Readers' letters - January 11

Being a Minor was as easy as ABC ...

Wednesday, 11th January 2017, 3:54 pm
Updated Wednesday, 11th January 2017, 4:56 pm
Photo of Prestons ABC in 1979 by Beth Hayes and courtesy of the Preston Historical Society

So it really is the last picture show for the once iconic cinema chain, with the closure of the one remaining ABC cinema in Bournemouth.

Long, long gone before that, was another Preston institution when the old ABC Fishergate flicks joined such city centre (or town centre as it was then) picture palaces like the Ritz, the Palladium, the Gaumont and a bit further out the Rialto, all reaching the final reel.

The ABC always stood atop the box office for this cinema-goer. Did Saturdays ever get much better than ABC Minors on Saturday morning, followed by Deepdale in the afternoon when a Nobby Lawton-inspired Preston were painting a different kind of picture?

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Being an ABC Minor was to be the member of a happy, all-inclusive, all-embracing club. You knew the words to the ABC Minors song by heart. The formula was familiar and it was lapped up with relish – the cartoons, the feature and even the ridiculous cliff-hanger serial when the hero or heroine, who seemed certain to have a grisly death at the end of episode three, suffered a miraculous recovery the following week. Even kids found it hard to swallow.

One of the serials featured a robotic character called Tobor (Robot spelled backwards, get it?) while I was always a sucker for reading the end credits. If it had been your birthday that particular week at the ABC, you were welcomed onto the stage to get a birthday gift – one cheeky shaver used to go up on the stage ever week and wasn’t once rumbled.

But once you reached a certain age, you suddenly stopped becoming an ABC Minor – a bit like the defining Road to Damascus-style moment when you know there really is no such thing as Father Christmas. It was the next stage of growing up and you couldn’t be bothered messing about with mere kids’ stuff anymore! You started to watch ‘A’ certificate films and even the odd X, though one such gory feature left yours truly feeling queasy. But that is just a tiny blip.

So why was that particular cinema chain was so successful? Well, you could say it was as easy as ABC...

Ex- ABC Minor Steve Simpson

via email


Freedom of Press at risk

Is everyone fully aware of the Press Regulation Act, referred to as Section 40, now being considered by Parliament?

It can possibly restrict the future freedom of the Press to publish any revealing investigations because of proposals to inflict crippling costs, which most newspapers can ill afford and so they will effectively be silenced?

We, who are citizens of this democratic country, feel it is our right and privilege (which has been formerly effective for many centuries) to be informed about any proposals /actions of corrupt businessmen, politicians and officials and the possible abuse of children etc which should be brought into the light and prevented.

Most are reasonably aware of the results of the Leveson Enquiry, aired some 12 months ago, which rightly condemned some newspapers for overstepping the rights of privacy and protection which should be accorded to all individuals.

However, as a result, there now exists two forms of proposed future protections – the IPSO and the IMPRESS (the so-called Royal Charter run by politicians and funded by wealthy Max Mosley who holds long-standing grievances against all newspapers, particularly the now defunct News of the World, which was instrumental in revealing his predilection for holding sex orgies).

The IPSO proposal, favoured by most newspapers, is run by a former Court of Appeal Judge. It enforces strict standards of fairness and accuracy and has power to impose fines of up to £1m on those that fall short of these standards.

Whereas Section 40, if adopted by Parliament, would enable politicians to set restraints on these very journalists who should be advising the common man where such matters are being abused. For example, the abuse of MPs’ Parliamentary expenses.

This matter is particularly important viewed in the light of the recent EU Referendum Brexit vote, which opted for preserving our UK Sovereignty and should now preserve the freedom of a free independent Press as a beacon to the world, not threatened by our MPs and Lords.

E J Tilley



Join us in our A&E battle

Having problems getting an appointment with your GP?

That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Try getting an ambulance to take you or someone else to A&E.

Now that is a problem!

When ambulances are queuing up to 10 deep, waiting to transfer patients, they are no longer available to attend to what may be YOUR emergency.

Then of course, there may not be a bed available for your emergency admission, until some way is found to move occupants back home or to another area.

This situation has been exacerbated by the closure of our local A&E at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital.

It just MAY reopen on a part-time basis sometime this month. Then again, it may not.

If it does open part-time, can you really plan your emergency to suit the hours available? Emergencies, by their very nature, are NOT planned!

The NHS is crumbling as we speak, and lives are at risk. The creeping privatisation and fragmentation of our beloved NHS is happening NOW, and is leading us down the route of the American system. If you can’t pay, go away!

Our NHS is rapidly disappearing down the pan.

Enough is enough!

Please get off the fence and show us you care by supporting our demonstration outside the hospital every Saturday, between 10am/11am, until we get a full A&E back, 24-hours, seven days a week. We look forward to seeing you.

Graham Archer



Clear out and raise funds

Age UK is urging people to have a clear-out and donate any unwanted Christmas gifts to their local Age UK shop. Preston’s Age UK Tithebarn Street shop accepts donations of both new and second hand items, all of which are then sold on to be loved again, helping to raise vital funds for the charity’s work supporting older people.

The average bag of donations is worth £10, but some can be worth far more, and helps the charity to support those who are facing later life alone by providing services including lunch clubs and befriending services.


Age UK Preston


Give us the statistics

In whose view do these particular roads need average speed cameras? I would have thought it incumbent of the Lancashire Road Safety Partnership to produce accident statistics for the selected roads to back up its statement. In particular, the A583, I cannot remember any accidents on that road.

This is revenue raising.

Ean Sterling