Reader’s letters - Wednesday August 27, 2014

Children at play in Park Court, Preston, in the 1950s (see letter)

Children at play in Park Court, Preston, in the 1950s (see letter)

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Life in the Golden Decade

I don’t know if any of the Post’s older readers share my sentiments at the “Golden Decade” of life for anyone living through the 1950’. To me, as a young girl born in 1938, my teenage years were wonderful. In the fifties I could walk the streets of my town centre at night without fear of being raped or mugged.

My parents, like many other working parents, used to leave the front door open if they were out so I could get in, or, believe it or not, leave the door key dangling on a string behind the letterbox! I also remember once, as a girl of 13, I was threatened with having to go to court by the police, for riding my bike on the pavement, now, it seems it isn’t a crime any more.

Most of all though, I liked the music of that era, Bill Haley, Elvis, rock ‘n’ roll, great music which to this day I still like.

Today’s noise with a “singer” talking about gangsters being hailed as music is ridiculous, it certainly isn’t music, there’s no melody. I also remember the cold winter nights when my sister and I had to put overcoats on our beds at night to get warm.

We had no central heating like today our version of central heating was a brown pot hot water bottle which was great to feel in bed but if you fell asleep without taking it out, it went cold, and you woke up in the night shivering. We had no TV, we played games in the street. Does anybody remember the street games we played then, football, hide and seek, marbles, top and whip, etc. The wireless , was the main form of entertainment at home, with my favourite program being the top 20 on Radio Luxembourg, 208 metres medium wave at 11pm on Sunday nights.

Other great radio programs were The Goons, Journey into Space, and of course every Sunday, Two Way Family Favourites, followed by “Wakey, Wakey”, the Billy Cotton Band Show. I don’t honestly know how young girls of today would have survived in the fifties with no mobile phones, no computers and videos etc. Lastly, I was a PNE season ticket holder for over 30 years with my late husband, who sadly died ten years ago, and I still love football and PNE, having watched the great Sir Tom in his prime.

But, in the fifties, as my husband used to say, football was played properly in those days, the way it was meant to be, with fives forwards. We stopped going to matches when the hooligan element started, and average ordinary players were becoming multi-millionaires.

I’m not a racist, I’ve been brought up to believe in the saying that there’s good and bad in everyone regardless of race, colour or creed. But now, as I near my 77th birthday, thanks to what is now referred to as “multicultural”, I sometimes feel like a foreigner in my own town, yes I still refer to Preston as a town, it is and always will be to me.

It’s the place I was born and grew up in and my teenage years in the 1950s were just magic.

Wistful Grandma, Penwortham

Wilson was a great leader

I note with great interest Royal Mail’s inclusion of Harold Wilson in its set of great Prime Ministers – and no Tony Blair. I am glad his stature has been belatedly recognised.

He has not fared very well at the hands of historians, but I believe he has been under-rated. It is necessary to consider the context of the era in which a Premier had to operate. Wilson took over a divided party and restored its credibility with voters.

He was faced with intractable problems such as Northern Ireland, Rhodesia and the unions, not to mention the economy.

It is doubtful whether these were solvable at the time by anybody, at any rate from the left.

Wilson introduced social reforms and the Open University, which has been a great success, I am confident that with the perspective of history, his solid virtues will be increasingly recognised.

Don Burslam, address supplied

Great role of British Legion

I read in the Evening Post that a young lady, a member of the ATC is doing a sponsored walk in aid of the charity, Help for Heroes (LEP August 23).

It is heartwarming to see young people getting involved with veteran charities and I wish her all the best and may she raise plenty of money. However, in your interview with her she states that she is supporting H4H as she believes this is the only service charity that helps veterans and their families.

This is not quite true there is the ABF, RAFBF, Navy benevolent fund, SAAF which helps families and of course the regimental associations which constantly helping families and the veterans. The other main ex-service charity assisting all our veterans of all ages and their families is, of course, the Royal British Legion which has been there to help for over 90 years and is still on active service. Last year the legion spent £82m or £22,8000 per day helping serving and ex servicemen and women and their families. Between October 2013 and June 2014 our area spent £388,549 on immediate needs grants, helping 650 individuals and their families in hardship.

Five thousand short breaks for the elderly, 1,400 family adventure breaks for children in need. The legion has committed £50m over 10 years to running costs for recovery centres to help our wounded servicemen recover.There are many other ways in which the legion helps our brave servicemen, their families and of course our veterans. The main source of funds to do all this good work is of course the Poppy Appeal which is only few short weeks away.

I wish the young lady all the very best in her fundraising and gets all the support she deserves, well done. I only hope more young people would get involved,

M F Turner, county chairman, Royal British Legion Lancashire County

Who’s who of Catforth bros

Regards the photograph (Looking Back August 16) August LEP,the photograph shows some of the Bay Horse Hotel darts and dominoes team and the unique feature is there are five sets of brothers in the team hence the photographs title Catforth brothers. The brothers are, from left to right, Jack and Andy Livesey,Russell and Keith Taylor,Andy and Fred Alcock,Ian and Malc Crawford and Andy and Graham Seed.

Keith Taylor, via e-mail