Reader’s lettters - Thursday June 05, 2014

Spark plug plane made by reader Joseph Dawson, of Chorley
Spark plug plane made by reader Joseph Dawson, of Chorley
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Imagining life in trenches

It was market day, parking space scarce and soon lunch would be over. Luckily a wave from a friendly motorist had me snug as a bug in a rug and safely en route for a slap-up chippy feast.

Restored, I strolled over to The Chorley Pals Memorial where I often look up and wonder at the bravery of these men, some on a certain path to death, yet all intent upon serving their country whatever the price.

Hard to even grasp such bravery today and harder still to think that such a cup could have been handed to any of the families nearby busily loading their cars with the weekly shop.

Inspired, my thoughts led me to think of soldiers during periods of rest in combat. Up to their necks in mud yet still able to think creatively. When fragments of war became trench art - tiny treasures - mementos, to keep and with any luck take home to loved ones.

‘Trench art’ I murmured later at home, ‘what must it have been like to come up with originality based only on the scraps of war around you’? Setting off for the shed with an idea in mind I organised a very limited number of tools and materials and set about making my first sparkplug aeroplane under imaginary ‘fire’.

Many hours later, I believe I touched on the point of it all. Time spent in the ‘designs of the mind’ takes one miles away from the anger of war to a more joyful place where wrinkles and skills emerge that result in a product possessed of a certain sweetness - when hands more used to triggers and bullets craft their way towards peace.

See what you think of my trench art effort inspired by The Chorley Pals (see photo).

Joseph Dawson, Chorley

New bypass not worth impact

Further to the article about the Broughton bypass and the list of CPOs published (LEP June 3), I must say that I am disappointed and sad that people have to lose their homes for such a comparatively short stretch of road.

It would be interesting to know why Coun Cartwright says that a junction from the M6 further north “is not feasible”.

No doubt his home is unaffected by these proposals. A more northern junction would surely alleviate the problem, as most drivers are heading in that direction. Is there, or was there, a hidden agenda which ruled out the alternative? Will we ever know?

Interested motorist

Support better deal for nurses

Over the past three years, nursing staff in the NHS have had a cost of living pay freeze.

That pay freeze means nurses have, in real terms, taken a pay cut as the cost of living has gone up. At the same time, many have faced significant organisational change, resulting in them being downgraded, and attempts to change other key terms and conditions of employment.

Now the Government’s proposal not to award nursing staff a one per cent pay rise adds insult to injury. The Independent Pay Review Body recommended nurses and healthcare assistants should get a one per cent cost of living pay rise. Last year, the Government said it was affordable. Now there’s been a U-turn and the Government has said it’s not affordable.

Last year, however, the NHS underspent by £3bn and that money was handed back to the Treasury. It would have been much better spent on NHS services and staff.

On June 5, Royal College of Nursing members and staff will be joining other trade unions in Fair Pay for the NHS protests, because our nurses, health visitors and healthcare assistants all deserve better. The public can play a part and we would welcome their support in our campaign to ensure a fair outcome for nurses.

Joanne Kerr and Mike Travis, council members,Royal College of Nursing, North West Region

Campaign has taken up fight

In response to Barbara Richardson (letters June 3) I can reassure her that the Campaign to Protect Rural England is concerned about what is happening to our countryside and HAS taken up the fight.

CPRE recognises the many threats to the countryside. These include urban sprawl, wind farms, solar farms, unsightly fracking sites and new roads.

It is often a question of how development is undertaken rather than the fact of it.

For this reason CPRE monitors all proposed development and tests it against the National Planning Policy Framework with a view to supporting what is good, revising what needs improving and opposing that which is unwanted and unjustified.

We are taking action every day to protect our rural heritage. Readers are invited to join or support us.

Please contact us on 01772 378831 or email info@cprelancashire.org.uk if you agree with Barbara Richardson.

Andrew Harris, Lancashire branch chairman, Campaign to Protect Rural England

Memories of the brickworks

I’m writing on behalf of my mother, Marian Lester, although she does not recognise anyone in the photograph (LEP May 28), her father finished his apprenticeship in 1925 at Crofts and worked there all of his life.

He was called Charlie Lester and lived in Blackpool Road next to the offices which they rented from Thomas Crofts. Next door was Jack Ebbs who was manager of the site (or yard as we called it).

My mum was brought up there and played on the sand pits as I did too when we visited.

My grandfather, Charlie, was the foreman on Blackburn Cathedral and was soon to be promoted to director in 1961.

We have photographs, or rather my mother does.

In fact, she recently took original photographs and a silver trowel from Princess Mary which we had and gave them back to the Cathedral of which they are so proud.

Tommy Bowman was the chief mason who was given a silver hammer. We have all these newspaper cuttings.

Gill Massey, via e-mail