Yesterday’s starving is today’s obesity

From: CA Hagyard, Ledaig Westow, York.

ROBERT Sutcliffe’s article “no place like home after living 84 years in one house” brought back memories of my childhood (Yorkshire Post, February 24). He says: “Britain in 1927 was a very different place to the country we know today...” It certainly was!

I was born in 1928 in a West Riding village where mining was the occupation of most men. When times were hard and they asked for more money they were “locked out” and “blacklegs”, men who worked for less money, were brought in.

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My brother and I were lucky, my father had a comparatively well paid job in Leeds, so we observed the conditions this brought.

I attended the local elementary school and one day a little friend of mine asked me to tea. My mother agreed and so I went with him. I have never forgotten it!

You could have bread and jam or bread and margarine – but not both together. The kitchen where we ate was bare, no curtains at the window, and a bare, scrubbed wooden table. One week later my little friend was dead of diptheria.

My mother had my brother and I hastily immunised at a makeshift medical centre attached to the local church. Today we have a problem of obesity. In the 1920s and 1930s, it was malnutrition for certain sections of the population.

Rural retreat of bus service

From: Mrs Judith Mason, Long Preston, Skipton.

WHAT an excellent article by Alexandra Woodsworth on cuts to local bus services (Yorkshire Post, February 19).

I live in a small village between Skipton and Settle. The first bus of the day to Settle is 7.55am. We do have an hourly bus service during the week but there are no buses in either direction after 5.30pm.

Saturday sees buses every two hours. The first bus to Settle on a Saturday is 9.15am. The last buses on a Saturday are 4.40pm from Skipton and 5.30pm from Settle. Bank holidays see a Saturday service. There have been no buses on a Sunday now for about five years.

Yes, we do have a train station but older people do not like using it as the local “youth” seem to use it as their playground with either mindless acts of vandalism and their intimidating behaviour, particularly during the evening.

Troubled waters

From: Peter Rigby, Beamsley Skipton.

YOUR article (Yorkshire Post, February 18) speaks volumes about Kelda’s ownership of Yorkshire Water. Richard Flint (chief executive) suggests that increased water bills from this monopoly supplier could pay for flood protection in Leeds and York.

He appears to have persuaded the York MP Hugh Bayley that this is the answer to the prayers of those who live on these flood plains. I suspect that most Yorkshire Water rate payers would disagree.

Mr Flint also seems to have convinced Mr Bayley that “partnership“ with local councils (which have no money), the Environment Agency (which also has no money) and the Government (ditto) is the way forward.

Mr Flint also stated in your article that Kelda is “looking at how it could support the Government at this difficult time and play a bigger role by taking on more responsibility for improving the regions flood defences”.

The answer of course being increased water bills. Mr Flint certainly knows how to press the “give us a price increase“ button with Ofwat.

My question is simply this. How can the Government provide funding for flood defences when the cupboard is bare?

Bouncing bomb recalled

From: Don Alexander, Knab Road, Sheffield.

THE article with picture of the Derwent Dam’s impressive overflow (Yorkshire Post, February 21) mentions 617 Squadron’s practice runs prior to bombing similar dams in the Ruhr.

Another local connection: the “bouncing bombs” were forged at River Don Works (Vickers, then English Steel, now Sheffield Forgemasters).

I’m not sure whether the museum in Derwent Dam’s tower has a sample, but the wonderful Kelham Island Museum has a 10-ton “grand-slam” bomb, the econd World War’s heaviest (also forged at River Don) and a film of RAF lads at a Lincolnshire aerodrome loading one under a Lancaster prior to take-off.

Not playing the game

From: Hamish Yewdall, Middleton Road, Ilkley.

I SAT in the public gallery as Bradford Council voted on the proposed budget. There were many things wrong with the events.

Throughout proceedings, some Conservatives had been tapping on their Blackberries.

Around an hour into the discussions, I noticed that a councillor had taken the personal liberty to apparently play a game on his Blackberry.

Is there bigger sign of the arrogance and ignorance of politicians these days?

In a discussion about cuts that will make thousands of lives in Bradford harder, a councillor elected by the public is not fulfilling his duty in the slightest.