Reader’s letters - Friday January 16, 2015

Donald McGill postcard  which was banned in 1954. Image published courtesy of The Donald McGill Museum. This picture features in a new biography Donald McGill Cartoon Artist available from www.donaldmcgill.info
Donald McGill postcard which was banned in 1954. Image published courtesy of The Donald McGill Museum. This picture features in a new biography Donald McGill Cartoon Artist available from www.donaldmcgill.info
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Time to clear cartoon ace

Even without realising it, most British people will be at least familiar with the work of the late cartoonist Donald McGill.

McGill produced, in his lifetime (1875 - 1962) a considerable number of cartoons which sold as seaside postcards’.

Saucy, at times mildly irreverent, but which formed over years, a part of British culture which has survived as part of our way of life and of seaside holidays to this day.

McGill was prosecuted in the 1950s for offences under the then laws relating to his cartoons, offences that, to our modern minds, are quite frankly ludicrous.

Even at the time had this mild little man, who only wanted to make people laugh when on their holiday, mounted a defence, would likely have been laughed out of court (a number of cases were a result of narrow-minded spite).

In recent years enlightened Government has secured the Royal Prerogative and pardons for Dr Alan Turing (just now subject of a major film) and for those soldiers shot at dawn in the Great War.

Our armed forces have not collapsed as a result and the community at large has welcomed these enlightened moves.

I would hopefully suggest that if McGill was given a posthumous pardon this would accord with the mood in the country, and indeed in the world, in the aftermath of recent dreadful events in Paris.

Please can the Prime Minister and Government law officers consider this?

It would honour our cartoonist friends in France.

Arthur ‘Charlie’ Wright, via e-mail

Response flags up difference

Our late lamented taxi driver once berated me for having a pop at the French, saying if anything or anyone crossed their path, they were out in force and let their feelings be known.

We Brits, on the other hand, had a walk up to the local and complained to the barmaid. The events of the slain off duty soldier here and the Charlie slayings in Paris just about proved that.

Their Premier declared a day of mourning and 50 country leaders turned out. Are we not capable of demonstrating that kind of outrage against these despicable people?

Obviously not , we might just go and offend somebody, and that just isn’t cricket!

Allan Fazackerley, Penwortham

Leaders need to head up fight

The recent outrages in France illustrate how little Muslim leaders in France and Britain seem to have done to prevent the indoctrination of their young impressionable children by unregulated radical preaching.

We hear much from our politicians about what steps the security services are being called upon to do to prevent further atrocities, also how little they seem to be able to do to prevent Jihadists from abroad, now adept at using social media under the cloak of a twisted version of their religion, to continue to radicalise their young to follow ISIL. However, we hear very little from Muslim community leaders either here or in France about what steps they are taking to combat these malign influences,in their midst.

Unfortunately this makes the local populace more suspicious and suspect many of them may secretly be in agreement with these terrorists hence the fire-bombing of their mosques we are now hearing about in France.

The figure of 500 plus disillusioned young Muslims suspected to have gone to fight in the Middle East also creates problems as to how to deal with any wishing to return. The EU inform us we must allow them back because of their UK citizenship, but does not offer any solutions as to how we should tackle their likely radicalised threat to our society.

EJ Tilley, Chorley

Memories of Miller Arcade

Over the Christmas period, my husband and I watched A Kind Of Loving on the television.

Part of it was filmed in the Miller Arcade and it brought back memories of the lovely shops that were there.

The arcade was considered the centre of Preston at that time. There was no corporation bus station, so all the bus stops were around or near the arcade, and it was a favourite meeting place for friends and courting couples. I remember Ruth Leonard’s dress shop, they sold evening, and wedding dresses, and I was told that the staff, had to call the manageress, Madam (they were big on tulle).

There was the Gift House, were I bought my first china tea pot, there was always a container of water under the counter so you could be sure the tea pot spout would pour without drips.

There was Dunn and Co, which sold nearly every men’s hat known to man, Lotus shoes, a pub, and the lovely Sharps, a ladies’ drapers, I spent many an hour steaming the windows with my breath looking at things I thought I would never be able to afford. There were no doors on the arcade at that time and it was like a wind tunnel.

I always used to stand in the doorway of Carwins electrics under the clock to try to shelter from the icy blast in winter.

At the time of the filming I was working evenings at the snack bar in the foyer of the Top Rank a. When I told my dad the price of the best seats he said, ‘who the hell is going to pay three and tuppence just to go to the pictures’.

Barbara Gray, via email

Knights of road still to be found

On December 22, at about 7pm, my car broke down on Southport Road in Chorley as I was about to turn right into Windsor Road. The traffic was heavy and I was holding everyone up. It was very embarrassing but as I was alone, there was nothing I could do about it until two cars pulled up and pushed me on to the pavement.

One of them loaned me his mobile so I could call the rescue people, and then towed me into Windsor Road which was easier for the rescue van. They were both so kind and I couldn’t thank them enough so I am hoping you will print this to let them know how much I appreciated their kindness, and to let others know the age of chivalry is still around.

Marjorie Matthew, address supplied