Readers’ letters - February 3

Sir Terry Wogan was the 'king' of broadcasting says a reader. See letter
Sir Terry Wogan was the 'king' of broadcasting says a reader. See letter
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Cuts partly caused floods

With reference to the impact of Tory Government funding cuts on the services provided by Lancaster City Council, I feel must express my sadness in the situation we find that this country is now in.

A Government cut of almost £700m from Lancashire County Council’s revenue, plus a 43 per cent reduction in Lancaster City Council’s funding now leads to the present situation with many closures, job losses and changes to many of our facilities and services.

The lack of Government funding and the modern policy of non-dredging of rivers etc, was one of the major causes of the countrywide flooding. The Government claims that non­-dredging of rivers is an European Directive. Did the European lowlands, for example, Holland and Belgium, really vote for this directive?

It would appear that the lack of funding to keep the roads clean, fix the potholes, and so on, exacerbated the flooding problem. The pittance that is being offered to the people who have lost all their belongings in the floods does not offer a lot of comfort.

I do realise our national debt has virtually doubled since 2010 to £1.6 trillion (in 2015) but perhaps some of these issues could be dealt with if the Tory Government addressed its misguided economic policies.

Jean Taylor, Lancaster

Bus proposals will hit villages

Every week, we hear about traffic congestion in Manchester and on the M6.

Lancashire County Council is responsible for looking after the many travellers who need to access these roads and/or commute to larger cities in the region.

Better public transport, we are correctly reminded, would help solve these problems.

Why then has the Cabinet of LCC proposed to remove subsidies from 100 bus routes in the county, saving less than one per cent of the total budget?

The Cabinet is proposing to remove all bus services, except for schoolchildren attending school, from many local villages, including Chipping and Ribchester.

At the very least, damage to the lives of all those people living in the worst hit of those villages could be limited by retaining a minimum daily service – what about medical appointments, trips to work, visits to relatives, shopping etc?

I am sure that most of the members of the Labour Cabinet have private transport, and represent urban areas. How would they manage their busy lives if they had to attend a cabinet meeting by public transport, starting from Hurst Green or Chipping ?

Tony Austin, Langho

Background on DD hero Gerard

An article was printed on DD heroes (LEP January 29).

I would like to point out that Gerard Rogerson was in the Durham Light Infantry for six weeks only, before being transferred to the Royal Engineers.

He landed on D Day on Juno Beach where he was, for several weeks, sleeping in a ditch.

His job was going out to the large ships out at sea and unloading wagons etc on to landing craft before moving on to the places stated in the article.

Freda Rogerson, address supplied

The king of broadcasting

I was saddened to read of the death of Sir Terry Wogan. He was such a part of everyday life over the last 40 years on television and radio.

It is perhaps fitting that he was a big fan of Elvis Presley and played one of his hit records in his last BBC Radio 2 breakfast show, namely Always On My Mind. For, in short, Sir Terry was to broadcasting what Elvis was to rock ’n’ roll. The King. RIP.

David Gibbs via email

I saw unveiling of Bluebird K7

In the year of 1954, I was honoured and privileged to attend the special unveiling of the newly-designed K7 Bluebird model at Samlesbury Engineering Works, near Preston, by the Norris Brothers, of Haywards Heath, and Leo Villa, chief mechanic,

It was powered by a Beryl Jet Engine, made by Metropolitan Vickers. Sir Wavell Wakefield was the director of Samlesbury Engineering, which built the boat. He was also the owner of Ullswater Steam Boat Company.

My father Wilfrid Siddall was very friendly with an engineer at the works at this time, and invited us to this event.

I recall being so excited, especially on meeting Leo Villa, the chief mechanic.

It was a fascinating day, I will always cherish.

I believe the following day it was to be transported to Ullswater to commence trial runs.

On July 23, 1955, Donald Campbell broke the world speed record at a speed of 202.32mph and, on November 16, 1955, at Lake Mead, USA, to 216.20mph.

Between 1956 and 1959, he broke the world speed record five times, concluding on May 14, 1959, at 276.30mph in K7 Bluebird.

He went on further to set a land speed record in the model CN7 at Lake Eyre, Australia, to 403.10mph.

On January 4, 1967, he was tragically killed as readers may well recall, whilst attending a new world record attempt.

He attained 320mph in K7 before the craft de-stabilised, rose out of the water and nose-dived at 45 degrees angle into Lake Coniston.

In the year 2001, through efforts by his daughter Gina, Campbell’s craft and remains were brought to the surface.

He was later buried in Coniston Cemetery to the rear of the Crown Hotel, not in the main churchyard, but in a separate place.

I have visited the grave on a few occasions, when visiting Coniston, as he was one of my childhood heroes, like his father Sir Malcolm Campbell.

Further memories of the Bluebird can be seen at Ruskin Museum, Yewdale Road, Coniston.

John Siddall, Fulwood (Historian)