North-South divide is quite pronounced

From: Sue Cuthbert, Newton on Rawcliffe, North Yorkshire.

JAYNE Dowle’s excellent article (Yorkshire Post, February 4) concerning the southern media attitude to us in Yorkshire reminded me of when two very nice Londoners came to visit.

They said to us “Don’t you feel isolated out here?” We live four miles from Pickering. Hardly isolated!

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Jayne talks about presenters and reporters not being able to pronounce place names properly.

This is true and as well as not being able to do so, many southern presenters seem unable to pronounce names such as Mali, Bosnia, Afghanistan and many others without adding an “r” where there isn’t one, making them “Marli”, “Bosniar” and “Afgharnistan” etc.

Years ago, a German teacher told me that people from Yorkshire learn to pronounce German far better than “our friends from the south” – so there!

It’s interesting that all the southerners I know love being here and have no desire to return south.

I rest my case.

From: Ken Hartford, Durham Mews, Butt Lane, Beverley.

AS one of very few Second World War veterans left alive, I probably have a rather more balanced attitude about human rights and animal privileges than most younger human beings, but I am rarely taken notice of, either intellectually or compassionately.

I appreciate that I am respected by my wife and family but by very few (if any) other Yorkshire people, especially (not having been born in Yorkshire).

What I have done is work 
with Yorkshire people for most of my life and I particularly appreciate the “common sense” approach to life that all those who live north of south Lincolnshire seem able to apply to their common sense way of living (as a human being).

If one draws a line from South Wales eastwards towards the coast of Suffolk, one can detect many places where “common” sense applies as the norm, but south of that line there is enormous confusion as to what so called “common” sense means!

I survived for many years, from the age of six (when I was orphaned) to the age I am now (nearly 87), purely by common sense. There must be a few others, surely, who will support my plea for some of this “mysterious” quality to be applied to every kind of management – especially political.

Happy days with the ‘divi’

From: Gerry Vickers, Poole Lane, Burton Salmon, Leeds.

FURTHER to recent letters about the Co-op and the “divi”, I, too, used to shop at the Co-op for my mother when I was a young boy, about 80 years ago.

We shopped at the Cambridge Street branch in Rotherham and my memories of many visits to that shop are still clear, especially of the man behind the counter in the grocery section to whom little boys were invisible if there was a woman waiting to be served!

Many a time I wished his pigeons would die or something equally terrible would befall him.

I also remember our divi number. It was 17593 – or perhaps 71593 – or even 17935!

However, I also shopped for my granny and her number I will never forget. It was 36. Can any of your readers beat that?

Milch cows take strain

From: ME Wright, Grove Road, Harrogate.

CHRISTOPHER Lawson’s cattle truck experience on the train to Leeds comes as no surprise (Yorkshire Post, February 4). Despite his doubts, I’m sure Northern Rail will answer him, with the usual selection of threadbare clichés and platitudes.

If the letter is honest, it will also remind him that the UK’s railways are fragmented profit centres, not the integrated public service which he and thousands more seem to demand.

First and foremost, they are the servants of directors and shareholders and we, their captive customers, are reluctantly obliging milch cows.

Mr Lawson’s comment on the guard’s good humour is a reminder that Northern’s staff are as much victims as we are, and most of them a damn sight better than their directors deserve.

Life and times of Labour MP

From: Dr Ivan Gibbons, Programme Director, Irish Studies, School of Communications, Culture and Creative Arts, St Mary’s University College, London.

I AM currently writing a biography of Leeds MP James O’Grady. O’Grady was from an Irish background and was Labour MP for Leeds East from 1906 to 1918 and Leeds South-East from 1918 to 1924. He was also the first Labour politician to be appointed a colonial governor when he became Governor of Tasmania in 1924.

O’Grady was an ardent imperialist and supporter of the British war effort and this often led to tension with Labour Party members in Leeds.

I would be grateful for any information on any aspect of O’Grady’s political career and will acknowledge all information received in the final text. I can be contacted on [email protected]