Your Letters – Friday July 6, 2018

A touching story of love and devotion

Letter of the Week: Mr D Hirst, Dewsbury

Can I first thank you for the publication of several of my previous letters. This one is rather special, which I hope will give good reading.

I am now 90 years of age and reside with my wife, who sadly has suffered with dementia for the last seven years.

On July 18th we will have been married 65 years, and also enjoyed two years courting.

People say that it seems a long time, but because our marriage is still a happy one the years have flown.

We have two intruders in our home, called arthritis and dementia, who make us house-bound.

Each day we sit together and sometimes the silence is deafening.

There are times when my wife falls asleep and I see her smile.

She drifts into her own little world. I can imagine her being in a garden full of flowers, in the company of angels.

To me she has been, and always will be, an angel.

My reward is when she wakes, remembers me, and we have a little chat.

We take our prescribed medication and also have a daily dose of a morning, and a nightly kiss.

I know we are past our sell-by date, but our love is still as fresh as when we met.

So all that remains is to say “HAPPY ANNIVERSARY”.

Do we need new homes?

From: Derek Cartwright, Batley

I am no longer sure whether you should laugh or cry at local political activity.

The latest activity around the status of housing development falls into the above, you decide whether you are laughing or not.

I seem to recall that the Chidswell Action Group response was to build housing on the opposite side of Leeds Road. 

That was a political diversion, because one might argue there were more Labour votes on the other side of the road, and playing that card was to ask the Labour council to vote for building on Chidswell, but what do I know?

Have you followed the political games over the last 20-odd years? Of course not, you have better things to do. 

The Chidswell Action Group and others have ignored Kirklees’ basic argument, the council predicted what employment would be decades later and then stated Kirklees needed a number of houses for those workers.

Thus, from Kirklees Fact Sheets employment in 2002 was 152,000, 2015 they told us it was 153,000, 2016 they told us it was 153,700. 

No increase in employment, therefore no need for houses for Kirklees workers. Are you getting on a sardine can train to Leeds on Monday?

There is right and there is wrong – Kirklees for over 15 years have got it wrong, but voters have largely supported those who got it wrong.

Kirklees have not managed to present any evidence that the area can provide employment for the number of houses they have constantly planned.

And I heard some young lad yesterday ask someone what’s happened over the last 40 years? One thing Kirklees can tell you, manufacturing employment has nearly fallen by half. They were well-paid jobs for men that allowed families to buy homes, replaced by jobs in services.

So now you have jobs in fast food shops or people lending you money, but fewer are working to earn the money to pay for public services.

You balance the equation by borrowing, be that government or otherwise.

Town had such great firms

From: LR Hirst, Mirfield

I recently wrote you a letter about the excellent men who worked for Dewsbury Council as cleansing and sanitation officers.

This letter is to state how surprised I was to read that a regional newspaper issued a copy of the best 250 companies and the towns and cities they were established in.

I could not believe that only one firm was from Dewsbury.

What a deterioration of a town and its great manufacturing firms. Before Dewsbury and many surrounding towns became known as Kirklees, Dewsbury was known as the Heavy Woollen district, with the largest blanket cloth and shoddy mills in the world, one of which had four offices in the UK, six overseas officers and three mills.

Its name was Wormald and Walker.

The second one who had three mills and made fine cloth was Sir Mark Oldroyd. He was also the mayor of Dewsbury and paid for the town hall clock and tower when it was built.

Between the two firms they employed over 3,000 staff.

We also had a few more firms in Dewsbury and district who were classed as the largest in the UK. Thorntons of Savile Town and Sam Firth of Thornhill were rag auctioneers, importers and exporters, not to forget the 100 shoddy firms in the town who recycled rag waste into yarn, which was then woven into serviceable cloth again to make clothes.

I like many people used to be proud to say I came from Dewsbury. Not any more.

I agree with your publisher’s Ed Lines column, especially the ones about our two MPs and councillors.

Paula Sherriff and Tracy Brabin are always ‘gunner’ do this and ‘gunner’ do that. They would be better in the Royal Artillery, they would have made good gunners.

And finally, would someone from Kirklees Council state how much money has been spent on the old Pioneer buildings situated on Northgate in Dewsbury, and when will they be finished so that the public might be able to use the pavements again after all these years?

Is it turning a blind eye?

From: Anthony Doyle, via email

Yet another abject failure by West Yorkshire Police to deal with a public order issue, with reference to your lead article ‘Frankie Goes to Bollywood’.

There have been several such incidents recently. There has clearly been a shift  in the way the police respond (or don’t) to these.

Several letters to the Forum over recent weeks point to what seems to be an ‘ostrich’ approach, if we don’t look it may go away.

Despite several public condemnation letters in your paper over the past few weeks (mine included) there has not been one response from the powers that be at West Yorkshire Police defending or explaining their strategy of non-attendance.

In this country we police by consent. In order for this to work there has to be confidence in the police to assure the public the police will be there in the public’s time of need. Sadly this is not happening.

Danny Lockwood is right, I think the ‘white flag’ is being waved in many instances.

Incidents such as these will become more frequent and then one day someone will be killed or suffer life-changing injuries.

Only then will the ‘breast beaters’ at police headquarters hold an enquiry.

The contempt for the public currently on show is disgusting. Nip it in the bud now before it is too late, if it is not already,

Station is no better now

From: Harold Laycock, Mirfield

Coun Martyn Bolt’s reply to my letter last week (see above) was quite interesting.

His plans are always in the future and unlikely to be implemented for many years.

The first thing he mentions is improved car parking – some improvement for people with disabilities.

It is 26 years since I retired and apart from some recent work repairing the approach steps and platform surfaces the station is no better in terms of disability use than it was when I retired.

Traffic woes in Batley

From: Ben Marshall, Liversedge

I agree entirely about the standards of driving letter by “anonymous” last week, and I think the only way of policing it is by dash cam, shaming these individuals on YouTube as many do already.

I’m glad I wasn’t driving near the location of your front page story at the time of the incident too, as this particular one (whilst commendably turning around the fortunes of a former pub into a thriving business) has woefully inadequate parking.

Not only that one but the other two adjacent food joints, which added together should be managed by attendants who respect the customers’ wishes to dine there but primarily remember they are on a main thoroughfare with three other busy roads requiring respect from a certain little book called the Highway Code.

Prosperous businesses shouldn’t be penalised, but did anybody look at the impact of any of these in this busy location before saying yes to them?

Use it or lose it!

From: John Appleyard, Liversedge

It’s been announced that a further 12,000 bank job losses will take place in the UK, and according to the consumer magazine ‘Which’ there is to be a reduction in the number of cash points, particularly those installed inside stores on our high streets, which will further impact on the footfall of local businesses.

This makes it even more necessary to support our local Post Offices, which in my opinion are one of the finest institutions that we have in the UK.

You can access your high street bank account at any Post Office branch in the country, and always remember if you don’t want to lose it, use it!

No reflection of the nicest place I’ve lived

From: Anne Pugh, Batley

Why was I not surprised to see the front page of last Friday’s Press?

Was it celebrating the wonderful Great Get Together? No, that was relegated to a section of page four.

It was a fight outside a restaurant which gave The Press the opportunity to use one of its off-colour headlines.

You could have filled two or three pages with photographs about the Great Get Together – in addition to a great front page. 

My daughter and I (plus little ones) attended an event at Birstall Library on Friday then, on Saturday, the Heckmondwike family fun day, followed by a barbecue at the Hamm Damm Foundation and finally Cakes on the Cobbles in Batley Market Square.

We had a great day and we were exhausted but I know that many people managed to attend several more events than we did.

What is wrong with celebrating a great weekend which stretched right across the area and involved people of all ages from all backgrounds?

Does that not fit with your need to give the impression of a general malaise spreading across a divided community?

I am so angry at how this paper portrays the place where I came to live only a few years ago, yet which I count as the nicest, friendliest place I’ve lived over the last 50 years.

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