RAF women who could set the pace

From: Ron Farley, Croftway, Camblesforth, near Selby.

AS an ex-RAF physical training instructor (1947-69), my eyes nearly popped out of my head when I read about those female RAF recruits receiving £100,000 compensation payouts for the effects of marching.

I will make no comment 
about female colleagues having no trouble catching up with me when they wanted, nor me having trouble catching up with them when I wanted.

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However, I well remember one WRAF physical training instructor colleague stationed with me at RAF Wunstorf in Germany in 1950/51.

The annual station sports day was looming and, the normal athletic events we had entered for apart, we decided to team up together for the novelty three-legged race.

We practised together, naturally, for a day or two beforehand and, blessed with a natural co-ordination as one would expect from members of our trade, we won by the proverbial mile.

I cannot remember if Di 
Wyatt, as she then was, carried me, so to speak, or whether it 
was my ability and natural agility that enabled me to match her stride – she was a magnificent 
6ft 2in and I was an athletic (scoff ye not!) 5ft 8in.

From: DT Britton, Denford Avenue, Lytham.

THE letter commenting on female recruits in the WRAF marching out of step (Yorkshire Post, December 4), from a 
writer in Camden has, I feel, a strong whiff of sour grapes.

The RAF has now resolved the matter.

Send in 
the clones

From: Coun Nader Fekri JP (Labour & Co-op, Calder Ward), Hope House, Cheetham Street, Hebden Bridge.

EIGHT years ago, the New Economics Foundation named Hebden Bridge as the town with the most diverse high street in Britain, calling it a top “home town” rather than a “clone town”.

Recently however, the town has approved the planning application for a development 
at Mytholm for a new supermarket.

Over the summer, Alfred Jones (who own Spar) have sold 30 plus stores to Tesco and I suspect that (although primarily in the North West) Hebden Bridge may be one of them as they’re undergoing a re-fit.

Last week we received a letter from Sainsbury’s who want to put in an application to turn the old fire station in town into a “Sainsbury’s Local.”

While not passing a judgment on these developments (as a substitute member of the CMBC Planning Committee), I just thought that your readers would be interested to know.

Weaker without EU

From: David Blakeborough, Brendon Drive, Huddersfield.

BRIAN Sheridan (Yorkshire Post, December 5) is absolutely right. Europe is far from perfect, but then nothing is. There are, however, important benefits from being a member, such as the very significant grants provided to a whole range of organisations and businesses, and the huge trading advantages.

Those who write off the EU as an expensive and unwieldy den of bureaucracy must provide a credible alternative. They seem to forget that we no longer have an empire, and that we are a small island without much clout in a world where strength in alliances is generally recognised as a good thing.

The Commonwealth is a wonderful institution, but it will not help to keep us economically supported.

The concern is that Ukip, a party with a policy on only one issue and relying purely on the charisma of one man, will ramp up the rhetoric so that people will be inclined to vote against remaining in the EU as a knee-jerk reaction, without fully understanding the implications of leaving. Ukip must be shown up for what it is.

A pragmatic approach

From: Kendal Wilson, Wharfebank Terrace, Tadcaster.

HAVE you ever known a politician who is really interested in your child’s education? It seems that as older industries declined, so did the quality of education.

But we have however in these times the long tentacles of the corporate business fraternity reinventing the empire through the corporate conduit, thus creating what we now know as the global market which was suppose to have much benefit for us in this country.

This brings me to the recent statistics of why again we are supposedly below 20 other countries in the world league table of statistics, especially in maths and English.

This is hardly surprising when we base a disproportionate amount of time on academic measurement of success, in parallel with our highly-educated politicians who make policies with no ground knowledge of day-to-day subjects that matter to the public.

Children cannot learn being brought up in such unstable environments.

Many of our great employers, such as Richard Branson, were not academics but went on to employ thousands and many children would like to work at 16. This cannot be achieved on the back of academia alone and more pragmatic industrial and entrepreneurial endeavour is needed. Therefore Ministers such as Michael Gove will continue to move educational goalposts with no sensible outcomes.