Memorial to Yorkshire’s Spitfires

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From: Mark Andrew, Battle of Britain Historical Society, Manor Heath Road, Halifax.

THE discovery of Spitfires buried in their crates in Burma, and the good news that they could be brought back to Britain, could result in at least one being used to record our two Yorkshire Squadrons, 609 Auxiliary (West Riding) Squadron, formed at Yeadon, and 616 Auxiliary (South Yorkshire), formed at Doncaster.

With the proposal for a new Northern Battle of Britain Monument at the South Yorkshire Air Museum, located on the site of the former Doncaster Airfield, not only would 616 be better remembered but the work on rebuilding the Spitfires could povide suitable employment for skilled but redundant engineers and new apprentices in the area.

If we, in our great county, could put together funds for two of these famous fighter aircraft, then perhaps the Yorkshire Air Museum at Elvington, where 609 Squadron have a memorial hut, would be a suitable venue – unless there was space at Leeds Bradford Airport at Yeadon.

While my brother, Sgt Pilot Stanley Andrew, flew Hurricanes, and there is often some rivalry between the two, these new Spits do deserve a place in Yorkshire.

Church’s lack of consultation

From: Mary Rossiter, Chair, Parish Consultors, Church of the Good Shepherd, Mytholmroyd.

FOLLOWING the publication of the critical review of the (Roman Catholic) Leeds Diocese’s re-organisation of parishes, we, the parishioners of the Good Shepherd, Mytholmroyd, want to offer our support and prayers, particularly to the people of the Bradford area who have been hurt and felt abandoned in the process.

There was little or no consultation with the laity over either the reasons for the need to re-organise or as to how it could be achieved.

As the review by the Kinharvie Institute in Glasgow Providing Priests for the People, which was commissioned by the Bishop, stated, the process focused on “negative reasons for change – declining number of priests – and failed to inspire a positive vision for the future.”

We recognise that there can be no future vision for the Diocese without the partnership and participation of the laity in leading the Church forward.

We hope that the recommendations of the Kinharvie report will be fully implemented, especially the process of reconciliation with the affected areas to begin to heal the damage which has been caused and to reassure the laity that they are just as much a part of the Church as the hierarchy.

Europe peace down to Nato

From: John Redhead, Owst Road, Keyingham, East Yorkshire.

BOB Heys (Yorkshire Post, October 19) proudly proclaims that the EU has been primarily responsible for preserving peace in Europe, thus justifying its formation.

I have no wish to shatter the illusions of Europhiles on the subject but the fact is that peace in Europe was established and is still maintained by Nato – led, largely equipped and bankrolled by the United States of America.

The peculiar award of the Nobel Peace Prize to a dying institution which has significantly failed to make any contribution to peace is perhaps not so strange. The “impartial and authoritative committee having no axe to grind”, to which Bob Heys refers, is chaired by Thorbjorn Jagland, who is also secretary general of the Council of Europe. Is it mere coincidence that the council is desperately short of funds and that its secretary-general is seeking a bail out from none other than the EU?

Firework warning

From: Patricia Tricker, Arrathorne, Bedale.

I SHOULD like to remind readers about the possible misuse of fireworks in the run-up to Guy Fawkes’ Night. It is illegal to sell fireworks to anyone under 18 and for anyone under 18 to be in possession of fireworks in the street and other public areas.

It is also illegal to set off fireworks in the street. If readers suspect a shop is selling fireworks illegally or if they see a person under 18 with fireworks they should immediately report it to the police, who cannot enforce the law if they do not know it is being broken.

The misuse of fireworks can injure and even kill pets, farm and wild animals and people.

Ideally, the private purchase of fireworks should be banned and their use restricted to licensed public displays where, for nothing or a small donation, spectators can see thousands of pounds’ worth of spectacular fireworks being set off safely by experts.

Pensioners lose out

From: MP Fitzgerald, The Crescent, Northallerton.

I AM in possession of a Post Office card account that I take each week to use to collect my industrial injury benefit. A few days ago I got a leaflet in the post telling me that card account holders could get discounted stamps up to a maximum of 36 for Christmas. I asked when they would be available, only to be told that I did not qualify, as the offer was only for people of working age who were either unemployed and claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance, or on sick benefit for being too ill to work.

This is surely Government discrimination against pensioners and most unfair.

The Ministers who made this ruling should bear in mind that they too will be pensioners one day. Meanwhile I must now work out how many Christmas cards I will be able to afford this year when it is going to cost me 50p for each one instead of the 36p I had hoped for, had I been a few years younger.