Your Letters – Friday January 10, 2020

Burglars have cost us a fortune 

Letter of the Week: Angela Putterill, The Corner Cafe, Batley

On Monday morning I got a phone call from my staff at 7am. 

Somebody had smashed the large window and the door, before ransacking the till. This is the fourth time something like this has happened within eight years.  

I needed to get to the cafe from my home in Barnsley ASAP. So I gave my husband the news and we set off in the rush hour traffic to Batley. 

When we arrived, we found a massive boulder in the lounge. Fortunately we don’t leave any money in the till overnight so they didn’t get their hands on any. 

We looked at CCTV and saw two figures wearing gloves and hoods. The council’s cameras don’t appear to be working. 

At the time, we couldn’t clean up the glass because we had to wait for crime scene officers to arrive. They eventually did, three hours later, and we were given permission to clear the glass. 

I have contacted a glazing company with a view to installing two new windows and we have forked out a small fortune all because the burglars thought they could get their hands on a couple of quid. 

We haven’t received any support from the council. 

Window shutters would probably stop this from happening again but would cost between £8,000-£10,000. We just can’t afford it. 

A temper the same as us

From: David Honeybell, Heckmondwike

Last week television news made a meal out of the story of His Holiness The Pope smacking the hand of a pilgrim who tried to kiss his ring.

They then went on to show about 10 examples of occasions where His Holiness was seen to roughly pull his hand away from other pilgrims. 

The use of violence by Popes is not new. St Peter, the first Pope, cut off a servant’s ear with a sword when he tried to prevent Jesus from being arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. 

I’m sure there are more examples of Pope violence over the last 2,000 years. As a practicing Catholic (we all know the old joke about the man who was still a practicing Catholic, but he never got any better) I can’t condone what the Pope did, but it’s not only us left footers who sometimes lose our temper.

I think Henry VIII, who as the head of the Church of England put to death or divorced his wives, was much worse than St Peter. The present royal family, with the exception of her Majesty the Queen, seem  to think Henry’s divorce law is compulsory.

From Princess Margaret and her trips to private islands to Prince Charles and his friendship with the wife of an army officer. Princess Anne swapped her army officer for a naval officer and then there is the ongoing story about the Duke of York...

They must be the most dysfunctional and over-paid family in the land. 

When Prince Charles becomes Defender of Faith, he will be a most fitting successor to Henry VIII.

The new hubs of crime

From: Daniel Goodwin, by email

In line with the international trend of banking scandals which have swept across the western world in recent years, Batley has excelled itself and once again had its name in the papers as an innovator and market leader. 

What I am referring to are Batley town centre’s former banking premises, at one time a cornerstone of community life, now transformed into new diverse local hubs of crime.

What next? A sex dungeon or cannibal restaurant? What scenes of ghoulish dread will we have to look forward to in the future? Although when compared to the child rape gangs and daylight drug dealer killings it is a minor chapter in the story of social decay in our area. 

The issues which lie unaddressed, unprosecuted and uninvestigated and where the victims are treated as the criminals are now national news.

The whole world is watching, and those people found not to be doing their jobs properly will be dealt a sharp blow. 

It fills my heart with utter despair to see the places we respected in our youth abandoned. And as institutions and landmark companies withdraw from the area, we are left with the slums, the forced labour, the sex workers, drug addicts, and the myriad of exploited people who came here, God help them, for a better life, not to mention all the poor souls who were born here! 

How sad to see the utter demise of our town’s self respect ... and to think folk actually complained about Barclays being turned into a Wetherspoons! 

Roll on the next depraved chapter in our local history, hope is lost and we ride to ruin on a lie.

My memories of bombers

From: Douglas Hird BEM, secretary of Shaw Cross Sharks ARLFC

After reading Mike Popplewell’s article on Dewsbury’s bombing in WWII, I can recall the night the bombs were dropped. 

Perhaps he would like further details which I record below:

I am 88 and remember vividly the night when the German bombs hit Dewsbury.

I watched the red-hot shells being fired from the anti-aircraft guns at Caulms Wood as the German bombers passed over Dewsbury.

The gun noises were very loud. Only two bombs were dropped fortunately, one at the bottom of Wakefield Road not far from Dewsbury Town Hall which demolished a house, killing the woman inside.

The other must have been targeted at the high Gawthorpe water tower in Chidswell Lane, Shaw Cross as the bomb landed in the field opposite.

The following morning a number of local lads, of which I was one, went up Chidswell Lane to find the deep crater in the field the bomb had made. 

We searched the area and found several pieces of shrapnel which we took home as ‘souvenirs’.

I kept it for many years but I don’t know what happened to it in the end.

A pleasure to read

From: J Roberts, Mirfield

I just had to write in response to the ‘Good Samaritan’ letter in today’s Forum page (Friday January 3 issue).

What a lovely, kind person they were to pay for an item for someone else because the checkout was card-only. 

It really makes you realise that with all the doom and gloom we read and hear about, there are still wonderful, generous and thoughtful people about. 

How lovely of the lady or gentleman to take the time to write to the paper to thank them too. 

It was a pleasure to read this letter and I wish you both a very happy new year!

Constructive criticism

From: Harry Teale, Mirfield

A happy and prosperous new year to all the staff of and contributors to The Press!

Now that the UK has a government with some fiscal intelligence (at least the previous government left them with something other than a derisory note), a decent working majority and a respect for UK citizens, we can look forward with 2020 vision to (hopefully) an independent and sovereign United Kingdom!

My first constructive criticism for 2020 is against the media ‘experts’ who claim that there was a seismic shift to the Conservatives in the December 2019 General Election. 

How an increase of 268,936 from the 2017 General Election constitutes a seismic shift I cannot comprehend!

The real seismic shift was the Labour vote moving to other ‘Remoaner’ parties, 1,290,435 defecting to the Lib Dems alone.

I note that our previous MP for Dewsbury and Mirfield, even in defeat, cannot admit that she failed to acknowledge the wishes of the majority of the people she was supposed to represent! 

Punished for lawlessness 

From: Kathryn Collins, Birstall

Trying to get car insurance for our car is a nightmare because of car theft and idiots driving around like Sterling Moss. 

All insurance companies are requiring trackers at massive cost as they stipulate the type of tracker and the subscription we need for monitoring of the tracker. 

This at a cost of about £500, otherwise the insurance goes up even more. 

We are just law-abiding citizens who are being penalised because of lawless people. 

The insurance companies are targeting us because of our postcode. I hope Tracy Brabin and West Yorkshire Police are proud of themselves. 

Charity of the month success

From: Martin Webster, chairman of Friends of West End Park

Following your story about our Street Survival ‘Bags of Kindness’ we were nominated and have been selected as Tracy Brabin’s ‘Charity of the Month’ so thank you very much, we will be able to fill many more bags as a result, which will give practical help so that rough sleepers can survive the first night to be helped on the second. 

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