Your Letters – Friday April 5, 2019

Such wonderful memories of cinema

Letter of the Week: Mr G Lyons, Sandown, Isle of Wight

I read with interest the story by Mike Popplewell dated March 15 in The Press. 

I am now 95 years of age and I remember the marvellous days of the cinema in the 1920s and 30s.

There were five cinemas in Dewsbury, including the Picture House which was the Regal in my youth, and the Majestic which was an old chapel converted into a cinema. They showed cowboy films and the lads used to tell me to take a brush and shovel for the horse droppings!

There was the Pioneer, which had a lift and double seats for couples, and the Tudor, where there were suits of armour on display, but being beside the beck there were rats running around.

The Playhouse was the jewel in the crown, which was deluxe and the organ used to come up from the basement during the interval. The films changed to being on for three days, then they changed. 

This went on to all cinemas and there were queues every Friday and Saturday night with commissionaires on the door. They used to call out “room for one” and I was in.

The cinema sessions ran continuously and lasted roughly three hours, with two films and a Pathe newsreel.

I enjoyed all the picture houses in Dewsbury and they were my young life. What happy, contented days. 

When I joined the forces my pleasure in the cinema had gone. 

I am still interested in my beloved Dewsbury, I have so many happy memories of when I was young and carefree.

What a lovely, busy, bustling town, and the people were so friendly. 

Nothing like our great pubs

From: Tim Wood, Mirfield

For years the good old British local pub has been the heart and soul of the community.

A place where people can relax and unwind after a hard days earning an honest shilling. A social institution for tall stories, opinions and spicy gossip.

The pub has become a meeting place for all occasions from womb to tomb. Take away the pub and the community loses its soul and sense of purpose.

The last pub in Thornhill Lees, The Nelson, or Nellie as it’s known locally, is up for sale. The only other licenced premise in the village is the Morton House Working Men’s Club.

In the 60s I used to live opposite The Nellie just a couple of doors up from Eastwoods Chippy at the bottom of Ingham Road.

The village was a busy thriving and industrious area with renowned blanket manufacturers Wormalds & Walker being the area’s largest employer. 

Yorkshire Electrical Transformers were another local manufacturer whose products sold throughout the Commonwealth and farther afield.

Austins steelworks, Eddison and Wanless and British Manmade fibres all were established in the village, with countless other smaller businesses being conducted on a profitable basis.

To support the thirsty masses were pubs such as The White Hart on Clegford Bridge, The Perseverance Inn on Forge Lane, The Blackers Arms, The Victoria Hotel and mentioned earlier The Morton House WMC, all on Lees Hall Road. 

In the centre of the village we had The Royal Oak later to become the Ale Taster, the old and new Thornhill Lees WMC. The old club later became The Old Cobbler then The Yorkshire Rose.

The Calder & Hebble Navigation was still busy with west country keel barges from Robinsons and Hargreaves all supplying coal to the power station on the banks of the Calder.

Slowly and painfully over the years the industries waned, and then closed down. The workforce moving elsewhere for employment.

Slowly the community changed, the bowling greens and tennis courts on Lees Holm Park became neglected and the planted walkways became avenues of weeds.

The pubs and clubs slowly emptied and were used for other purposes never before imagined in the 1960s.

I often go into the village and buy bread from the rather excellent bakers at the top of Brewery Lane and it tastes just as good as it did back then when it was (‘Watties’).

Just a couple of weeks ago I parked near the bakers, a car pulled up 100 yards away with blacked-out windows and a couple of youths approached the vehicle, the window quickly opened and a fug of smoke came from the window with that all-pervasive stink of cannabis.

Back in the 60s also living on Lees Holm if someone mentioned smoking weed you would have thought Bill or Ben had lost the plot or pot. How times have changed, some say for the better, I think not.

I hope The Nelson strives as a pub and wish its clientele well. I hope the Morton House and its customers make good of their golden opportunities, I wish them well. Pubs and clubs in the 21st century don’t need Government grants just honest decent people to breathe life into them and make them survive. Come on Snowflakes, go out and support the great British pub, there’s nowt like it on earth and that’s a fact.

Please stay the course

From: Mr G Dennis, Birstall

To Theresa May: I will never be your biggest supporter, but after three tortuous years for goodness’ sake please stick it out until April 12 2019 and honour the clear UK referendum when we will hopefully leave the EU. That is despite the pathetic protests from the remaining official UK opposition parties, their resulting drop-out MPs plus the stubborn DUP party.

Let’s turn out in numbers

From: Name and Address Supplied

It is that time of year when the ‘pol-U-titians’ emerge from their taxpayer-funded hidey holes, beseeching us to allow them to carry on betraying, degrading and humiliating us, as they have done over the past five decades or more!

The only way we can restore our independent and sovereign UK is to plant the ‘little acorns’ from which our large oak tree of UK citizenry will grow. 

We must start by ensuring that our local voters turn out in sufficient numbers to overcome those who promise to serve us – the public – and then, after the election, serve themselves and their masters!

In support of Ed Lines

From: Alec Suchi, Bradford

Further to Ed Lines, regarding the removal of a student from university for expressing reservations regarding the issue of halal meat and the vitriolic  response of Councillor Pandor in reply to two local government candidates questioning how halal meat is being introduced into schools by stealth.

The self-righteous and morally bereft Liberal Left endeavour to transform society by discarding all our traditions, heritage and national identity.

This climate emboldens and encourages self-serving and unscrupulous politicians to prevent legitimate concerns from being expressed, and freely playing the “race card”.

Danny Lockwood is to be commended for exposing the self-serving hypocrisy of those who are prepared to discard our long-standing freedoms in the name of a supposed ‘inclusiveness’ which is newspeak for censorship.

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