Your Letters – Friday October 5, 2018

St Mary’s site could be converted

Letter of the Week: Jane Hicks, Batley

I am writing with regard to the proposed demolition of the unused infant school attached to St Mary’s RC Church. 

We are too ready to demolish old buildings which are part of the history of the town and should consider if there are other ways in which this building and the area around it can be used.

I enclose pictures of the old primary school at Fountain Street, Morley. This has been converted into 12 houses. 

The exterior of the building was left as it was and so it continues to blend with the surrounding buildings. 

As usual with building schemes I suspect that money is at the bottom of this desire to demolish the buildings – we are always being told that it is cheaper to demolish existing buildings and put new ones in their place. 

It is now time to rethink this strategy – looking at the overhead picture of this site it looks ideal for the buildings to be converted and thus continue to blend in with the surroundings. 

There is no reason, other than greed, for the demolition of these beautiful historic buildings.


This site needs securing now

From: Tony Sturdy, Batley

Re: St Mary’s school and convent housing plans.

Yes it is a shame, and for the school has been for the past 16+ years. Have the campaigners not noticed it before? 

Why come forward now when something positive is being proposed? Did you bother to obtain views from any other local people who are actually affected by this problematic, eyesore of a site? Or were you just concerned with comments of people who live nowhere near it?

In reality it’s a derelict building falling down from the inside, a magnet for unauthorised entry, theft and drug use. 

It is only a question of time until injury,  or worse, befalls the site, or another fire with what effect on the church? 

Rubbish and needles are dumped over the wall, extending along the present school’s hedging, needing regular checks and removal for the children’s safety. 

Police have attended on 30+ occasions in the past five years, with numerous unreported incidents. 

It was not deemed newsworthy two years ago when I was interviewed and had photos taken after it was broken into seven times over five weeks. 

As I write this I am waiting for the police, the side door of the convent has been kicked in and entered whilst we were in Leeds, pity none of the concerned campaigners are about to help board up.

“For the community” is a blanket statement when you have not got a clue what to do with it. 

There is plenty of community provision; I could throw a stone from one side of the site at the Twin Chapels in the cemetery that are for community use. 

Equally I could throw a stone at the other side of the site to the ‘Proke’, which has a huge hall for community use.

No suitable buyer proposals came forward (I personally have had suggestions from a hotel/restaurant to an extended family home with space to repair and sell cars) so the Diocese have put forward these plans as the way forward. I think they are very good plans.

We all have fond memories of times past, but history would be very boring if nothing changed.

Let’s let new life and light be brought to an eyesore of a site alongside which is open to all manner of dealings after dark.

It was a headache for Fr Tim and Fr Patrick, let them push the plan forward and let Fr Eamonn get on with the job he is here for without this problem constantly on his back.


Older people need real banks

From: RL Anderson, Cleckheaton

There is a bank that spends millions on TV advertising to pull in new customers. No, it isn’t the one with the back horses or the one whose name is used in Cockney rhyming slang.

To open an account, the man asked me a string of questions and wanted my email address.

He seem astounded when I told him I didn’t have one, and didn’t want a computer.

He instantly told me I couldn’t have an account and the bank was ‘going green’ and only sent monthly statements etc by email.

Three questions arise!

• Most older people don’t even want a computer because they give a helping hand to scammers;

• Older people are generally the ones with the most spare money that needs banking;

• Could it be just another ruse to cut down on expenses, and put the bank’s wishes before those of the general public, who they should be helping not hindering?


Sedge FC plan on same road

From: Michael Holmes, Mirfield

While I commend the council on a memorial for the late Jo Cox in the shape of a wood for the community and children to appreciate, I have one question.

About 18 months ago Liversedge AFC officials and a few councillors led by David Sheard had a meeting to ask the council if they would do something about the lane for the club being widened and resurfaced.

David said no as it wasn’t the council’s – although they had at some time put in street lights – and gave the  club £2,000 to do a survey to find a new entrance.

This was a waste of money as we already knew the answer – nowhere.

Could this be the same entrance from Hightown Road down Quaker Lane that the council couldn’t do anything about?

Eight years ago the club had plans for a new clubhouse turned down as the lane traffic would be too heavy.

Also, who is going to look after it as the bike/skateboard park and the dog-walking park plus others things have all gone by the wayside?


What was her reasoning?

From: Steve Oliver, Heckmondwike

On the panel of Question Time last week was Ayesha Hazarika, who was sub-titled as a ‘comedian’. Once a week she also shares previewing the daily newspapers with political comment on Sky News in the late evening. 

The first question on QT was on Brexit and her opinion for wanting a second referendum, in my mind, seemed bordering on the idiotic and deranged. 

She ‘reasoned’ (sic) that since the referendum, about one million people had passed away and also about one million young people have now reached the age of 18.

So what? People of all age-groups die, including some who are less than 18.

I can’t fathom what her point was – does she think that the deceased were mostly old people who voted Leave and that all the ‘new’ 18-year-olds would be Remainers? (NB – only 43 per cent of young voters bothered to vote in the referendum!)

Her reasoning seems empty and vacuously stupid – but as a political commentator, Ayesha is definitely a comedian bar-none.


You can choose to read The Press or not!

From: Ben Marshall, Liversedge

I think you are allowed to be annoyed at your arrest, Danny, and as your occupation as a newspaper publisher you can vent your anger at this injustice on a bigger scale than normal ‘men and women on the street’.

It’s the incompetence of the police to arrest a high-profile citizen and not expect a furious public response from you and us to an injustice.

I wonder what Mr Elyas Patel would have done in similar circumstances? Perhaps he would have said “never mind officers, it’s okay” ... perhaps not!

Straight talking and telling it how it is, is the Yorkshire way. Mr Patel should know this as a Yorkshire citizen, race doesn’t come in to it! 

Finally, in my opinion The Press is an ‘intelligent weekly’ read by fair-minded Yorkshire folk, but as we are a free country people can choose to read it or not, as that is our right, and long may it continue.

I don’t always agree with your views  Danny, but to quote a Yorkshire saying “I don’t take my bat and ball home ‘cos I don’t like summat.”

Keep up the good work.


His contribution to music was immense

From: John Appleyard, Liversedge

I had the pleasure of seeing Charles Aznavour in concert at the Wakefield Theatre Club in 1975.

He had been at number one in the charts with his song ‘She’, which was the theme of the TV series ‘Seven Faces Of Woman’.

He made over 60 films and wrote songs for many other artists, such as Edith Piaf and Maurice Chevalier.

Charles was from a very poor background and only received a basic education but he never forgot his roots, and worked tirelessly for the Armenian people and became permanent ambassador of the Armenian Republic to Unesco.

He also had a love for England’s small town and villages, drinking tea, eating scones and visiting antique shops.

He hoped to live to a hundred but died six years short, but his contribution to music was immense.

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