The crushing, but not unexpected, Government ruling to allow fracking on the Fylde, while overturning considered council policy and fierce public opposition, has done nothing for the cause of local democracy.
However, this hard-fought debate and desperate environmental struggle did fuel some old family memories which, for me at least, help lighten the ensuing mood of gloom from our troubled rural villages.
Older brother Mike went to university in Birmingham studying mining engineering – we had no idea why.
However, after his first expedition down a real coal mine, big brother thankfully decided it wasn’t for him.
My exploration for a well-paid, steady but interesting job took me (via a careers officer) to surveying. Getting out of the office was much of the appeal. However, I actually preferred that warm comfort, with nearby typists, to the earthy reality of building sites.
Eventually Mike got a job with day-release studies and qualified as a structural engineer, which suited him as he went on to become a city engineer at Nottingham.
Meanwhile, I stumbled into journalism and found it just the job. At least, newspapers took me round the world and provided some memorable thrills, laughs and occasional fulfilment.
Now, of course, Mike and myself are retired. Or, at least, he is and enjoying long walks with the dog over that flat countryside – above the old, now-closed mine shafts.
I am still getting satisfaction from writing this weekly column, and also some fiction and humorous memoir.
None of all that would have been predictable when Mike or me started off, back in the so-called Swinging Sixties. But life is now good, thanks very much.
Let’s hope that those in the beautiful Fylde countryside, now fearing so much disruption and possible danger to their lives, will find a similar happy ending to this long-running and bitter saga.
* For Roy’s books visit www.royedmonds-blackpool.