Readers' letters - December 4

Paying price of bad weather and building

Friday, 8th December 2017, 4:45 pm
Updated Friday, 8th December 2017, 5:50 pm
Galgate during last week's torrential downfalls. Photo: Julie Reeve.

The November 22 floods in Galgate has driven home to people here that there must be no more housing estates and no large scale building projects anywhere near our village.

The Bailrigg Garden Village, the science park and the proposed auction mart / 750 houses near Junction 33 will prove disastrous for Galgate.

There have been floods in recent years but we all notice how often the river now comes up close to its critical level. On Tuesday, October 27, 1998, the centre of Galgate was flooded.

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Then on August 20, 2004, Whitley Beck burst, after 0.85 inches of rain fell during an hour, with rainfall reaching a peak almost 70 times the monthly average.

Water spilled down Stoney Lane and across the traffic light junction. Houses in Salford Road were flooded.

Following this, the Environment Agency conducted a number of computer studies of Whitley Beck, and dredged out the bottom of this.

Around 11 or 12 years ago, a series of floods from the Ou Beck occurred in the Meadow Park area of Galgate.

Ou Beck brings water down from the top end of the Hala estate in Scotforth and runs past the lower part of Lancaster University.

The Conder has also flooded on Saturday, December 5, 2015 and on Monday, August 22, 2016. We had a near miss with the river near the end of July.

In the now frequent flooding episodes, the fields between the university and the village become waterlogged, the cricket field behind the new village hall becomes a lake.

More importantly though, the houses on the Main Road opposite the old police station have their basements flooded.

The same houses were flooded in the December 2015 ‘Storm Desmond’ when much of the Lancaster area suffered power cuts. This present episode is much worse, however. There are two principal factors involved in this increased frequency of flooding. The first is general – the severity of the weather events above the catchment areas of the Ou Beck, Conder and Whitley Beck.

The second is the issue of run-off from the buildings. Galgate residents see the increase of the built-up area of the university but also new houses built to the south of Lancaster.

Stephen Booth



I also worked at Starkie’s

I too saw the photo in LP’s Looking Back on November 22.

I worked at Starkie’s between July 1966 and October 1967.

I remember the manager Mr Redfern well.

In her letter, Mrs Chapman says she remembers (George)Kent but cannot remember the other male assistant’s name (LP Letters, November 29).

Raymond Wilkinson worked there about that time.

I only got to know him after he left. The other man working there was Maurice McLoughlin, the deputy manager.

Mr Mack, as he was known, was an expert window dresser and a true artist in that sphere.

Woe betide anyone who went into his windows to retrieve an item wanted by a customer, which the shop had run out of!

I understand that both men have now passed away.

Margaret Connors is the only staff member from my time there who may still be alive.

Mrs Chapman is right about the connection between the outfitters and Starkie’s wireworks then in Cotton Court, Church Street. James (Eric) Starkie owned them both.

He limped quite badly due to a second world war injury and was said to be the richest man in Preston.

Always keener to do practical tasks rather than sit in an office, there was nothing that he could not turn his hand to in the works.

He was a very shrewd businessman who had no airs or graces. I found him very easy to approach.

I believe his only son James is still alive and is retired.

John Browne



Let the royalists have their fun

Denis Lee complains of royal events being reported on BBC news and wishes to be excluded from congratulations given to the newly engaged couple (LP Letters, November 29).

Okay, how many items on a single news broadcast are applicable, of interest or relevant to each individual viewer?

Unlikely to be all of them, that is for sure.

So what is the point of objecting to those that are not, when for others they are?

Take a tip from this republican and next time a royal item comes on, just switch off, whether it be the TV or yourself, and ignore it.

Let the royalists have their fun.

Barry McCann



Brexit means being worse off

We were promised an extra £350m a week for the NHS.

No one told us that the pound in our pocket would be worth 15 per cent less or that we would have to pay £50bn for the privilege of a worse trading arrangement than we currently enjoy.

Brexit might mean Brexit but it also means we are worse off than before.

I’m not quite sure that people voted to make themselves poorer.




Did you know my father, Noel?

My name is Ruth Clough and my father passed away a short while ago.

When he was a little boy, he was evacuated from Moston, Manchester, to a farm in Penwortham where he was very happy for around five years.

He was so happy he didn’t want to come home and the farmer and his wife wanted to adopt him.

But Grandma put a stop to that and brought him home!

I would love to know if anyone remembers Noel Whetham and the farm where he was so happy.

He often mentioned it but never went back (I never found out why).

I know Penwortham has changed an awful lot and I can appreciate that all his school pals will have either passed on or will be old


I was hoping you may be able to put this into the community for me and see if it jogs a memory.

Ruth Clough Nee Whetham