Company that knew how 
to grow

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From: Geoff Wilson, Forest Crescent, Harrogate.

YOU have recently highlighted the part to be played by Rolls Royce in the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham and mentioned in particular the techniques used to grow turbine blades from a single crystal.

This technique however is not entirely new since an innovative company here in Harrogate, Holdsworth Electronic Developments (HED), supplied microprocessor based control equipment to Rolls Royce in the early 1980s for what was then known as directional solidification.

The technique was known about widely but, as so often with these things, there was a significant difference between the theory and the practice.

While the equipment supplied by HED controlled the important parameters associated with the technique, the values of these parameters were a closely guarded secret at Rolls Royce.

This equipment lasted in use for about 12 to 15 years despite the very rapid advance in electronics in that period and this was because of the reliability of the original equipment.

HED were pioneers in the use of 16 bit processors (64 bit processors are only just becoming widely used) and used them in a wide variety of applications, including the control of arc welders used in some of the assemblies of the RB211 jet engine.

This latter equipment made a dramatic reduction in the assembly time for those parts of the engine for which it was designed.

We also designed, in conjunction with Rose Forgrove, the first electronically controlled packaging machine, the electric drive for the turret of the Warrior armoured personnel carrier and the first FM VHF radio control for cranes in the UK.

These successes I put down to the fact that we were not clever enough to know we couldn’t do them.

Prosecute the fraud firms

From: Bob Holland, Skipton Road, Cononley.

IF a youngster aged 13 was found riding in a stolen car and charged with taking without owner’s consent will he be let off when he says, he did not know it was stolen? No chance.

If an owner lends a van to friends who use it in a burglary, and says he did not know it would be used illegally, may be he will not be prosecuted the first time. But if this was repeated, and van owner takes share of the profits, isn’t he likely to be charged with aiding and abetting at least?

If the owner of a business repeatedly employs people who commit fraud in the name of the firm, with profits for the business, should the owner be prosecuted? Certainly.

George Osborne may not want MPs to be outspoken enough to say so, but this is what most of the public want. What do Yorkshire’s MPs think?

Tennis given too much hype

From: Brian Sheridan, Redmires Road, Sheffield.

DESPITE being a keen tennis player, I find myself in total agreement with Kerry Bagshaw who berates the BBC for their Wimbledon hype at the expense of the Tour de France (Yorkshire Post, July 14).

We shouldn’t be surprised at their lack of judgment though. Not for the first time, in a shocking display of irresponsible broadcasting the Corporation shifted the News to BBC2 to make room for the tennis on its major channel.

Nor should we be surprised that BBC Sport set so much store by Wimbledon. They 
have so cravenly relinquished other major sporting events that they now have precious little else.

It wouldn’t be so bad if they showed the slightest interest in tennis the other 50 weeks of the year. Time was when we favoured the BBC for sport, not just for the absence of infuriating advertisements but because they were simply the best.

Learn to value right to vote

From: Don Burslam, Elm Road, Dewsbury Moor, Dewsbury.

AS always in similar situations, it is moving to witness the scenes in Libya as they experience their first taste of democracy in many years.

I am afraid it does prompt a sad reflection on the apathy of our own voters. Only 30 or 40 per cent bother to vote in local elections and the turnout in elections for Europe is among the lowest in the EU. Even the vote in General Elections is in decline.

This does not prevent continual complaints about everything under the sun from many who can’t even walk a few hundred yards to put a cross on a ballot paper.

In view of the elections following the Arab Spring, perhaps we should learn to value our democratic processes in the way that they do.

Whatever the deficiencies of our system, opting out completely will certainly make no contribution to solving our problems.

Fatally tainted by inaction

From: John Eoin Douglas, Spey Terrace, Edinburgh.

THE involvement of the Roman Catholic Church has totally wrecked any winnable campaign against same-sex marriage.

The hypocrisy of their hierarchy’s lengthy inaction against the predations of paedophile priests means that any Catholic pronouncement on sexual ethics is now fatally tainted, whatever its content.