YP Letters: Last school in Dales valley under threat

Rachel Wilson has great views of Pen-y-Ghent from her home, but the possibility of her village school closing. What is the future of the Dales?
Rachel Wilson has great views of Pen-y-Ghent from her home, but the possibility of her village school closing. What is the future of the Dales?
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From: Rachel Wilson, Horton-in–Ribblesdale, Settle.

WHAT a gorgeous place I live in – when I open my curtains every morning I am fortunate enough to look out on to the majestic Pen-y-ghent. Our farm is situated in the middle of the famous Yorkshire Three Peaks, the other two being Ingleborough and Whernside. People travel from far and wide to take in this beauty which is on my very doorstep.

But the beauty of this countryside comes from being grazed by farmed animals – some would say over-grazed – but this isn’t why I write to you today.

My concern is that the heart is going to be ripped out of this community.

If you have been listening to the rumour mill over the past 10 years this news won’t come as a surprise – just with shock and dismay.

By the time the girls handed me the letter the word was 
already out – Horton-in-Ribblesdale Primary School is beginning the process of a proposal to close.

A generation ago, there were four primary schools in the Upper Ribblesdale Valley. And the Yorkshire Dales National Park does nothing, it just wants to keep it pretty for tourists. Who is going to live here with no school, no jobs and no shop?

It is nine miles to Settle and 10 miles to Ingleton from our house (Austwick being the proposed catchment area school, seven miles away).

Is the road from Helwith Bridge to Austwick wide enough to fit a minibus, or will my seven and 10-year-olds need to take a 40-minute journey every morning and afternoon, with the bus having to travel via Settle?

You see, our outstanding school not only provides for our children but it is also a place where the community gather, whether that be for the annual show, the Thursday club, coffee afternoons or festivals which are celebrated alongside the church.

So is there nothing more that can be done to keep this community alive?

Yes, a gorgeous place to live, but at what cost?

Generation gap on EU

From: Adam Sims, One Leeds Plc, Park Square, Leeds.

I GREATLY admire Paul Sykes for his vision and determination to create great success for himself, his family and many other people people involved with his visionary business enterprises. Paul Sykes is a true Yorkshire treasure (The Yorkshire Post, September 24).

However he is yet another example of a wealthy baby boomer who is so out of touch with my generation, and who adds nothing positive to the long term future of the UK and Europe.

My generation detest his short sighted, selfish and insular world view. Paul Sykes should stick with Ukip (Godfrey Bloom, Nigel Farage et al) and stay away from the Conservative Party. Stop messing with future generations’ hopes and dreams and stay away from the debate. He has done enough harm to the UK and Europe already.

It is frankly unfair that my generation were unable to bankroll the Better Together campaign like he did for the Outers.

The hillside hobbyhorse

From: Hugh Rogers, Messingham Road, Ashby.

AFTER seeing the picture of competitors in the Three Peaks race (The Yorkshire Post, September 26), should not future participants be more properly called “velocipedestrians” – an earlier and possibly more accurate term dating from the days of the hobbyhorse which describes riders who didn’t so much ride their machines, 
as carry them about for going down hills on?

It’s only an idea, of course, but might not consideration also be given to designing special Cyclocross bicycles which dispense with unnecessary wheels so that they can be carried up hills more easily?

Of course coming down again might, in consequence, be a little more troublesome, but that’s all part of the fun isn’t it?

Poor welcome to city centre

From: Chris Williams, Birstall.

ON picking up two relatives from the USA at Leeds railway station on Sunday night, I was both annoyed and embarrassed at the scene with which they were confronted on this, their first 
trip to England.

The tiny car park and drop-off point which serves this supposedly world-class destination was gridlocked 
with a relatively low number 
of cars and taxis going about their business.

I wonder what impression this scene makes on visitors to our city and those from the wider world of business.

Buck stops with Blair

From: Paul Morley, Long Preston, Skipton.

TONY Blair, the man who sent our troops into war on dubious information and with inferior kit, now says the ‘witch hunts’ of British troops for alleged war crimes should stop.

I would like to believe this is because the man cares about their plight, but the realist in me is sure that he has realised that if it continues it will work its way up the chain of command and we all know where the buck will stop, don’t we?