Reader’s letters - Friday 07 March 2014

Lostock Hall Methodist Church dates back over 100 years but faces an uncertain future
Lostock Hall Methodist Church dates back over 100 years but faces an uncertain future
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Hope for future of church

The sale and new use of Lostock Hall Methodist Church brings to an end 200 years of Methodism in the area, but instead of commemorating a wonderful period the church was closed in 2010.

Services at first were held in “Old Pea Sally’s” cottage, one of six cottages on the site of the present Sunday School (now called Double Bridges Centre).

In 1840 services were held in the adjacent school which was owned by the local mill owner, Richard Bashall, built to provide a school for child workers in the factory.

In 1876 the six cottages were knocked down and a new church was built. The membership was increasing and the members after 16 years agreed to prepare to build a new church as soon as they were able.

The present church was built and opened in 1905. It was a beautiful church, built in Accrington brick and the woodwork in the church was pitch pine. It was the finest example of a Methodist Village Chapel in Lancashire. In the last 20 years refurbishment and improvements have been made.

Disabled facilities were added and the kitchen replaced. The organ was replaced with the lovely Preston-built Ainscough pipe organ from the closed Walton-le-Dale Church, the pitch pine wood a perfect match.

A new foyer was made by removing pews at the back of the church. A consultant of church buildings from London visiting just prior to closure describe the church as a ‘gem’.

The sale of the church for a storage area shows scant regard by the Methodist Church for the neighbours and local residents in a completely residential area.

The church is the largest and most notable building on the main road running through the village.

I hope the new owners will appreciate this magnificent building and hopefully retain the front façade.

E Kenyon, Lostock Hall

Now show for fracking firm

On Monday night I went to Burnley Mechanics to listen to a debate on fracking.

There should have been three speakers – Dr Brian Parkin, from Leeds University, and Martin Empson, who has wrote several environmental works – were two of the speakers, giving the anti-fracking view.

The other speaker should have been Cuadrilla – but despite confirming that they would 
attend, they didn’t show and they sent no message to say they wouldn’t be coming.

After waiting a while, the 
organisers realised they were not coming, and we listened to the other speakers, and a civilised and interesting debate took place.

However, I think a lot of us were disappointed at Cuadrilla’s no show.

I can only conclude that they didn’t show because they know that their arguments about the benefits of fracking just don’t stand up to scrutiny – they know that they cannot argue that fracking will bring jobs and cheap gas to the area – rather – it will destroy a beautiful part of the country and ruin both our agricultural and tourist industry in Lancashire.

Liz Stanton, Broadgate

Health staff do a great job

Open any newspaper or switch on the telly and it seems that there is always someone willing to criticise the NHS.

Why? Certainly, here in Chorley, I can see no need for any fault finding, only praise. From the moment a patient attends reception, through to the nursing staff and doctors, you will find that you are treated as a person, not just a number. The staff at all levels are courteous, attentive and thorough. ‘Thank you’ to all of the staff at Chorley hospital.

You do a great job and I think it is important you know you 
really are appreciated.

Graham Archer, Chorley

When our hero fixed the pipes

Sir Tom Finney wasn’t just a plumber, he was OUR plumber! Tom was our plumber at the

Harris Children’s Home in

Garstang Road, Fulwood, where many of us remember him

coming to fix things.

But also the boys particularly remember him, with great

affection, giving them a game or playing head tennis.

This inspired a few of the boys to trial for Preston North End, my brother, Keith, being one.

Keith still holds a few shares in the club today. I also managed to get his autograph, which is somewhat faded in a battered

autograph book, but still very much treasured.

Sadly, when I organised a

Harris reunion in 2003 to which Tom was invited, he was unable to attend as his dear wife Elsie was very ill by then.

But he still took the trouble to ring me and explain why he couldn’t make it. Like many

others paying tribute these past few weeks, I was humbled he rang personally, that being the very essence of the man.

One of the Harris boys, Bill Graham, came over for the

reunion from Australia.

As Tom was doing a book

signing in Preston at the time, I rang Waterstones to ask if he would sign a copy and put a

message in from all Bill’s friends in the Harris to mark his 65th birthday and retirement, which Tom kindly did.

Bill was overwhelmed and said he would treasure it for the rest of his life.

Many Evening Post press

cuttings will be sent over to him and his brother Brian in due course.

Preston has indeed lost a very special Prestonian, not to mention the best footballer ever.

I saw him play many times as I was fostered by a couple in Deepdale, so near the ground, as my foster father was a keen North End supporter I was taken to many matches both home and away.

I was also persuaded to queue for season tickets early in the morning, but was delighted to do so.

On behalf of the many, now senior, boys and girls from the Harris, I would like to express our deepest sympathy to Sir Tom’s immediate family who are grieving the very sad public loss of a special member of their family. Thank you for sharing him with so many people. Special memories.

With deepest sympathy.

Brenda Taylor,

nee Challioner, Windermere