Ridings were another victim of turbulent times

From: David C Kelly, Rossett Drive, Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

IN Malcolm Barker’s interesting article (Yorkshire Post, April 27), he queried how it was that we so easily came to accept the abolition of our Yorkshire Ridings. As one who, like him, lived through this tumultuous period, I feel I can provide at least something of the answer.

Had the Local Government Act been all that we were called upon to digest in those turbulent times, we may well have resisted more stoutly. Yet we had been called upon to accept entry into the Common Market.

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Then there was the Prices and Incomes policy which followed the great U-turn of ’72 and encouraged the unions to ferment and ushered in the three-day week with its power cuts, early closedown of TV and the two elections of ‘74, not to mention a host of other legislation.

I well recall a letter in our local paper a year or two on by a well-known correspondent who wrote to tell his readers why he had been so quiet of late. “There is simply so much about which I feel moved to protest that I would never stop and each subject would be devalued accordingly,” he wrote.

My own feelings on the reorganisation of local government were very clear. With the loss of the ancient KUDC, I felt Knaresborough (and all those in a similar position) would never be the same again. And so it proved! In an attempt to revive the Ridings’ memory, I contacted the new authority to find out how I could buy some of the old road signs which had suddenly and mysteriously disappeared from our network of roads. Would you believe it that, despite continued attempts to find them, I never did. No-one seems to know where they went. For a long time I convinced myself that it was all part of a government plot to so disorientate us that we would accept almost anything, having first removed our most treasured references.