Readers’ letters

Fulwood Barracks
Fulwood Barracks
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Save our iconic barracks

Like most people, I was shocked and appalled by the sudden decision to close Fulwood Barracks by 2022. No consultation has taken place with local elected members or the community in general. This decision is wrong and misguided on so many levels, and I hope our MPs, Preston City Council, Lancashire County Council and others fighting to get this dreadful decision overturned, will succeed.

In the unfortunate event that they fail to do so, may I make it clear that I, and others, will be fighting to ensure that those historic Grade II listed buildings, which have been so much a part of this community for 170 years, are preserved. During my mayoral year we raised funds for the museum in order to ensure the Waterloo Room was completed and to pay for the new colours for the Veterans Association. We worked hand in hand with those at the barracks and feel very passionate about retaining it.

Preston has lost so much of its history in recent years that we cannot afford to lose more without also losing the very identity which makes us a community. Especially a set of iconic buildings in a barracks which is officially recognised as the finest example of mid-Victorian military architecture left in the country.

And for what? Yet another anonymous housing estate? Do we need more housing, surely not in that particular location, beset as it already is by inadequate infrastructure and near-gridlock traffic conditions.

Tens of thousands of Lancashire men have passed through Fulwood Barracks over the years, not least during the two world wars. The place is embedded deep into the story of the North West and Lancashire, and Preston in particular. The buildings themselves, constructed of local Longridge stone, are magnificent and irreplaceable.

If all efforts fail and the Army does move out, it cannot be beyond our collective wisdom to find an alternative use which allows preservation. I make one suggestion. Even in these straightened financial times, if the right support could be found, it could make a very special Heritage Centre, not least because of the already existing presence there of the Lancashire Infantry Museum, one of the finest military museums in the country, and itself a jewel in Preston’s crown.

As a collective home for some, if not all of the museums displaced by the recent Lancashire County Council cuts, it could genuinely become a world-class facility, attracting visitors in significant numbers from all over the world, with all the consequent benefits which that would mean for Preston’s economy.

Our soldiers fought for us and our freedom, now we must fight to save these iconic buildings for our future generations.

Coun Christine Abram

Cottam and Lea

We need to improve town

Re: the letter, adapt buildings – don’t build new (LEP November 9), I appreciate Mr Tate’s view that he’d like to leave things as they are but my view is, if we do that, our town centre will suffer and decline. How people use town centres is changing and we need to improve Chorley to ensure it remains an attractive proposition to shoppers. I also appreciate the preference of adapting existing buildings. Unfortunately, many of those mentioned are not suitable for what businesses want and is why they are choosing not to locate in Chorley at the moment and why we are looking at a new development.

The proposal to demolish Hollinshead Street church only came about after the church approached the council because, for years, it has been in need of major repair and they themselves would prefer to move to new premises.

We all have the best interests of Chorley at heart and this major investment is being made by the council because we want to continue to have a thriving town centre.

Coun Alistair Bradley

Leader of Chorley Council

Learning in Lancashire

We are touring the country, asking talented people in each county to teach us a skill, and we’re looking to come to Lancashire next.

We’re all in our late 20s, hope to be taught at least one lesson in every county of the UK over the course of the next year, and will donate £10 to Alzheimer’s Society for every lesson we receive.

We have learned how to turn wood, breakdance, bake bread and ring church bells so far (among other lessons) and are hoping to find a talented person in Lancashire to teach us something and represent their county.

There’s no need for that person to be a qualified teacher, as long as they’re passionate about what they do. Lessons will just be one-offs and can be as long or short as the teacher’s diary allows. All we ask to gain is a very basic understanding of the craft being taught so that we might be able to carry it on in the future.

We have all lost relatives to Alzheimer’s and we’re using this challenge to raise funds to support sufferers. We’re also trying to highlight the need to create more well-rounded people in the UK, with a broader range of skills. Skills teachers can register their interest, and see examples of previous lessons taught, at www.teach-us.uk

Nick Street, Alice Albery and Matthew Bowen via email

Signs are too high to see

Re: the new ‘no go’ area at Fishergate from 11am to 6pm. Many drivers are unaware as the signs are too high and in the wrong place. Traffic coming up into Chapel Street, from Winckley Square, are also unaware as there is no sign to warn them!

Plus drivers are kept busy, avoiding people dashing in front of them on the already chaotic pedestrian shared space scheme.

There should have been a policeman or warden to explain the new set-up.

Prestonian and frustrated driver

Don’t let Trump make decisions

The only hope we can have after the result of the US presidential election is that Donald Trump wants the kudos of being President and will leave policy decisions to his more experienced advisors.

Hilary Andrews, address supplied