From: Harold Laycock, SunnyBank Avenue, Mirfield, West Yorkshire.
dewsbury Empire closed on April 1, 1955, due to the lack of interest in the local theatre and tired variety shows.
The growing popularity of television together with a diet of mediocre films killed off five Dewsbury cinemas: the Playhouse, Rex, Tudor, Pioneers and the Regal/Essoldo.
The declining interest in ballroom dancing eventually saw the end of dances at Dewsbury Town Hall, the Gaiety in Batley and other popular dance halls.
Parallel to these closures, the town also saw the closure of a number of popular public houses, such as the Scarborough, Market House, Fleece, Little Saddle, Great Northern Duke of Leeds, the Railway and others which escape my memory.
Many well known stores and shops followed suit, including Bickers, J&Bs, Woolworths, Dewsbury Pioneers Industrial Society Co-op, Hudson’s furniture shop.
A number of bespoke tailors also closed. These included Montague Burton, Weaver to Wearer, John Collier, Fifty Shilling Tailors, Alexanders and Gerald Lees.
Also went was Charlie Stringers (“We Buy Owt”) and the Carlisle Printers.
Sunday afternoon was never the same following the loss of Caddies Ice Cream Parlour.
The jewel in the crown was Dewsbury Market, renowned throughout the North of England for its wide range of stalls and characters such as Pot Harry.
The present market is more or less homogeneous, offering little variety, whereas the old market attracted coach parties from the length and breadth of the North.
The decline has resulted in coach parties leaving Dewsbury to visit Bury Market.
A prime example that Dewsbury might copy.
The lack of convenient parking has added to the decline, with unfair competition from local shopping malls and local towns (also within Kirklees) able to offer free parking.
Free bus travel has allowed the elderly (which I am part of) to travel further afield.
Local businesses remaining in Dewsbury have been burdened by excessively high rents and business rates, with little evidence that Kirklees Council has done much to retrieve the situation.
Those people who knock Dewsbury and fail to shop there have been the major contributors to its decline.
During the recent pub disaster in Glasgow, local Glaswegians came together as a unit, exactly what our locals need to do and forget the much publicised scandals.
Case for ID documents
From: John Fisher, Mount Bark Farm, Harrogate.
THE attempt by the Government to pretend they have found the answer to the constant flow of immigrants into this country by concentrating on EU entries is another attempt to rewrite our recent history.
No government, Labour or Conservative, showed any concern over the large numbers of immigrants who entered this country from the 1960s onwards during their watch.
The people of the UK were never consulted during this period and it was never put to the vote but put the words Europeam Union in the equation and we may be asked to vote.
Since some 90 per cent of the immigrants entering this country are from outside the EU, it seems only fair that any vote should include these.
In any case, without a compulsory identity document system, we will be unable to identify the numbers in the country illegally and prevent the abuse of our unique free generous social systems.
Unfortunately, our history of government seems to hover between poor and appalling and no doubt nothing will be done until the amazing patience and fortitude of the British people begins to wane.
If we reject a compulsory identity document, then we must be prepared to supply free health care, unemployment benefit, education, and much more to the rest of the world. Who would not want to come to this country where so much is available with little or no demand of proof that the recipients of the services are eligible to use them?
The stain of corruption
From: Malcolm Wilson Bucknall, Ebor Avenue, Hornsea.
DEMOCRACY, dignity, culture, respect, trust and honesty will, if we are not careful, decay and fall into the pot of fraud and corruption and more crime will bubble and overspill to stain our society.
Who then will take the helm, who then will step forward with enough energy, strength and wisdom to impress a despairing nation and draw them away from the brink of self-destruction?
Codes of conduct must be explicit, and accepted at all levels, and trust should be a prime factor in all dimensions of religion and politics.
Time turns the pages of truth in the library of history.
After 2,000 years we are no nearer to the promise of calm and sheltered lee of peace and salvation.
Conflicts still ensue, throughout a troubled world, the wilderness expands every day, and blood stains the oceans and pastures, religions and politics.
When will it all end and why did it all begin?