YP Letters: School under threat is the soul of village

Pupils at the centre of the fight to save Horton-In-Ribblesdale's school from closure.
Pupils at the centre of the fight to save Horton-In-Ribblesdale's school from closure.
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From: Joe Dillon, Hammerton Drive, Hellifeld.

IN the 1960s when Laurence Olivier was choosing the architect who would design 
the National Theatre in London, he asked each of them what 
they thought would be the 
most important aspect of the building.

The architect, Denys Lasdun, replied “its soul”. He got the job. Olivier and Lasdun both understood a structure is more than bricks and mortar, it’s about the people and the ethos that inhabit it. As I write, not a theatre but a very special 300-year-old village school at Horton-In-Ribblesdale, the soul of its community, sitting at the foot of Pen-y-ghent, is under threat of closure by North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC).

As a study carried out in the 1970s by The Times showed, if you close a village school you are in effect closing the village. Horton school is so much more than just a building where children go to be educated, it hosts community lunches, toddler groups and nursery provision, all lost if the school closes.

Horton is the only Dales Outdoor school, where the outdoors is not solely a place where children run around and then return to the classroom, but a place to develop physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially.

This unique learning experience is strongly supported by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and the Millennium Trust. In particular, for children with Special Educational Needs, Outdoor schools can provide different opportunities for them to discover their talents.

I write as a dyslexic and know first hand the difficulties children can face in some schools. Rather than close this school which is rated as outstanding by Ofsted, NYCC should be celebrating and supporting such a vibrant and dynamic school as Horton.

I am a young man, aged 21, hoping one day to become a teacher and Horton is exactly the child-centred, creative school I would very much like to teach in, whose soul is dedicated to the idea of education that was described by the poet WB Yeats – it’s not about filling a bucket but lighting a fire.

Blame greed, not China

From: Robert Reynolds, West Bank, Batley.

PRESIDENT Trump believes China has stolen American jobs through unfair trading. This is nonsense.

In 1971, then President Nixon abolished the Gold Standard.

The dollar was linked to the price of gold and trade had to be settled in gold. American gold reserves were running out fast and Nixon had a war to finance in Vietnam.

Removing the gold standard allowed rich businessmen to move their money anywhere. Why pay an American $10 an hour to produce cars when you can pay a Chinese man 10 cents? Jobs were outsourced from West to East. It’s still happening now.

Our economies have only survived this catastrophic decision through bank lending. Personal loans, credit and massive debts have fuelled spending. The West has become a huge Ponzi scheme, greedy for more debt, and ready to collapse. We saw the consequence in 2008.

One of the first acts of President Trump was to abolish the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reforms. These feeble reforms were attempts to halt the corruption in Western finance. The banking criminals gleefully watched as the President declared business as usual.

To blame China for our own stupidity and greed is absurd.

Let’s honour the farmers

From: Ken Holmes, Cliffe Common, Selby, York.

SCHEMING, skiving, coniving, and being able to splash the cash, that seems to me the way to be awarded a knighthood these days. Hard work and endeavour count for nothing.

Come on, let’s be honest, how many farmers can you name who have received a knighthood, or farmers’ wives who have received an OBE?

No strutting the boards in fancy frocks for them, they are too busy helping their husbands on the farm, bringing up their own children and wading through mountains of unnecessary paperwork.

For all that, I will gamble all England to lay a seed that they are much happier than David and Victoria Beckham.

Of mice and technology

From: ME Wright, Harrogate.

THE article by David Behrens “40 years of the PC” (The Yorkshire Post, February 11) brings back memories of intensely furrowed brows and computer-speak puzzles.

Not least of these; was the plural of ‘mouse’ ‘mice’ or ‘mouses’? We opted for “a mouse, please – and while you’re at it, I’ll have another one”. Compromise or dodge?

Grammar sits uneasily

From: Clare Horsfield, Silkstone, Barnsley.

OH dear. Another one. The unwelcome appearance of an “is sat” (The Yorkshire Post Magazine, February 11). The erroneous “is sat, is stood, am sat, am stood, was sat, was stood” always seem to surface in the Saturday extras of the otherwise superb editions of The Yorkshire Post. Sitting and standing seem to becoming defunct.

Brutal run

From: Patricia Bilton, Eppleworth Road, Cottingham.

HOW awful to see the photograph of the bull run which was held in Southern India (The Yorkshire Post, February 11). Brutal and unnecessary, the poor animal must have been terrified. It ruined my Saturday read of The Yorkshire Post.