Letters December 18th

Top marks to both staff and officers

SOME weeks ago the Clitheroe Advertiser published a letter of mine, in which I commented on Ribble Valley Borough Council's clearance of leaves at Wilpshire.

I stated the use of a petrol-driven blower to clear the pavement was pointless as the leaves would eventually be blown back on to the pavement, and suggested the council should collect the leaves for composting.

Subsequently I received a very informative letter from Mr Peter McGeorge, Waste Management Officer of RVBC, explaining the council does in fact collect in excess of 700 tonnes of leaves every year through the street cleansing operation from October to January using a mechanical sweeper.

After composting, the leaves are used for soil improvement on a local farm. I was also given the chance to visit the waste transfer station and see the various waste streams recovered by the council services.

During the visit I was extremely impressed by the efficiency of the waste management operation and in particular the ways in which the cost to council taxpayers is kept to the absolute minimum through careful planning, the use of central government funding and subcontracting to minimise the council's wage bill and investment in costly equipment.

My thanks go to Mr McGeorge and Mr Alan Boyer, Amenity Cleansing Officer, for the time and effort they gave to correcting my earlier impression, and allowing me to see the excellent work done by the Waste Management Services on behalf of the Ribble Valley residents.

JIM KERSHAW, The Hazels, Wilpshire

These roads were a real nightmare

I FELT I had to back up the lady from Holden, in last week's Clitheroe Advertiser and Times, about the roads in Grindleton, West Bradford and Waddington.

I was on my way to a hospital appointment in Manchester, the three miles in the area I mentioned were the worst in the 100-mile round trip. Down Grindleton Brow was an ice rink. The road had not been gritted and that was at 9-30 a.m. and 4-30 p.m.

All places I passed through on my trip had been gritted.

I do know about this service as I was a clerk to a highways and roads inspector for many years.

JAMES DEVANEY, Grindleton

It is only once a year after all!

I HAD every intention of writing to the letters page in praise of the Pickwick Night organisers, however I left it too late and thought others would.

On opening the Advertiser, I see only two letters – one for and one against – so I would like to add my thoughts. In reply to J.G. Farnsworth – organisers should consider villagers, Letters, December 11th – I do understand how annoying it must be to be surrounded by noise, bustle and merriment when all you want is to get the kids to bed and relax in your normally quiet home. I'm sure you are not alone in these feelings about Pickwick Night but, love it or hate it, it is only one night of the year and brings happiness to many people, not to mention raises money for good causes.

Regarding the fun-fair, I believe I'm right in saying this is not organised by the Pickwick Committee but put on alongside the event for private gain. I'm sure I will be put right if this is incorrect.

Also regarding the "tacky travelling circus like stalls" I'm aware the committee made every effort this year to have only approved sellers and not the hawkers of flashing necklaces etc, granted there were some small fairground attractions but these were in keeping with the Dickensian traditions.

If J.G. Farnsworth had relaxed a little more, let the kids stay up a little later and joined in the fun, he/she would have seen local traders and charities selling crafts and foods all dressed in Dickensian costumes, street performers, dance displays and old fairground organs. To anyone who feels as Mr/Ms Farnsworth does, I can only say try joining in rather than complaining. You could have basked in the feeling of happiness and goodwill that was prevalent.

You would have had a happier evening and would maybe even be feeling a little happier now. Because these sort of events bring people together and the loss of them makes the world a sadder place where we are all isolated in our own little worlds and forget what goodwill and tolerance mean.

I would just like to add my voice to Louise Clough's, of the Swan Hotel, by saying congratulations to the organisers of this night, who have to fight against ever increasingly mad regulations and the weather to put on a night that is perfect for this village.

This year you excelled yourselves. I hope you will be able to continue for many years to come. I would also like to congratulate the people who put up the festive lights I don't think I have ever seen the village looking more beautiful. Take a bow one and all.

SUSAN EARNSHAW, Woodlands Drive, Whalley

Thanks for a great family occasion

A BIG thank you and congratulations to all at Key Street for a fabulous family fun evening on Monday, December 1st.

The Christmas lights and fireworks were enjoyed by all the family especially three year-old Ewan. A good start to the festive season.

Thanks also to Coco Moyo and Party People (Pauline and Alan) for their contributions, also much enjoyed by all of us. Well done Santa and his helpers for coping with all of the children!

I hope the attending towns people were as generous with their contributions to the Breast Cancer collection as Key Street, Coco Moyo and Party People were with theirs.

SHEILA CHEETHAM, Ewan's grandma, by e-mail

If you don't like it here then move!

AFTER reading the incomprehensible map of the town centre by Ian Cooper in the Advertiser, may I suggest that as someone who never shops here, he is in no position to decide on future developments.

In fact, might I also suggest, that as Otley, Ilkley, Skipton and Harrogate are so superior to Clitheroe, he moves into one of the aforementioned making room for someone like myself who is proud and happy to reside here.

I have lived here now for 40 years and find the town, and its people, wonderful.

G. ARNOLD, Queen Street, Clitheroe

Service does not suit everybody

SERVICE at the health centre is a godsend to some patients, but not the town patients.

It is great if you live in the villages and are fit and healthy, all you need do is pick up your prescription at the dispensary, get into your car, go home - job done.

If you live in town, you have to queue sometimes as long as 15 to 20 minutes waiting to pick up a prescription, then go to a chemist for your medication.

Come on – I am a disabled pensioner and find it hard standing queueing.

Hundreds of people in town live a mile from the centre, but don't get this service. If you're going to do it, make it just for the disabled and open another window for those just picking up prescriptions. As for chemists going out of business, the health centre is doing a good job to make this happen, taking trade away from the small chemists, after all - it is a health centre, not a chemist's.

JOAN BRIGGS, Henthorn Road, Clitheroe

Heroic cricketers? I don't think so

AM I missing something when I hear on the radio and TV then read in the press about heroic courageous and brave English cricket team visiting India?

We don't even have an English-born captain, but one born in South Africa. Heroic, courageous and brave should be the description for those in Afghanistan, Iraq, fire-fighters and others who put their lives on the line in protecting this country and its citizens.

The Australians didn't leave England on their last visit when we had terrorist outrages in London.

They continued to play the game, England are going to play a game, for which they are paid handsomely.

Three days after the Luxor terrorist outrage when over 60 people died my mate John Bodsworth and I were in Luxor Egypt. No way were we not going to have our adventures in the Egyptian desert and Lake Nasser.

When the guerrillas in Bogot were setting off car bombs and shooting up buildings, we didn't come home. Armed bandits would shoot out from the cover of the jungle wilderness in speed boats to attack unsuspecting travellers on the Amazon River and other waterways. Did we stop travelling these waterways? No, we got on with life, with nothing more than a side arm or short barrel shotgun. In those days we roamed all over Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil and Peru; as I wrote in my book "Up Against It".

The Shining Path was a particular vicious guerrilla group just coming to prominence who would butcher you alive and smile at the same time.

My friend Gary Newman a journalist left Heathrow on Saturday for India where he is planning to fish for a month in search of mahseer. Gary will be camping out on the river bank. He won't have a phalanx of guards or commandoes. Let's stop using the words heroic, courageous and brave to describe a group of people playing a game. These words should describe those who put their lives on the line for others.

MARTIN JAMES, Meadowside, Grindleton

Well done to all at Ribblesdale

I WOULD like to say a huge "well done!" to the pupils of Ribblesdale High School, who put on the best Christmas Production ever.

It was funny, stunning, amazingly talented, as well as getting the Christmas message across. This was our 13th year watching our daughters in a Nativity play and this was the best by far. Well done to everyone for a spectacular night.

AMANDA and ANDREW TOWNSEND, Siddows Avenue, Clitheroe

Support group for Marie Curie

DO you have a flair for fund-raising or perhaps a passion for planning? Then Marie Curie Cancer Care needs your help.

We are planning to establish a new fund-raising support group in the Ribble Valley and are keen to get local people on board.

Our support groups play a vital role in helping us to raise funds to enable Marie Curie Cancer Care to provide nurses for terminally ill people in their own homes.

Our locally-based groups bring together like-minded people who want to do their bit to support the charity, perhaps by hosting a coffee morning, organising local collections or maybe even planning a fashion show or ball! Each local group is independent, with the freedom to plan and organise their own events and activities, although receiving full support and advice from the local Marie Curie Cancer Care fundraising team.

If you would like to become part of this exciting new group – with the chance to learn new skills, make new friends and have some fun, as well as playing a vital role in supporting local cancer care – then why not contact us to find out more.

e-mail:elizabth.islam@mariecurie.org.uk

Tel. Lyn or Liz on 01772 749 797

Ring us for a free information pack

EVERY year in Britain around 40 million pheasants and partridge are mass produced like commercial poultry so they can be shot down by wealthy "guns".

This bloody and brutal end to their lives is the final insult.

From birth they are kept in cages, sheds and pens, in which disease and death are a daily feature.

In an effort to eliminate the stress-related aggression between the birds, they are fitted with an array of devices that restrict their vision and prevent them from pecking their cage-mates.

Because of the enfeeblement that results from being intensively reared, many birds die before they can be gunned down.

They perish from exposure, starvation, disease or predation, or under the wheels of motor vehicles. Many shot birds are not eaten.

Even pro-shooting magazines have reported that some are buried in specially dug holes.

Killing animals for fun has no place in a civilised society.

For a Free Anti-Shooting Action Pack, contact Animal Aid on 01732 364546 or go to www.animalaid.org.uk

A.J. BRADLEY, Thorn Street, Clitheroe

An open invitation to join this group

IN April 2005 a historic ceremony took place – unveiling a granite memorial at the gateway to St Eval Church.

More than 1,000 aircrew and ground staff lost their lives at RAF St Eval between 1939-1959 while the station was operational. It was one of the largest operation stations during the Second World War.

All ranks from RAF, WAAF and WRAF or next of kin who served at RAF St Eval, are invited to join the RAF St Eval Coastal Command Association.

We have two reunions every year, in April and September at which we would love to see people from the Ribbble Valley. We also produce two newsletters in January and July.

Information regarding the above is available from Ray Massey on 01925 755556, Peter Salisbury on 01460 61291 or Ken Wilson on 01514 243263.

RAY MASSEY, 37 Sandy Lane, Lymm, Cheshire