Your Letters – Friday January 5, 2018

Some gems on over Christmas

From: John Appleyard, Liversedge

The BBC yet again was the most watched television channel over the Christmas period, with Mrs Brown’s Boys receiving the most viewers, which shows that ‘Auntie’ despite its critics is still popular with viewers.

However there were also some gems on local radio, with Scott ‘Pretty Boy’ Midgeley, a bare knuckle boxer from the Buttershaw estate in Bradford who is ranked world number two at the sport.

Apparently bare knuckle fighting is on the increase and its supporters claim it is now safer than boxing with gloves.

I also enjoyed an hour-long interview with John Kear talking about his life in rugby league from his time at Bramley, Paris, Sheffield, Huddersfield, Wakefield, Hull, Batley and now at Bradford.

If anyone can take the Bulls back to the top flight, then there’s no one better than John Kear.

Finally, the acclaimed writer Kay Mellor did a couple of interviews on Radio Leeds. Kate is so busy and has such a prolific output of work, advancing the causes of women that often get neglected.

Lay the blame elsewhere

From: Derek Cartwright, Soothill

A Labour supporter is spinning history again. These Labour people want you to ignore history, indeed like the dictators of ‘1984’ they want to re-write it.

The yobs of Labour came out to stop what I would have said was an ill-judged event at a museum. 

Ill-judged because it was another excuse to state coal mines were shut for no valid reason. That reason was simple, we stopped using as much coal.

Coal is historically where the railway industry came into our national story.

The making of rails ate up thousands of tons of iron. For instance, the 2,000 miles of track laid in 1847-8 required in all approximately 400,000 tons, with a similar market abroad. 

In 1847, two million tons of iron were produced which required about eight million tons of coal. 

British locomotives consumed more and more – 750,000 tons in the year ending June 30, 1849.

So the rise in the rail industry demanded more and more coal, the decline of steam meant a reduced demand for coal, as nationalized coal became dearer and private oil cheaper.

Last week’s writer wants to blame a Conservative government for the final decline in the coal industry.

Yet we have to remember that if we didn’t buy British cars, then we didn’t need as much British steel, and then we didn’t require as much energy, so didn’t require as much coal, and of course that goes across the whole of industry.

In addition, not all the decline in employment in the mines was due to demand, there was also mechanisation!

With the political spin of the 1980s we tend to forget that the coal industry was in decline almost throughout the 20th century.

The tale of the nationalised coal industry is like the railway industry, the Coal Board was run in parallel with the union leaders, appointing the mine managers with their approval so that mines were only slowly closed and they produced in the 1980s too much coal that was too expensive when compared to foreign imports.

The real question is why were the mines not shut down more quickly under Labour governments?

That was when the large unions with their payments and Labour chickened out of acting in the national interest. 

I regard all politicians as chickens. Do not forget the railways today are 90 per cent nationalised. I do not think railways should be privatised, but I do think the chickens should remove all subsidies from them. 

Let southerners pay the full price of travelling into London!

So disappointed in Beeb output

From: Tim Goddard, Batley

We must congratulate the BBC for their skills over the festive season.

Fitting in 50s, 60s and 70s repeats, and then a repeat of the same repeat the very next day must require a brilliant brain.

I was most disappointed that they hadn’t time to wheel out Johnny Weissmuller, alias Tarzan, and Hopalong Cassidy from the 40s films.

Talk about robbing Peter to pay Paul!

Nondescript ‘B side’ music they play on Radio 2 also does the trick – less royalties.

The Royal Charter states that the BBC has to ‘keep strict stewardship of licence payers’ money’.

Oh yes! Names like Gary Lineker, Graham Norton, John Humphrys, Claudia Winkleman and their ilk spring to my mind.

Also, it states they are to be ‘politically neutral’.

Is that why between January and July, after complaints to Ofcom, analysis showed that there were 85 Remainers on Question Time, against only 36 Brexiteers? Disgraceful!

How the BBC have the cheek to hound people to court, I don’t know.

For entertainment, I’ll have to ask the bookie for odds on the following:

How many pot holes there are in Batley?

How many weeks it takes me to spot a policeman?

The percentage increase in salaries for council chiefs, NHS top dogs and BBC newsreaders.

Thanks for all your support

From: Tim Wood, the Old Colonial, Mirfield

As 2017 has now drawn to a close, I would like to say thank you for the generosity of all concerned who have given so much for the charities and fund raising associations connected in various ways to the Old Colonial Pub.

The year 2017 saw the Mirfield Rifle Volunteers raise funds for SSAFA and local Alzheimers support in the local community.

A carol concert last Saturday alone raised the beastly sum of £666 for the MRV.

Prior to that the RBL raised yet more funds via our annual Christmas auction.

Just one week before that more funds were raised for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, cheers to Johnny Hunter and his team.

This year’s poppy appeal is set to top the £17,000 mark in Mirfield.

The giving goes on with the Round Table beer festival in Mirfield, and the Bobtown Beer Bash just up the road.

I am privileged to work each year with so many dedicated and kind individuals, it’s truly great.

Did you visit church over Xmas?

From: Ms A Rawat, Batley

So you’ve all had a good Christmas. Turkey. Presents. Decorations. Oh, I do love all the lights that people put up every year. It’s marvellous that you make the effort, well done to you all.

But why the emphasis on presents, and too many of them? It’s not your birthday, and it’s not even the birthday of Jesus for that matter.

It’s said that he was born some time around March.

However you are celebrating the coming of your saviour, so why do so many of you not go to church? Wouldn’t that be a lovely way to start the day?

Then after that, if the turkey is dry or the presents are disappointing, it won’t matter.

Not as much anyway, because you will have done the important thing – and you will be feeling more spiritually connected.

Make it a tradition every year, then you will always know what you will be doing for Christmas. The rest will follow more easily.

Happy new year to you all.

What a great way to help

From: Colin Wright, Liversedge

It has warmed the cockles of my heart to see how various community groups and ad-hoc groups of friends have come together over the last couple of years at Christmas time. 

The advent of social media for once has proved positive, with once-unconnected people now able to organise wonderful events for those less well off, raise money and hand out presents and other goods. Well done to all involved! 

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