Once-proud building with a rich history
Letter of the Week: D Hirst, Dewsbury
The Kirklees White Elephant, better known as the Pioneer Building, used to be owned by the Dewsbury Pioneer Industrial Society.
It had hundreds of customers, who were all members, and their purchases brought them a yearly bonus.
The building boasted a suite of offices, a jeweller’s shop, chemist, a large furniture store, fish, fruit, game, dentist, shoe shop, ladies’ dress shop and grocery store.
It also had a cinema which had a cafe. A building adjacent had an undertaking department, at the rear of which was a licensed premises, the Duke of Leeds.
The undertaking department was later changed to a large electrical department, all Co-Op owned.
The society had a bakery and a dairy, together with other stores all over the borough. There were three electric used to vend fruit and vegetables throughout the town.
In 1952 the town held a window dressing competition in which up to 100 shops took part. I was managing the fruit shop at that time and won first prize with a display of fruit depicting the Prince of Wales’ feathers.
As time progressed the Co-Op sank into oblivion and the building was sold by Kirklees to some London firm who, having stripped all its assets, left it derelict.
Kirklees bought it back and now years later have renovated it. Too late, Kirklees. The new shops remain empty to add to dozens of others. The White Elephant remains.
We need a road crackdown
From: Ben Marshall, Liversedge
As a fan of Traffic Cops on Channel Five, I always tune in to see what driving ineptitude and illegality is going on throughout the country, but also especially our county when it’s focused on.
Yesterday (Sat) I saw our WYP heroes in action with the camera crew in Cleckheaton, and the scene certainly stopped traffic.
I hope there is going to be a crackdown on selfish, aggressive, dangerous and illegal drivers throughout our locality.
Moped yobs in Cleckheaton, scarfed quad bike/buggy idiots all along the A638 from Dewsbury to Rawfolds Mill, in the Oakenshaw/Bierley area plus amazingly in Bradford city centre, and the high-powered VW Golfs, Audi RS3s and Mercedes AMGs all over who can’t possibly afford the insurance on these lovely cars and drive with the grim reaper sat in the passenger seat.
Finally, as a regular user of Chain Bar roundabout professionally and privately, especially to Oakenshaw, I’d like to see a traffic police car parked permanently on it to observe the woefully inept driving discipline.
They could make a fortune with fixed penalties for speeding, driving without due care and attention, undertaking and my biggest bugbear of all, red light jumping at rush hour.
It causes a massive queue for us poor folk who don’t have a traffic light ‘window’ to gain access to the roundabout from Bradford Road, which itself is criminal regarding health and safety.
Questions not asked
From: Ms A Rawat, Batley
Football may not have come home, but I really enjoyed the lovely atmosphere that there was all around as we all got behind the England team. England flags were flying gloriously everywhere.
Some teams played roughly but the England team was sportsmanlike and it was heartwarming to see Gareth Southgate being so supportive towards his men, hugging them to celebrate and console them. We will do it all again in four years’ time.
I attended the Kirklees leaders’ Question Time event. Do people feel that this is the way to be part of democratising Kirklees?
My question did not get asked. Did the people whose questions did get asked feel any happier than I do?
Who selected the questions from all that had been put in? Probably the facilitator, paid by council. They were hardly going to select what was going to really test them.
We should run these sessions, or at least we should select the questions. Before the event, people could select perhaps five questions and the ones that get the most ticks gets asked at that event.
The councillors have to make the officers honest, and we have to make the councillors honest.
Justice for Cleckheaton
From: Caz Goodwill, concerned Cleckheatoner
“Kirklees Council how dare you say;
That you are democratic, fair and just.
When this small town is crushed beneath your rule;
And its great buildings ground to dust.
The former leader and asset holder rule;
Without regard to democracy or care.
4,000 people plead to save our school;
And help keep our buildings proud and fair.
Our heritage school torn down instead of sold;
Red House missed asset transfer by one count.
Red House with Bronte heritage for sale;
Yet other towns have asset transfers for one pound!
Our listed library under threat, our green belt built upon;
Our sports centre and our sixth form also gone.
This small, brave town is fighting to survive;
Yet Kirklees Council takes away all that helps us thrive.”
We strongly request that Kirklees Council halt the sale of Red House and re-examine the asset transfer bids for Red House and/or allow additional time for a community bid to buy for a realistic purchase price.
Thanks for help and kindness
From: Alan Garforth, Dewsbury
Can I thank the kind person who presented the Batley Senior Citizens Luncheon Club with comfortable presents.
I was on holiday so didn’t get the details, but the ladies who deal with the meals saved me one.
Thank you for that, and thank you also to those ladies for all the running about they do for us when serving our meals.
Grass cutting is appreciated
From: Irene and David Robb, Kirkheaton
After visiting our son’s grave in Mirfield St Mary’s Parish Church graveyard, we felt we had to write and say a huge ‘thank you’ to whoever it was who cut the grass.
Not only had they made such a brilliant job of cutting the grass but they must have also used a strimmer and made each one of the graves nice and tidy.
From the bottom of our hearts once again, a huge thank you.
Is democracy in trouble?
From: John Appleyard, Liversedge
Anyone watching or listening to the media could be forgiven for thinking that the only things that exist or are worth talking about are Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, the Royal Family, the Beckhams and Theresa May, topping the bill with saturation coverage on a daily basis with those of us below lucky to get a walk-on part.
Now I read that 38 MPs have written a letter demanding a second referendum on Brexit, never mind the 17 million-plus who voted to leave Europe.
I voted to stay, but I accept the result.
These MPs have the audacity to claim that the electorate, unlike them, didn’t understand the issues that were voted on and maybe Vladimir Putin used his influence for a no vote.
This view gives real understanding of what a small clique of MPs think about the electorate, if they speak like this in public, what are they saying in private?
These 38 MPs who don’t accept the referendum should now be subjected to instant recall by the electorate in their constituency where a mini general election should take place.
The discussion on Europe began after the Second World War, Edward Heath took us into the Common Market and Harold Wilson held a referendum in 1975.
Europe split the Labour Party and the SDP was formed. The Tories have always been divided, during Margaret Thatcher’s time and John Major’s time.
Before UKIP we had the Referendum Party organised by James Goldsmith. The aim of the referendum was to sort this out once and for all.
The people have spoken, and as Bertolt Brecht said, ‘you cannot re-elect the electorate’, their decision is final.
If the decision isn’t accepted then democracy is in trouble.
Grateful for all the fundraising support
From: Mike Luby, Dewsbury
I want to give a big thank you to Arthur Andreos for helping me with fundraising for the Great North Run on September 9.
Also a huge thanks to all my supporters over 17 years of supporting my running – you’re just great.