Scant comfort to parishoners over lead theft

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From: Catherine Watson, Norman Road, Hatfield, Doncaster.

I’M very pleased to hear from Mark Schofield (Yorkshire Post, November 25) that he and many others scrap metal recyclers work to such stringent rules and regulations.

That is no comfort to the many members of church congregations up and down the country who have had enormous amounts of lead stolen from their church roofs, because someone is rewarding these thieves for their devastating crime.

Where are the rogues in this business that are making it worthwhile for the thieves to climb onto high church roofs? When are they going to be caught? Hatfield Church, near Doncaster, of which I am a PCC member, had £130,000 worth of lead stolen from the roof in July this year leaving holes in the roof. This enormous theft was on top of other smaller ones earlier in the year.

Despite the roof being temporarily covered by black plastic at the time, it was no protection when the rain came down. A Roof Appeal was launched in August and up to now £55,000 has been raised from the local community and numerous events.

It is a magnificent amount in such a short time but there is long way to go yet. Fortunately we have been able to have the roof repaired with stainless steel in time for the winter and it is now covered by a sophisticated roof alarm.

If Mark Schofield and his fellow legitimate scrap metal dealers are following all the procedures that the police demand, can he please suggest another solution to this outrageous problem which is also causing distress and anger to householders and rail travellers from theft of cables?

Family of influence

From: Raymond Shaw, Hullen Edge Road, Elland, West Yorkshire.

IN your obituary notices (Yorkshire Post, November 17), you include a Mrs Sheila Thicket (née Barker) long-time resident of Cheshire, late of Home Farm, Bretton. Very few people would realise what an influence Sheila’s father as well as her husbands’ grandfather held in the Wakefield area between the two world wars.

Frank Barker pioneered the local production of tubercular tested milk produced by his herd of Ayrshire cattle in Bretton.

His small fleet of yellow Austin vans were a regular sight for more than a decade before the Second World War, making their daily deliveries of grade A milk over a wide area. Her cousin Alan Barker of Swinefleet was the diarist who contributed a column to your newspaper’s Saturday issue under the nom de plume of Lowfields Farm.

Grandfather Thicket was an even better known character. WJ Thicket – Old Bill as we schoolboys called him– was always wearing a trench coat, huge trilby hat and sporting a full face beard.

He was the clerk of the works for the brick making and family building company of Crook’s Brickworks, Dewsbury Road, Flanshaw Lane.

Starting in the early 1920s, Old Bill very personally supervised the building of what is now Lupset Estate, taking the huge slice of farmland (no green belt in those days) between the main Horbury and Dewsbury Road, including Lupset Hall and Snapethorpe Farm.

Apart from the housing estate he supervised the erection of Lupset Church Hall, Snapethorpe Infant, Junior and Senior Schools, St George’s Church, completing just before the war the Snapethorpe Isolation Hospital.

All this in the period of the Great Depression. A record her descendants can be truly proud of.

Subsidy pushes up power bills

From: John Hatt, Firbank, Sedbergh.

MOST people know that wind farms would not exist without subsidies. And most people know that they are a threat to Yorkshire’s most beautiful countryside.

What most people don’t know is that these subsidies (which go mostly to foreign companies and rich landowners) aren’t paid by the Government, but instead are financed entirely from electricity bills. This covert tariff throttles economic growth, makes our exports less competitive and is horrendous for the seven million people in fuel poverty.

If you want this scam to end, please vote for a recent e-petition that asks for a reform of wind-farm subsidies that will reduce electricity bills.

When the petition has reached its target, it will be eligible for a five-hour debate in the House of Commons. Let’s hope this pressurises the Government into reducing our inflated electricity bills.