Centre closure a big loss
I was very sad to read of the forthcoming closure of the Visitor Information Centre (LEP May 19). A ‘tourist information centre’, serving local people as well as visitors and tourists, has a vital role to contribute to the beating heart of any city.
The fact that much information is nowadays accessed online does not mean the concept of a visitor centre is redundant; it will still be a first port of call for visitors, as well as a vital source of information for local people, in different formats, about what’s happening in their own city. Preston’s Visitor Information Centre has fulfilled this role splendidly.
We are told the Visitor Information Centre has to close because of a declining demand for the service. Is it any wonder that demand has declined?
Several months ago it was ejected from an appropriate and visible location in the Guild Hall to a shared desk in the Town Hall, where nobody, visitors not least, could be expected to find it. The Guild Hall was where it ought to be; why did it have to be moved?
Alternatively, last weekend’s Best of Britannia North event was a reminder that the former Post Office buildings stand empty on a prime site; the Birley Street frontage, occupied briefly by the PAD Gallery, would make an excellent location for the Visitor Information Centre.
Since it became a city, and thanks not least to the emergence from UCLan of graduate students of art, design, and performing arts, Preston’s cultural life has taken off.
This is reflected in your own excellent WoW pages, which play their part in promoting upcoming events. It is regrettable that cities like Preston are being made to bear more than their fair share of cuts.
But to close the Visitor Information Centre would surely be a backward step which the council should not take.
Philip Pacey, Fulwood
Parlour would cause problems
With reference to the article “US diner planned for rural village” (LEP May 7), I have visited the Billy Bobs Ice Cream Parlour near Skipton and have seen just how popular the ice cream parlour and playgrounds are.
On a cloudy, cool Saturday I counted more than 130 cars in the car park and there was a steady stream of cars leaving and more arriving. The farm is relatively isolated being three quarters of a mile from the busy A59 with no housing in the immediate vicinity. The sounds of excited children and the piped music though could be heard some 350 yards from the farm in the hamlet of Halton East.
The developers suggest the ice cream parlour at North Planks Farm, just 400 yards South of Owd Nells Tavern, will bring employment and more tourism to the area but therein lies the problem. The A6 here is very busy, as anyone driving between Broughton and Garstang will know.
The extra traffic generated will not only make life difficult for drivers but for the residents of Bilsborrow. There is no school crossing patrol, traffic calming measures or even pedestrian lights in Bilsborrow near John Cross Primary School. Crossing the A6 here, as I do with my grandchild, can be quite daunting. There are four routes to and from the Skipton site, there will only be one entrance to the proposed site at North Planks Farm, directly on to the busy A6.
The Skipton development was an add-on to the farm but at North Planks Farm there are plans to pull down the existing 200-year-old barn which has housed bats in the past and is a nesting site for barn owls.
There are a number of residential houses close to the site, within 50 to 100 yards. The developers, conveniently, seem to have forgotten about our heritage, noise, the neighbours, the community and wildlife. This development needs to be made at a more remote site with less impact on the environment.
Eryl Fryer, address supplied
Visit to parlour worth making
Reading the Evening Post (letters May 19), I was made aware of the concerns of your correspondent Angela Washington over the opening of a Billy Bob American Style Diner in Myerscough.
Purely by coincidence, I had visited the main branch of the Billy Bob’s at Bolton Abbey, just the day before and wondered if Ms Washington knew anything at all about the company or had ever visited the establishment ?
Even though I have sympathy with her concerns of a fine old historic building being demolished, but the way that Billy Bob seems to work, would indicate that the barn could possibly be retained as a feature of the site.
As well as providing an additional opening for the local jobless, it would force the local eateries especially those nearer the canal, to up their game and that can only be to the good as far as the consumer is concerned.
I would urge anyone with concerns about the site and the company, to visit Billy Bob’s to see the way they do things.
Jim Walker, Preston
Helping finding long lost mum
Many years ago my father’s mother left home to return to her home of Preston.
They lost contact and he has always wandered what happened to her. He was around 11 at the time. So this was about 1955, 60 years ago. My father’s name is Peter Glasgow. The only thing I have to go on was her name was Mary Laura Dobson or Laura Mary Dobson. And she was from Preston. I’m guessing she would be in her 80s now.
He vaguely remembers a cousin with the name Gerard. I’m wondering if your readers may have any information to what happened to her over the years. If anyone has any information could they please email me via Cherylbrown123@live.co.uk
I would be very grateful for any information to pass on to him no matter how big or small.
Cheryl Brown, via e-mail
Keep to election promises first
With new policies already being aired, such as stripping illegal immigrants of their earnings, anyone starting to wonder what’s happened to those policies we were promised in the election?
Name and address supplied