Memories of holiday of a lifetime

From: Rita Butcher, Bence Lane, Darton, Barnsley.

YOUR magazine article (Yorkshire Post, January 29) about Newfoundland brought back wonderful memories of a visit my husband and I made to the island about 10 years ago.

We had been discussing that particular holiday a few weeks before, prompted by another Yorkshire Post article, which said that Dame Judi Dench was to star for Britain in a world promotional tourist drive. The connection being that it was Dame Judi who had unwittingly persuaded us to visit Newfoundland all those years ago.

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My husband and I had been contemplating our first trip to Canada and were mulling over where to go when we happened upon an article by Dame Judi in a national Sunday newspaper. In the article Dame Judi was extolling the virtues of Newfoundland and saying that it was one of the most wonderful film locations that she had ever had the pleasure to visit.

Our visit to Newfoundland was one of our very best holiday experiences and if it was easier to get there, I feel sure that we would become regular visitors.

We have since visited other parts of the country and would recommend Canada as a holiday destination. The only problem is that Newfoundland, while only about five hours flying time away, might just as well be on the other side of the moon because of the difficulty in getting there. Direct flights to this part of Canada are extremely difficult to find and when found, are quite expensive.

Your article prompted me to go on the internet to try and obtain some reasonably priced flights to Newfoundland, but as yet I have had no success. Hopefully, Dame Judi will have much better luck in promoting Britain as a holiday destination than I had in trying to find flights to Newfoundland; I wish her every success and thank her for bringing Newfoundland to our attention all those years ago.

Make example of Brown

From: Paul M Rouse, Main Street, Sutton upon Derwent, York.

I HAD assumed that Gordon Brown created the mess we find ourselves in through sheer incompetence, but it now transpires that he and his Labour colleagues were warned by the IMF as early as 2003 that their spending was on an “unsustainable course”.

Instead of taking steps to rectify this, it would seem that in 2006 they bullied the IMF into saying all was well, even though a simulation carried out at the time by the IMF and our own FSA indicated that a financial meltdown was potentially imminent.

If it is true that millions of people must now suffer because Brown and Co were so intent on buying themselves popularity they were prepared to risk financial Armageddon, then we must demand that they be held to account. So long as we allow politicians to play fast and loose with money we have yet to earn, the country’s public finances will always be in arrears.

In order to ensure that it does not happen again, we must make an example of someone, and Mr Brown looks like the obvious candidate.

Way to save libraries

From: Colin Johnson, West End Parade, Pwllheli, Gwynedd.

In this coming age of austerity, I wonder if the following suggestion may prove constructive and helpful.

Most of our school buildings have a larger hall, traditionally, but infrequently used for assembly. Could these halls not be converted to public libraries?

There would be a comparatively minor conversion cost, and in multi-cultural Britain their initial use is likely to have already been dispersed, as could many other functions.

The advantages could be immense. All pupils would be adjacent to library facilities, they would share a common purpose and after quiet tuition hours mix with members of the local community. They could even combine to assist in running the library. And since most schools are served by public transport, there would be few access problems. It could also become a major contributor to a much bigger society.

I must admit to prejudice. I left grammar school at 14 with a life-saving silver medal. But through the skill of a local librarian, who led me to Newton, Darwin, Einstein and Bertrand Russell, I now have an MA in philosophy, have authored much, and worked independently in the subject for two decades. Libraries are civilisation, and essential to it. If we lose them, we diminish our future.

Village facing homes threat

From: Dr Glyn Powell, Bakersfield Drive, Kellington.

HAVING rebuffed the previous Labour Government’s nonsensical ecotown proposal for Kellington, the good people of this village are now faced with idiotic Tory council proposals to erect 626 houses on pleasant green fields.

Such development would ruin the character of the village and spoil the view villagers have across the fields to the historic Norman church. Kellington is prone to flooding too so concreting over such large areas will exacerbate flooding risks.

The village has few amenities to serve what will be a small town and has an atrocious bus service. So people moving to the village will, no doubt, travel to work along the M62 corridor, increasing the area’s carbon footprint and traffic congestion both on local roads and motorway. Increased traffic will add to pedestrian safety risks, as local roads are both narrow and largely without pavements.

Also, such a large influx of people will overwhelm the local primary/junior school and mean long journeys for older children to secondary schools.

There is no demand for houses for sale and I fear that Selby Council will not be building social housing for people on housing/homeless waiting lists from either Kellington or neighbouring villages.