Your Letters – Friday August 3, 2018

From: Tim Wood, Old Colonial, Mirfield

Dear Sir,

The ninth Roberttown Beer Festival got underway at 12 noon last Saturday, months of planning for this year’s festival would be put to the test.

At 11.30am a massive squall of wind picked up and overturned a 35ft stretch of tentage at the side of the main arena – disaster.

All hands to the pump, I have never seen as many people assemble so quickly to lend a hand to repair the damage.

Gaffer tape, strong rope, lengths of twine were soon produced, everyone became sudden experts on structural repairs each offering conflicting engineering solutions to each other.

Within four minutes the tented area was back up in the Best of British and Blue Peter fashion.

Random individuals coming together each year to work as a team is what I like most, all for the common good turning back the clock on modern day slothfulness, back to times when things were done good and proper.

The gates opened – the crowds kept coming again. Great selection of quality ales and ciders and other drinks, entertainment for the gods and top notch fresh hot food, it’s a triumph of the spirits.As an outsider looking in, I have worked with the Bobtown Beer Bash ‘boffins’ for almost 10 years. 

They always make me smile, as I watch their progress each year improving things and making things better for the next festival to come.Next year will be the 10th anniversary year and I have heard a rumour that Donald Trump has been invited – or was it Donald Duck? 

Well done beer bashers, you are some of my favourite unsung heroes.

Planning woes are ancient
From: LR Hirst, Mirfield
Dear Sir,
Some years ago Barrett Developments applied for planning permission to build on land which is now playing fields adjoining Crossley Lane, Mirfield, also land which Bellway Homes (wants to build on) at the rear of Balderstone Hall.
I attended the meeting for Barretts’ application at the methodist chapel in Mirfield and raised two points of objection against the building of homes being granted.
The first one was that the playing fields had been left in trust by Mr Thompson who was the Town Clerk of Mirfield and had lived at Balderstone Hall at one time, for the use of the children of Northorpe. The second was regarding old pit workngs at the front and rear of Balderstone Hall and I have proof of what I stated. No permission was granted.
Balderstone Hall is grade II listed and readers may have seen that what is thought to be a 2,000-year-old round house has been found on the site.
On page 187 of Harold Pobjoy’s book History of Mirfield, it states that on a day known as ‘Runaway Sunday’ women and children took refuge in the workings of the pits to escape Scottish troops. Also it states on page 138 that they stocked the coal caverns with food. It also states that in 1875 when miners were working digging out coal from the rear of Balderstone Hall, that they came across jars that contained food in some of the deeper workings. The area was known then as Mirfield Moor. Finally can someone explain to the public why the planning committee have no knowledge of this information – or have they?
What a waste of time for Mr Benson the project spokesman and his loyal followers and a waste of ratepayers’ money on planners’ wages and expenses.

We are not amused...
From: Anne Pugh, Batley
Dear Sir
Wow! Well I wasn’t expecting a mention in your editorial (Ed Lines July 20). In fact, I got almost as much space as the Great Get Together, which brings me back to my original letter.
I didn’t say that you should have filled the newspaper, I merely pointed out that you could have collected sufficient photographs (and reports) from the 20+ events attended by around 1,000 people over that single weekend. Now – isn’t that news?
I would argue that it is just as newsworthy as a fight outside a restaurant, especially when there was a hugely positive response from all the events.
But, of course, it’s a good news story, with the community demonstrating a show of strength. I know it comes under the overall banner of ‘More in Common’, to which you have given coverage over time but, come on, this was a single weekend when all these events took place, not to mention the 1,000 local children who took part in ‘Step into the Future’. According to YouGov over 300,000 people took part in the Great Get Together.
I was disappointed that you changed my own headline of ‘A race to the bottom’ for the rather insipid ‘No reflection on the nicest place I’ve lived’. I find your paper is in a race to the bottom alongside a number of others who are equally good at preaching gloom and doom.
I won’t pretend that no problems exist at the moment in parts of the town but at least can’t you acknowledge that good things happen too?
As you know I’m a relative newcomer and ‘Barfield’ was new to me. However, a bit of research has told me that Barfield was the pseudonym given to Batley in a 1950s film called Value for Money.
I found these reviews of the film “...cinematography brings out both the beauty of the scenic locations and the squalor of the appropriately grimy townscapes”, “Batley is a lot cleaner now”, “filmmakers characterised all Yorkshiremen as tight with their money and knowing little of anything outside the county”. An idyll indeed!
Finally, as to your patronising statement about my previous abode, I didn’t move here from Mosul or Helmand but from LS16 (North Leeds).
PS: Did I even mention that I was a Mrs? Don’t make assumptions.

QT a wasted opportunity
From: Chris Thorne, Dewsbury
With regard to Ms A Rawat’s letter (Kirklees leaders’ Question Time), I too thought it was a waste of a good opportunity, but alas, my question as with many other attendees didn’t get asked. I did manage to squeeze in one impromptu question about the Treasure Island feature in The Press regarding the waste of money spent on the traffic island at the bottom of Soothill.
They just waffled with no real conviction on what was clearly an embarrassing question. With experience I would have handled the situation with a bit more gusto.
Looking forward to the next meeting.

Answers over Soothill needed

From: Steven Potter, Soothill
Firstly I would like to thank Zoe Shackleton for helping to highlight the parking problems on the 212 bus route and at the same time condemn the responses made by Kirklees Council and Neighbourhood Housing (KNH).
First the comments made by Karl Battersby. In his opinion the parking is well managed! Has he even been out to see the situation?
And the problem of parking is an issue of which councillors and estate management are well aware, as it’s been discussed at enough residents’ meetings where both the aforementioned have been attendees.
How, Mr Battersby, would yellow lines cause parking problems elsewhere when the residents at the top of Grace Leather Lane have homes with integral garages? Plus another standing place in front of the same?
He ought to consider the needs of the many, not the wants of a few. Our bus service is vital to the area as it provides a link to the local town centres and hospitals.
I would also like from Mr Battersby details of the campaign/petition he says was instrumental in the speed cushions being refurbished.
I ask this because the secretary of our local residents’ association lives next to Grace Leather Lane and has no recollection of being asked to sign any petition.
Also, the council’s reply to the demolition of the outbuildings is at best flawed. The original intention to demolish these perfectly good outbuildings, I was told by two KNH employees, was because they were a fire hazard – as they also housed the refuse containers and they did not want another Grenfell Towers.
How substantial brick and concrete structures would burn I do not know, but what I do know is now the bins are flush up against the flat walls. Fire hazard increased 100 per cent, well done KNH.
Perhaps KNH would like to comment on the above and as to why two of these outbuildings were left standing.
Thank you at The Press for allowing me this chance to reply and I am more than willing to enter into further debate with the council and KNH via your paper.

Rock on Hecky
From: John Appleyard, Liversedge
Dear Sir,
It is 150 years (1868) since Ben Bulloch, a former miner from Burnley, set up stalls selling boiled sweets in Dewsbury and Heckmond-wike markets. He also introduced what was reputedly the first example of lettered rock which he sold to Blackpool and was taken up by seaside resorts all over Britain and the world in such places as Malta, Sudan, India, and Australia.
Our area may be small in comparison to the big cities but we punch far above our weight in achievement.

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