Readers’ letters - March 10

Church Street in Preston has declined says a reader who shares her memories of the once busy street. See letter

Church Street in Preston has declined says a reader who shares her memories of the once busy street. See letter

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Sad decline of Church Street

Until I married in 1958, my way into Preston town centre was along Church Street.

I recently had occasion to make this journey again.

I cannot remember when I found an area so depressing, then behold there was a letter in the LEP about the Church Street of old (LEP Letters, March 3).

It was never as vibrant as Fishergate or Friargate, because it was a little out of the town centre, but there was no shortage of good businesses.

From the late 1940s to the early 50s, here are some of the shops I remember: Preston & Son (cabinet makers); Middlebrook (drapers); Ridge (fancy goods); Swalbe (outfitters); Melling (photographers); Merigolds (sports outfitters); at least three butchers and Booths (grocers).

Going the other way, from the town centre towards Stanley Street, there were: The Miller Arcade – Dunn & Co. (hatters); Whittle (jewellers); Sharps (outfitters); Goodsons (outfitters); Goobys (oufitters); Turners (shoes); Saronys (photographer); Marsden (milliner) and Coupes (many yards of Horrockses dress material was purchased from Coupes).

Church Street boasted three cinemas – the Ritz,(the board outside claimed ‘It’s cooler inside’), the Palladium and the Empire, numerous banks, even more public houses, hairdressers, cafes, and even a palmist.

Now, with a couple of exceptions, boarded-up buildings, shabby takeaways and night clubs seem to be the order of the day.

I regret to say that Church Street is not alone in this decline. I am tired of reading about what is going to happen in the future – so many grandiose schemes – but always jam tomorrow.

Mrs V E Andrews, St Annes on Sea

Scare stories not planning issues

The Cuadrilla public inquiry in Blackpool is being used by fracking opponents as nothing more than a propaganda vehicle.

Rather than focus on material planning matters, which is what the planning inspector must decide upon, they’ve been busy using it to push their irresponsible scaremongering.

We can see this because of the inconsistencies thrown up by their witnesses and the way they’re making their case.

For a start, they’re not playing fair. On the one hand, they dismiss claims of job prospects by saying that future production plans shouldn’t be taken into account, but on the other hand present arguments about potential risks that could only ever be relevant once the small-scale exploration work has been completed and the industry grows in size.

They’ve literally thrown everything but the kitchen sink at it, including unproven health impacts and climate change – even though the maximum emissions per site have been calculated to be just 0.02 per cent of the total recorded UK emissions in 2014 and hardly likely to contribute to global warming.

The reason for this negative campaigning approach? It’s not about convincing the planning inspector who should be immune to such exaggerations, it’s about attempting to sway public opinion when they hear all these scare stories being reported in the press.

The fact is that if the recent DECC public attitude survey findings are representative, 67 per cent of the Fylde electorate (so over 44,000 voters) could be expected to be supportive or neutral on the issue (www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/496961/wave_16_Summary_of_key_findings.pdf).

I’m one of the 67 per cent that accepts the need for a new and lasting source of gas, and that can see the local economic benefits that needy towns like Blackpool and Preston could one day enjoy.

That’s why I hope the planning inspector recommends these test sites go ahead and why I hope the Secretary of State approves them too, for the benefit of the many and not the few.

Chris Evans, Lytham resident

Calls are being a real nuisance

Is anybody else sick and tired of nuisance calls?

Two and three times a day I am interrupted by these calls.

I thought Ofcom had stopped this, but obviously not.

It’s always a recorded message to start with, then you are told to press a number to carry on the call, presumably paid for by me.

It’s about time these companies legally had to leave caller details when they ring.

If I make a call, my name will appear, so whoever I call can either answer or not.

If they want to talk to me, they should have enough manners to speak to me in person.

You have no idea who is calling with all the different numbers – 01405, 0203, 0845.

Is it the government, doctors, council? You never know until you answer the call and then you get that silent treatment for a few seconds, then the irritating message: “I’m phoning about your PPI.”

If it was a ‘real’ person on the other end, you could tell them where to go in no uncertain terms.

David Mitchell, address supplied

Has the Holme had its day?

Not being too well, post-retirement, I was lucky in that Penwortham Holme was on my doorstep.

Cricket was played on the lovely square in summer, and you could see a football match on three days of the week.

Totally free entertainment!

Cricket was the first to disappear, then the uni boys on Wednesday, and now they all seem to be gone.

Surely we are not that rich in facilities that no one wants to use the Holme?

I have noticed that the goalposts have been removed, so it doesn’t look promising. So has the Holme had its day?

Allan Fazackerley via email

Disgusted with amount of litter

I am disgusted with the amount of litter on our streets. When I take my dog for a walk, I pass so much rubbish.

If only people put things in the bins provided.

If we all did this then the place we live in would be a nicer, cleaner one.

Jill Liversidge via email