.
The police in riot gear were positioned across the bottom of the field, and 42 mounted officers along with dog handlers up each side of the field.
Behind the miners was a railway cutting, making it difficult for them to retreat.
The miners surged forward when the first convoy of wagons arrived.
The mounted police were ordered to charge the miners, who responded by throwing rocks and stones at the police.
Yes, that’s right Danny, AFTER the mounted charge, NOT BEFORE.
The police charged three times, the third time they had snatch squads following up, who gave beatings to the unarmed strikers.
After this, most of the pickets left, the few remaining playing football or sunbathing.
By this time the coking works were shut, but the police again charged into the remaining miners, chasing them into Orgreave village. 71 miners were charged with riot, a crime that if found guilty, could lead to life imprisonment. 24 were charged with violent disorder.
The trials collapsed when police evidence was deemed unreliable.
In June 1991, South Yorkshire Police paid £425,000 in compensation to 39 miners for assault, wrongful arrest, unlawful detention and malicious prosecution.
With a mountain of evidence on their side, why would the miners want or need to change any of it?
Duo will be much missed
From: Councillor Darren O’Donovan, Councillor Mumtaz Hussain, Councillor Mussarat Pervaiz, Dewsbury West
It is with great sadness that we write to you following the passing of two of Dewsbury West’s great community leaders, Cora Carter MBE and Kathleen Andrews.
Cora drew national recognition for her work in leading and developing the Kirklees Tenants and Residents Association and worked tirelessly to improve engagement within our neighbourhoods.
Kathleen has been described this week as a stalwart of the Schoolcroft Tenants and Residents Association in Dewsbury Moor.
Kathleen was chair of this group for many years and supported local people to run youth clubs, healthy eating classes and study clubs.
Both will have undoubtedly touched the lives of more people than they realised and did so as volunteers who wanted to help people and improve the area they lived in.
Both Cora and Kathleen’s work is very much appreciated by those in the areas which they worked.
We send our thanks for the work they did and our condolences to the families.
Keep your wits at our tips
From: P Wharton, Roberttown
I would like to warn your readers of the perils of the new computer system for entering council tips, and dealing with the jobsworths and their one-eyed master.
On November 1 I took some grass cuttings to the tip at Nab Lane in Birstall.
My registration was taken and I was waved through.
I joined the queue to the skips. A man taps on my window and indicates for me to wind down my window.
“The man on the gate says your car is not registered,” he says.
“It must be registered or I would not have been let through,” I replied.
Jobsworth 1: “We have a new system, you have to register your car with the council.”
Me: “Yes I know, I registered my car in June.”
JW1: “You will have to go to your local library and register your car if you want to use this tip.”
Me: “My car is registered, and I have used the tip at least six times, and I have had no problem.”
JW1: “The man on the gate says yout car is not registered.”
Me: “My car is registered.”
JW1: “Can you prove you are a Kirklees resident?”
Me: “Yes, I have my library card.”
JW1: “You can use the tip this time, but if you do not register your car you will not be allowed on this site.”
I used the skips, and on the way out I asked the man on the gate why he was telling the yard man I was not registered.
JW2: “Hold on, I will check … yes, you are registered.”
An illogical position
From: Steve Cass, Mirfield
A couple of weeks ago (Forum 28/10/16) your correspondent Mr TR Moorhouse asked, “Are we being ruled by illogical idiots?”
Mmmm – that’s a difficult one, but maybe there’s a clue to be found in the interview of Paula Sherriff MP which featured in The Press recently.
I’m thinking in particular of Ms Sherriff’s (Press 21/10/16) statement that: “Immigration is good; it is a hugely positive thing and on a net basis we gain billions of pounds from it.”
Wow! Hugely positive. Who’d a thunk? So the more immigrants we have the more billions we get? I wonder how many immigrants we need before we’re all billionaires - perhaps we should ask Ms Sherriff.
I suppose this explains why Dewsbury’s doing as well as it is – the town must be knee deep in it (money that is).
Yet curiously, whilst believing that ‘immigration is a hugely positive thing with a net worth of billions of pounds’ (stop laughing you at the back) Ms Sherriff believes it should be restricted and says ‘we cannot have an open door immigration policy’. What kind of logic is that?
If immigration is a ‘hugely positive thing’ why would Paula Sherriff not want an open door policy?
Cram ‘em in – think of all that dosh Paula.
The joke of course is that the dopes in Parliament have painted themselves into a corner as far as immigration goes.
And even though the problems associated with it become more evident by the day, our leaders (sic) struggle to tackle them because of their commitment to the increasingly absurd argument that immigration has been good for this country.
Immigration can’t be both an unconditional good and in need of control, the two are mutually exclusive, yet this illogical position is the one that our politicians adopt, as Ms Sherriff illustrates.
And so to answer Mr Moorhouse’s question, yes, I do believe we are ruled by illogical idiots.
Dear, departed Dewsbury
From: Killian Winpenny, via email
Dewsbury is a rotting old carcass sitting on the banks of an old mountainside, blissfully unaware of the maggots eating away at it.
A once spritely abode for shoppers and shops alike, has now transformed into a momentary fling, someplace you nip along the road to get the deodorant you forgot to buy somewhere else.
Cash converters galore line the littered streets, along with a healthy dose of pound shops and takeaways.
‘Get your bargains here!’ is now Dewsbury’s motto, it is no longer ‘Deus Noster Refugium Et Virtus’, a line placed on the coat of arms of our home town taken from Psalm XLVI, which is Latin for ‘God is our refuge and strength’.
Our strength is now swines picking the pockets of lonely fools looking to sell their TVs for a few extra pounds, in which to invest in some feeble art form.
At lunch you see diners congregated in the centre, their meal of choice six cans of cheap lager and a few puffs of a cigarette.
Can we really blame them? Actions have always mirrored their surroundings. No money, no hope, no stature, so you may as well drink that realisation away.
Dogs accompany them, man’s best friend, however I hazard that they even know what’s going on as they sit in the former shadow of a large M&S, along the road from the once-booming Woolworths.
I remember as a child, Dewsbury was the weekend hub, White Rose was a treat, and you were one lucky devil if you went further afield to the behemoth Trafford Centre or Meadowhall.
Dewsbury had all you needed for a family day out, fast food chains and high street shops still soldiering on.
Sitting in the square admiring the town hall as you ate your pasty with a smile.
Even the town hall seems to be a waste of time, a castle amidst a moat of derogatory nonsense, the big clock is just counting down until the day Dewsbury implodes with fear.
The market was bountiful, always full of tat, but enjoyable tat, a place you could have a friendly chat with a man who’d just sold you a pair of old loafers.
Dewsbury is now a devil town, it’s full of despair and free-standing disgust.
A place where everyone used to get along and violence was only uttered in silence, a town said to have been visited by St Paulinus is now a breeding ground for sadness.
This leaves the question in all locals’ minds, should we attempt a rejuvenation of great miracle, or should we let it burn, put it down before the pain becomes unbearable?
Where and why does axe fall?
From: R Spreadbury, Liversedge
Following my experience of the council’s decision-making process over the closure of Whitcliffe Mount Sports Centre, I was curious as to how the council arrive at the decision to close some of our local cultural and heritage facilities, and, more importantly, exactly what criteria they used to determine where the axe falls.
For example, I know footfall at the Red House Museum is a major factor.
To this end I contacted Coun David Sheard, who couldn’t enlighten me, neither did he confirm or deny that footfall was a major criteria.
I would assume that it is, and is to be expected, given the monocultural mix of our community.
Instead he pointed me to the council website.
Here I eventually found a 123-page document titled The Future of Museums and Galleries.
All very wordy, saying all the right things about the importance and benefits of cultural facilities within our community, etc, etc.
I couldn’t find the criteria used to decide where the axe falls though.
If the council takes this report seriously, then shouldn’t they be actively opening more cultural facilities in the monocultural enclave which Dewsbury has become, and not close down the town’s only museum, to go along with all the pubs, clubs and shops which have disappeared.
Also should they not be encouraging the use of such facilities, (school visits, etc) instead of taking the easy option, and withdrawing from the town culturally as well as commercially, and just letting organic growth take its course?