Reader’s letters - Friday 28 March 2014

Jim Davidson and John Virgo on TV's Big Break in the 1990s
Jim Davidson and John Virgo on TV's Big Break in the 1990s
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A credit to health service

In these times when a disproportionate number moan and complain about doctors and the NHS in general, I wish to even the balance a little.

This next week the people of Longton and district are about to lose Dr A J Cockeram from Longton Health Centre. Our loss, someone else’s gain. He is to take up some very commendable vocational/volunteer work in less fortunate countries.

I am confident I am not alone in my most high opinion of this local GP. His bedside manner is unique but welcome, mixing humour with diagnosis in just the right amounts.

A warm and huge character in his modest frame! Never makes you feel a fool, puts you at ease, explains everything and keeps you positive.

Like many other local families he has seen ours through thick and thin. Three generations of us. I for one will miss him but wish him and his wife all the very best for their future work ahead of them elsewhere. Thank you Doctor Cockeram.

Overweight but happy keeper of pigs.

High price of shale fracking

It was quite evident to the 300 plus people attending a recent meeting at Ribby Hall in Wrea Green that ‘shale gas fracking’ is dangerous, unethical and unhealthy.

The regulations did not prevent the man-made earthquakes and tremors experienced and self-regulation is no regulation.

There will be no benefits to the public from the 800 wells in Lancashire as the gas will be used on the ‘open market’, making vast profit, for the companies at the expense of leaving thousands of acres of Lancashire countryside barren and contaminated for decades, and the tourism industry completely decimated.

D Barker, Poulton

Great to see Jim back on screens

I used to love watching the snooker game show, Big Break, with comedian Jim Davidson. And even the Generation Game too. But sadly, the BBC TV bosses and Jim, all fell out with one another and Jim was sacked.

This was despite these two shows used to bring in up to 10m viewers each week.

Jim, it has been said, wanted more control over his shows - but the “PC” BBC TV bosses weren’t having any of it. So instead of sitting down and talking on what could be done Jim was so pathetically sacked. But, wait for it! The Channel 4 variety and entertainment bosses have a very good eye for spotting talent - and they are to revive Jim Davidson’s Big Break Snooker Game Show.

How about bringing back the Generation Game too? Let’s put the entertainment back in to the dismal Saturday night’s TV schedules line up.

Darryl Ashton, Blackpool

Link road not worth the work

As work on the M6 Link Road progresses, and the utter destruction and devastation of greenbelt, trees, hedgerows and consequently wildlife is apparent, how can it be asked: ‘Will it all be worth it?’

People who are so badly affected by this monster road will draw little comfort from the vague hope that it might all be worth it in the end.

People are upset at what they see now, but there is so much worse to come when bridges are built across main roads.

What condition will our existing roads be in when the huge construction vehicles have finished damaging them, and will the councils have the money to repair them? With a mighty five minutes reduced from travelling time from the M6 to Morecambe Road at peak times only, I’d say it’s a very high price to pay financially, environmentally and in human misery.

I Gate, Lancaster

A Lilywhite wedding

Our (my wife Pat and I) wedding day was 50 years ago and we will be celebrating the golden anniversary on March 28.

Our wedding day was memorable for many reasons, not for a ‘night do’, they were not vogue for average folk and certainly not for a month in the sun in some exotic spot.

The wedding was a traditional one in our church, over in time for a pleasant fairly dry lunch at the Highbank Hotel in Ashton and all just in time for the newly weds to make it to Deepdale in a hired car (which I had secreted at the hotel very early that morning) just in time for kick off against Manchester City.

You will gather that we were fans of the Lillywhites, and you may well know that 1964 was a big year for the team. As if to help us celebrate the happy occasion our favourite player, big Alex (The Black Prince) Dawson scored a marvellous goal and a press photographer snapped a wonderful shot (pictured).

It brings a tear to the eye to view it!

George B ettess, via e-mail

Labour should not ape Tories

Labour’s Ed Balls notes it’s shocking that the numbers of youngsters that are on the dole for more than a year has doubled under Cameron.

Problem is that Labour’s proposal to strip such people of benefits if they refuse to take jobs under its Compulsory Jobs Guarantee is a dismal sop to Tory “scrounger propaganda”.

Right-wing newspapers’ misinformation and a Government appallingly going round saying most jobless people do not choose to work because they fancy life on benefits, phrases the Chancellor bandies around Tory conference, should not be echoed by Miliband and Balls.

With long-term joblessness rising this Government, which has an anti-jobs policy that boasts of destroying a million jobs, must be keen on keeping people unemployed.

Labour should be highlighting the rank hypocrisy of a regime that sacks people en masse and then blames them for it.

All workfare does is provide forced below minimum wage labour to private firms at taxpayers cost and increase sanctions on job seekers who can’t jump through constantly changing hoops.

Royston Jones, address supplied