Letters, emails and texts on February 17

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A chance to have your say about the latest local and national headlines.

Tough times for town's stores

I agree with your editorial on empty shops, that the dark days are behind us. However, the future for town centre shopping is not rosy; there are too many problems.

It is not just the recession that has hit town centre shopping, it is the competition it has to face from out-of-town shopping, internet shopping and mail order shopping.

Preston is encircled by out-of-town shopping centres like the Deepdale Centre, the Capitol Centre, and the Bamber Bridge Centre – quite apart from others further afield such as the Trafford Centre.

The proportion of the retail market taken by mail order, and especially internet shopping, increases year after year.

The result must be that city centre and neighbourhood shops will suffer more and more.

It will be a sad day for Preston and other towns and cities if their centres decay.

Public transport will decrease, and car usage will increase, contributing to greenhouse gases that are destroying our planet. But most damaging of all will be the effect on our social life resulting from the lack of a vibrant city.

Coun Ron Atkins, James Street, Preston

Sculpture is tribute to a great industry

Why do Preston's minority of moaners like to shoot from the hip? They can't wait for the full facts before sounding off. While they praise the impressive Angel of the North in the North East, they attack proposals for a fantastic symbol of the North West.

The Angel is based on heavy engineering, which was heavily involved in making weapons of mass destruction.

The few Preston detractors have always attacked nuclear power and the aerospace industry in this district. These are two of the few remaining large employment, high-tech engineering businesses left. It takes a special kind of holier-than-thou attitude, especially today, to try to undermine good, well paid jobs in two of the most highly regulated and safety-conscious industries.

I worked as an engineer and union chairman at Warton and Strand Road and I am proud of the industry's world class design and manufacturing.

Don't those who attack British Aerospace understand, if we didn't build the equipment we would have to import it for our defence, and export our jobs?

Preston Guild is not just about having a good time and street parades. From the start in 1179, they have been held to celebrate our vital wealth creators.

This impressive artwork of an aircraft statue, if it is supported, would celebrate not a past industrial colossus but a modern success story with a great history and, importantly, a future.

It would be a glorious aerospace icon, admired throughout the UK and far beyond

Peter Ward, 1992 Guild Committee member, via email

Use a Concorde, not tasteless warplane

With regard to the aircraft statue design ideas revealed, anything that approximates to a warplane is totally unacceptable and in very bad taste.

If it must be a plane, why not a real one like Concorde, manufactured by BAC (now BAE Systems)?

Properly preserved, presented and protected against the weather, by the side of the M6, it would look stunning. And a visitor exhibition centre, or something similar, might enhance the display.

There are, apparently, up to 20 of these planes preserved around the world in museums, so there is no shortage of raw material.

Roy Tattersall, Fulwood, via email

Why kill and injure innocent creatures?

During a recent walk along the Lancaster Canal to Salwick Wharf from the Cottam area of Preston, I was dismayed to see people shooting in a neighbouring field. On the canal were two dead or injured mallards.

Why do humans cause death or injury to creatures which cause no harm to anyone, nor damage the environment? Last year an egret was shot near the canal off Tom Benson Way.

Why not live and let live?

Name and address supplied

Refresh bus station and let square alone

I agree with D Cowell of Broadgate (Letters, February 4). All Preston bus station needs is cleaning up and refreshing.

It is 40 years old, I think, which is not old for a building.

Neither does Winckley Square need materially altering. It's a nice peaceful place to relax and yet those in charge want to remove healthy trees and turn our parks over to noisy pop festivals.

I'm sick and tired of people calling the bus station an eyesore. The real eyesores are the buildings that replaced the old town hall.

I hope the Tithebarn Project never happens.

Name and address supplied

Did you attend 1955 FA Youth Cup tie?

I am a 19-year-old student working for my Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award and I have to complete a project which, in my case, is to compile a history of the FA Youth Cup 1953-1978 (the first 25 years). On October 31, 1955, Preston North End Youth played Manchester United Youth at Deepdale.

If any of your readers went to that game and have press reports or an original copy of the match team sheet or programme then I would very much like to hear from them.

Any help would be much appreciated. All letters will be answered and any original material loaned will be carefully handled and returned.

K Kirkpatrick, 58 Oster Street, St Albans, Herts AL3 5JL.

Appeal to Pearl to get back in touch

A few months ago you kindly printed an old Looking Back photo of two relations of mine in their army uniforms.

One photo, dated 1903, featured William Cottam while the other, taken much later, was of Clifton Cottam, my stepbrother.

After they appeared in the LEP, a lady telephoned to say that she was related to the Cottams.

Her name was Pearl and her husband was called George. Although we talked for a long while she did not leave her telephone number or her address and I never caught her second name.

I received a Christmas card from her and her husband, but she didn't put her address on the envelope so I still have no contact number.

Could they please get back in touch.

Sheila Metcalfe, Warwick Road, Walton-le-Dale (tel: 01772 250247)

Fans are good sports

Despite all the hype about Preston-Blackpool football derby games, I thought last Saturday's encounter at Deepdale was played with tremendous sporting spirit. There may not have been any goals but it was a pleasure to be in a full stadium. If only it could happen more often.

Ever Faithful, via email (name and address supplied)

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