January 13 Letters: Signs of the times in road clutter

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From: Vernon Wood, Wharfedale Crescent, Garforth, Leeds.

YOUR recent account of Andrew Beadnell’s spat with Leeds Council’s “Environmental Action Service” concerning the house sale board on Spofforth Hill, Wetherby, made intriguing reading.

The council’s claim that one sale sign can “cause an eyesore, create road traffic hazard, indirectly injure pedestrians and count against city cleanliness assessment” seems to be taking the minor malfeasance to laughably extreme ends.

If Leeds wishes to protect the environment and citizens it would be better employed reviewing the signage activities of the council itself. Many signs are mislocated, misaligned or obscured and rarely add any significant element of safety or information.

Probably the worst example is the installation of 20mph signs in 120 zones throughout the city... at a cost of £6m. At Grange estate in West Garforth, 29 have been installed on a quiet residential estate of narrow winding roads where even achieving 20mph is difficult.

Too young
to vote

From: Jack Brown, Lamb Lane, Monk Bretton, Barnsley, South Yorkshire.

I USE the word in its original meaning when I claim that 18-year-old males are not “sophisticated” enough to be MPs (The Yorkshire Post, December 31) and 16-year-old males are not sophisticated enough to vote (The Yorkshire Post, January 1).

Conor O’Neill says “my friends and me” are ready to vote at 16. Either he will learn the correct usage before he becomes an MP (his opinion is surely a “Hague speech” moment), or Parliamentary debate will ratchet down another notch. Politicians have always suffered mindlessness in less articulate voters. It has grown with successive reductions in the voting age. Which party benefits?

Doyle and
the Barguest

From: Barry Geldard, Glen View, Hebden Bridge.

THE article on Yorkshire connections to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (The Yorkshire Post, January 7) reminds me of a theory regarding the author’s creation of The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Sir Arthur was educated at Stoneyhurst College near Clitheroe, Lancashire. Not too many miles to the east lies Skipton, where his mother Mary Doyle lived from 1882 until 1917.

Several miles away, in Upper Wharfedale, lies Parcevall Hall and behind it Troller’s Gill, a wild and narrow gorge leading up to the moors and adjacent to an area known as The Valley of Desolation.

Troller’s Gill is reputed to be the lair of the Barguest, a fearsome animal of grotesque proportions and visage. The story goes that his mother passed on this legend to her son. The genesis of a great novel perhaps?

We must
control foxes

From: Mrs G Bean, Hall Square, Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire.

DOES Mr Turner really think the fox population has “benefited” from being shot (The Yorkshire Post, January 3)?

I remember footage taken during the foot and mouth crisis of marksmen trying to kill sheep which had escaped. Large targets in broad daylight, it made horrific viewing.

A hunted fox is either killed, or, as in the majority of cases escapes. As foxes have to be controlled somehow, better to be “left in pieces” than left with dreadful injuries that will lead to a slow and painful death.

Mithering
heights

From: José Barnes, Hessle, East Yorkshire.

HAVING known and used the words mithered and mithering all my life, I was not surprised by the number of letters about them your reader John McClay received (The Yorkshire Post, December 15). It is obviously a well-known expression throughout all the Ridings.

Perhaps though, its opposite, the word mafted, which I have always used to mean feeling too hot, or exhausted by the heat, is less well known.

Please keep the sayings column going; your readers have so many interesting words and phrases to share.

Heyday of
Leeds United

From: Bill Heppell, Riseborough House, Rawcliffe Lane, York.

I USED to travel to Elland Road to watch Leeds United in their glory years of Jack Charlton, Norman Hunter et al and am sorry to see their miserable position in the football league and to hear of the death of Leslie Silver.

Now in my 90s, like him I served four years in the forces in the war, first as a tank man, then SOE and finally with the Parachute Regiment.

We in the Army always thought that the RAF were treated more comfortably than us, but I must query the myth that Leslie Silver started his paint company with a £1,000 wartime gratuity (The Yorkshire Post, January 3). I was demobbed in March 1946 with a £28 gratuity. You could buy a house for £1,000 in 1946.