Reader’s letters - Monday March 16, 2015

Lancastria House is a great part of Preston's history says a reader. See main letter
Lancastria House is a great part of Preston's history says a reader. See main letter
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We need to save building

In November 2014, Preston City Council announced plans to demolish Lancastria House, and the neighbouring Indoor Market and multi-storey car park for a cinema complex.

The five-storey building was constructed in 1930s by the Lancastria Co-operative Society in art deco style and houses the Great Times Chinese restaurant on the ground floor.

I believe it would be quite easy to incorporate Lancastria House into any new redevelopment, or at least the building’s facade, the latter a common practice for an increasing number of redevelopment projects.

Indeed, even if only the facade was kept, the art deco nature of the building may well be suited as frontage to a cineplex.

The building stands in close proximity to Preston Bus Station, which was awarded Grade II listing in September 2013 after a protracted campaign.

However, the area remains blighted by the worst excesses of post-war planning, which included the building of Ringway around the inner core of the town and the construction of a number of soulless office blocks, leaving the area highly disjointed and disparate.

Lancastria House is one of the few redeeming features of the area and a reminder of the town’s history and heritage, particularly from the era prior to the outbreak of WWII.

It should be noted that the art deco style has never been particularly prevalent in the north of England and is certainly a rare architectural style in Preston.

A great part of Preston’s history is under threat – Lancastria House must be saved.

Show your support for Lancastria House by contacting the Twentieth Century Society: caseworker@c20society.org.uk and English Heritage: northwest@english-heritage.org.uk

D Turner, Preston

People matter as much as cash

I’m glad I’m not the only person who is finding the green fields and fluffy clouds image of Britain’s economic state portrayed by the Chancellor George Osborne and his boss David Cameron so confusing with on-the-ground reality.

At a time when locally we see massive and damaging cuts to all our services, and our councillors tearing their hair out trying to save essential services to the most vulnerable, while having to stop supporting areas of education, safety and environment, it is anathema for us to hear how proud the government are about a better British economy. I thought governments were put in place with an essential aim of supporting people, not destroying them.

What we do see is tax avoidance at top levels being nodded through, while those not fortunate enough to have been born with historic fortunes in the home counties are driven to desperation in deciding whether to keep warm or to eat.

The forthcoming election is probably the most important we have seen for many years in trying to remind politicians from all sides that people matter as much as pounds. I hope we do see some changes for the better, and a realisation by London that the North South divide is a festering sore we must heal.

Stephen Brookes, address supplied

Women MPs as foul-mouthed

A row has broken out as 
to whether Tory Defence Minister Anna Soubry called Ed Miliband the c-word in a TV documentary. She denies it and made such a fuss about the allegation that the scene was cut before the programme was aired.

Whatever the case, footage of PMQs still revealed that the introduction of more women MPs has done nothing to feminise the place. They are just as foul-mouthed and abusive as the men.

Darryl Ashton, Blackpool

Prizes and a photo surprise

I was going through some old photographs when I came across this delightful snap of myself, wife Margaret and our dear friends Jean and Allan Robinson.

The occasion was when we won a leg of the Tiggi’s Treasure Trail which was held in the 1980s.

We found the guinea prizes in the grounds of Haigh Hall, near Wigan.

As soon as we located them we were surprised when an LEP photographer appeared from behind a bush and took this lovely photo.

Sadly, Jean has recently passed away and Allan is in a care home suffering from dementia.

However Margaret and I are still going strong and hope to for many more years to come.

We will have been married for 55 years on April 2.

Derek Rogerson via email

I remember the old infirmary

I saw your photo in the post of the old Preston Infirmary (LEP, March 11).

Firstly, I was born in there in 1959, and as well as attending the old casualty department (I still remember the clean smell!), I spent time over the years visiting friends and relatives in there.

When I was 18, I started as an auxiliary nurse at the old Deepdale Isolation Hospital, which was just down the road from the infirmary. Sainsbury’s is on the hospital site now. I was Trisha Fienney back then, many years ago.

I worked one night at Preston Royal Infirmary when they were short-staffed. There was also Sharoe Green Hospital and lots of small hospitals in Preston back then. There were Deepdale, Longsands, the Willows, Ribbleton ‘chestnuts’ hospital (for TB) – just to name a few.

Trisha Bond, via email

TV debates – a wise decision

‘TV debates: PM refuses to back down’.

Personally, I think he’s right and as the debates draw closer, the brighter and clearer will his decision become. What will the broadcasters have to their credit?

An empty chair, Ed Miliband plus a gaggle of untried untested destabilising voices bickering amongst themselves – not hard to see why David Cameron wants nothing to do with it.

Joseph G Dawson, Chorley