Readers’ letters - December 17

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Terrible waste of NHS money

Back in 2010 when the coalition Government took power, one of their first promises was to reduce the cost of NHS purchasing of goods and equipment. This was to be reduced by £22bn by astute cost-effective buying.

We now hear that a large pharmaceutical company has been fined over £84 m for excessive charging of drugs to the NHS.

This scandalous practice was due to the drug being manufactured and sold for less than £3 but charging the National Health Service more than £67 for the same drug. As this practice has been going on for over four years, I wonder how many millions, if not billions, of pounds our NHS has been paying out to well-known drug companies for this criminal practice. I also place the blame on the NHS buying managers for accepting this and not batting an eyelid while someone, somewhere is lining their pockets.

Carith Archer

via email

fishergate

Bus lane with no bus stops

Re: Fishergate fiasco.

Drivers are receiving fines for going down a bus lane on Fishergate.

Needless to say, I have been fined £30 for this offence.

A representation has been made to Lancashire County Council.

The new route out of Lune Street directs traffic on to Fishergate then into Chapel Street or Mount Street.

Surely this defeats the object as other vehicles will still have to use Fishergate for a short distance.

Enough was not done to make drivers aware of the changes so they would not be fined.

Some drivers only got warning notices and others didn’t.

In my opinion it would be more sensible to re-route the buses, instead of going down Fishergate where there are no bus stops between the Miller Arcade and the railway station.

There’s not much point in having a bus lane with no stops.

An alternative route for buses would be from the bus station, turn right into Lancaster Road, then turn left on to the Ring Road, then up Corporation Street to the railway station.

J Rotheram

Penwortham

Television

Chilling and creepy drama

What a fine and suitably chilling portrayal of the Christie murders we are seeing on BBC1 television (Rillington Place).

Ten Rillington Place,

the film made back in

1971, utilised the original

self-same street in West London before it was demolished.

Richard Attenborough played Christie and John Hurt played Timothy Evans, the hapless innocent who hung for Christie’s vile notorious crimes.

The original film is very sinister and creepy, yet

never over-dramatised,

made all the more so

because of the complete absence of any background music.

As a result, you are drawn into the film from the word go.

I thought that Samantha Morton, playing Ethel (Christie’s wife), and Tim Roth, playing the villain himself, were both excellent in the new drama.

Christie was brilliantly portrayed as a man who could be utterly creepy yet also possessed a strange charm over his victims.

The sets too – the interior of the house, and garden – were accurately and atmospherically achieved.

A ubiquitous sound throughout the 20th century in British life, up until the late 1960s, was the background whistle of a steam train.

In this latest TV drama, set in the late 40s and 50s, we hear the very different mournful cry of an American steam engine.

Anyone over the age of 55 will have memories of what a British steam train sounded like.

Apart from this quibble, full marks to the BBC for a very engaging drama.

John Roberts

Address supplied

television

David’s simply the best

I have just finished watching the last of Sir David Attenborough’s six editions of Planet Earth II.

I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of all six programmes.

At 90 years of age, Sir David, pictured, is, quite simply, the best.

He must have visited nearly every corner of our planet and, as a commentator, he is second to none.

Unlike most, he knows when to talk and when not to talk.

The various camera

and technical crews he gathers are brilliant in so many ways.

They are brave, patient, knowledgeable, understanding, passionate and so very, very skilful.

David Quarrie

Address supplied

nostalgia

Happy times at Coupe’s

I am sending you this Looking Back photo I took of my two friends Ted and George in 1958, riding their bicycles around Wilbraham Street and Maitland Street, Preston, where I used to live (see above).

We all served our time as apprentices for the Coupe Iron Foundry.

The Coupe family were good employers.

I worked for them for a happy 28 years.

Alan Willacy

Preston

nostalgia

Nuts aren’t the same

Today Brazil nuts don’t come into the home the way they used to – in their difficult-to-crack shells.

Men and women and machines in factories in faraway places will have removed the outer layers so the nuts are ready-to-eat in bags. That’s progress, I suppose. But have we lost some of the joy they can bring? I remember long-ago days spent with my family, cracking Brazil nuts as we sat by the coal fire at Christmas, and what a pleasure it was when we finally got a nut out of its shell!

George Marsden

via email