I HAVE known Gazette newspaper vendor Stella McKenna, who recently passed away (Gazette July 7,) since she first worked with me in the civil service.
She was someone who was always the same, everyone got on with her. She had recently been on a cruise on her own, and thoroughly enjoyed herself. I was talking to her as she was taking down her stand on a very wet and rainy day about two weeks ago.
She worked there in all weathers and never missed a day, she was iconic. If ever anyone deserved an award for service to the community it was Stella, and we in Blackpool all missed our chance to award a medal to such a well known woman, who did a community job extremely well and with great panache.
Goodbye Stella, I will be at Sacred Heart Church on Thursday and I am sure very many people will be there as well.
THE Fylde coast has lost a remarkable character with the death of Bill Griffiths.
He was a real war hero who despite suffering appalling injuries while in captivity, refused to allow the experience to destroy the rest of his life.
He lost his eyesight and both his hands tackling a booby trap yet returned to civilian life to run a business and enjoy a long and happy marriage to his wife Alice.
During his life, he became a renowned public speaker and was awarded the MBE in 1977 in the Queen’s Silver Jubilee honours.
Mr Griffiths even went onto appear on This Is Your Life, such was the extraordinariness of his experiences.
In later years he produced a book, Blind to Misfortune.
Throughout he was supported by Alice and the couple were married for 50 years.
Mr Griffiths should be an inspiration to those who are all too quick to bemoan their misfortune.
Here was someone who gave his all to everything he undertook and who refused to allow his disability to set him back.
Perhaps that was because he had had such a close call with death at a young age, and therefore wanted to celebrate all he could, having been given a second chance at life.
Certainly his story and his spirit should encourage many people to overcome the obstacles in their own lives.
Mr Griffiths will be missed by many, but hopefully his bravery will always be remembered.
IT doesn’t really matter whether trams are old or new, noisy or quiet, people are still knocked down because they don’t watch what they’re doing.
I have never agreed with the way Blackpool Transport has rescheduled or eliminated services but I’m in full agreement with their statement urging people to be more cautious especially when the trams are nothing new and been on route for decades.
It makes you wonder when they were a major form of transport in most main streets, were pedestrians knocked down back then too? Trouble is, many folk these days seem to be oblivious to the dangers.
Apart from a Blackpool Transport official leading them across the tram tracks holding their hand like you would a child, or installing loud speakers every few yards announcing with a deafening decibel pitch to watch out for the trams, what else can they do?
I WISH to voice my support for the Awaken Team in Blackpool, following the recent Ofsted inspection of child protection in the town (Gazette July 13).
In the article, which criticises social care provision, it says a number of services look set to be reviewed. I was very surprised to read that the Awaken Service may be one of these, as in my family’s experience, the team has acted very professionally and supportively. Praise should be given to this service.
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