Meek acceptance of impending calamity
We read dire forecasts of ice caps melting and great cities being flooded in the decades ahead.
Yet we know better than to accept this projection fatalistically but recognise it as a call for change from the direction in which past and current actions are leading us.
We are summoning the will to avert this fate, notwithstanding that it will require compliance by the great majority of nations, even when many may be tempted to free-ride on the sacrifice of others.
At the same time we see the world population continuing to rise steeply, placing us in a vice between growing demand upon resources and increasing uncertainly over the capacity of a climate-changed planet to sustain us.
Of these problems with excess carbon dioxide and people, the latter is more tractable as each region can benefit from its own efforts while others face the consequences of their own irresponsibility.
We might therefore expect forecasts of a UK population above 70 million and rising to be met with the resolute response that we will not allow this to happen and will do what is necessary to prevent it.
Instead we see meek acceptance of this impending calamity.
I feel sorry for today’s children
After living in Barton for 20 years, I was delighted to view an image of how Broughton crossroads will eventually look post-bypass. Who would ever believe this ‘tranquil village’ was, for 40 years, a bottleneck of traffic and air pollution?
But then I realised one terrible consequence of the bypass...
It opens up much of our beautiful countryside to the thousands of heavy vehicle journeys required by fracking.
Cuadrilla has designs on Lancashire becoming “the largest gas field in the whole of Western Europe”.
With wells at the standard eight to ten a square mile, and each well needing literally thousands of vehicle movements, we might be seeing tens of thousands of HGVs pounding backwards and forwards along Whittingham Lane to the west.
Previously, the tight corner at the Broughton crossroads – and the surrounding little canal and stream bridges – would not permit access to heavy vehicles in the numbers required to frack the Woodplumpton area.
The removal of the bottleneck with the by-pass also opens up the North and North East of Preston to fracking.
We can expect hundreds of thousands of heavy trucks heading east towards Goosnargh and north towards Garstang.
I had the run of the fields as a kid.
I feel sorry for today’s kids who may very soon have only the run of the gas fields.
Keep our bus stops clear
At 5.15pm on Thursday, I went to catch a bus from the Penwortham stop at Preston Station.
On getting there, the lay-by for the Penwortham / Liverpool / Longton / Leyland buses was full of parked cars, with the drivers inside clearly waiting to pick up passengers from the trains. On the Butler Street side of the station approach, stood a PCSO. All he did, during the eight or so minutes I was there, was wave a taxi into the approach road.
When the bus arrived, it had to stop in the Preston bus stop area near Butler Street and
we all had to walk towards Butler Street, crossing the traffic coming out of the station.
When I asked the PCSO whether he was going to move the parked drivers
on, he said he was too
Now what’s the point of having a bus lay-by with raised kerbs, shelters and parking restrictions, together with buses that have lowering platforms, if they can’t reach the stop?
These features are there to assist mobility and visually handicapped people and I find the disregard shown by parked drivers unacceptable.
The bus driver said it was even worse on Wednesday.
Is it any wonder that the traffic in Preston is in such a dreadful state?
Come on Stagecoach and Preston Bus, use your influence to keep bus stops clear.
Looking for Joan Smith
I would like to make contact with Joan Smith, nee Beardsworth, born in 1945 in Leyland.
Joan is my second cousin. We have never met, and I doubt my mother and Joan’s father, who were first cousins, ever met either.
But Joan’s grandfather, John (Jack) Beardsworth, was the brother of my grandfather, Tom Beardsworth, who lived in Brentford, Middlesex, all his adult life.
Both Jack and Tom lived into their 90s.
I know Tom still visited Lancashire when he was very old and kept in regular touch with Jack, until his death around 1972.
Joan married David Smith in 1966 and I believe had four daughters: Lynda, Diane, Mary Ann and Wendy, all born locally in Leyland.
If you know Joan, David
or their daughters, I would love to hear from you or them.
My email address is
I look forward to hearing from you.