YP Letters: Vivid memory of my D-Day school day

D Day veteran Ken Cooke.
D Day veteran Ken Cooke.
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From: Margaret W Whitaker, Harswell.

I AM humbled by Ken Cooke’s memories of D-Day (The Yorkshire Post, June 20) Mine are also vivid, but trivial by comparison. I was just 15, and hurrying to school happily as my boyfriend had given me his Scout knife with the rabbit’s paw handle as a love token.

On arrival at school the head girl rang the bell earlier than usual and told us to go to the Assembly Hall, whatever our religion, as the headmistress had something important to say to us. So off we went, “single file and no talking”.

Miss Macrae took the podium, looking more than usually distant and preoccupied. “Girls, it is my duty to tell you that our troops, and those of our Allies, are at this moment landing on the shores of Normandy to free the peoples of Occupied Europe. I would ask you all to pray that their mission is successful.” She ended by saying that June 6, 1944, would be forever remembered in the annals of our history along with 1066, Agincourt and Trafalgar. In silence we returned to our classrooms and resumed our studies.

I pondered over Miss Macrae’s words, and spent every spare moment of that day carving the date on my desktop with the Scout knife hidden in my satchel, in huge letters and numbers. Then I inked it in carefully so it stood out proudly. I thought it looked wonderful; but Miss Holdsworth, the ogre of the Upper IVths, did not when she discovered it at 4pm. “You are a disgrace to the school and will stay behind and clean it up as best you can,” she said.

So it was that on D-Day at 5.30pm I was still at school with a packet of “Monkey Brand” provided by the school cleaners. The day is printed indelibly on my mind, as it was on my school desk, though for all the wrong reasons.

Fracking’s rural threat

From: Christopher Pickles, Gilling East, York.

SIR William Worsley (The Yorkshire Post, June 21) sets out a number of priorities following Brexit:

1. A new strategy towards the achieving of profitability for farmers;

2. Landscape and environmental management, aimed at boosting the tourism industry, promoting health and well being, and mitigating climate change;

3. Investing in the wider rural economy, but in a way that helps rural communities without doing damage.

There is much to agree with in Sir William’s proposals, but there is a critical issue which is missing.

He does not mention the extractive gas industry, which already is about to start fracking at Kirby Misperton and in 10 years time could have hundreds of drilling pads and thousands of wells across Yorkshire.

The issues are these: no one will wish to holiday in a gas field; no one will wish to eat food grown on contaminated soil.

Before we go to the huge expense of setting up a new fossil fuel industry, we should consider its potential to destroy the more environmentally friendly industries we already have.

Criminal’s cost to UK

From: Tim Patchett, Slaithwaite.

SO crime does pay. Namely £48,000 damages for injuries etc sustained during an attempt to deport the Ugandan drug smuggler Felix Wamala.

I hope that, when the award was made by the High Court, they took into account the money he had earned illegally, suffering to addicts, legal costs etc, and that it was used to repay all the incurred costs including a flight back to Uganda. Probably not.

Poor welcome to Yorkshire

From: Paul Kirkby, Wetherby.

BUS passengers still receive a shoddy service when flying into Leeds Bradford Airport – a lack of ticket information continues to be a problem.

Thousands of visitors a week get a second-rate welcome to Yorkshire. Welcome to Yorkshire, a publicly-funded organisation, needs to use its influence to try and improve matters.

‘Humber’ is not a region

From: Eric Daines, Skipton.

STEPHEN Purvis of Policy North (The Yorkshire Post, June 26) refers five times in his article to ‘Yorkshire and the Humber’ as being an area in the North.

I always believed ‘The Humber’ to be a tidal estuary (often mistaken for a river) and not a place. Any companies near the Humber are either in Yorkshire or Lincolnshire. If he, in his position, can’t describe the North correctly, what hope have we that we can be taken seriously by those south of Watford?

Open station to cut traffic

From: Nigel Boddy, Mulberry Court, Warmsworth, Doncaster.

AM I right in thinking the train line from Doncaster to Sheffield runs through Warmsworth?

Wouldn’t it be sensible to reduce the number of cars going to Sheffield by opening Warmsworth station to passengers? I believe a railway station was built before the First World War in Warmsworth but never used for passengers.

Making a name in business

From: ME Wright, Harrogate.

CONGRATULATIONS to Jel Singh Nagra for thumbing his nose at Sainsbury’s by changing his shop name from ‘Singhsburys’ to ‘Morrisinghs’ (The Yorkshire Post, June 28). I suspect that the late Sir Ken would approve of the friendly response by Morrisons.