MEMORIES OF THE FORTIES
Andy Mitchell’s column (‘Are the 1940s the best time to recreate?’ Gazette May 20) brought back memories of 1944 when my mother came home with an evacuee.
This was in Batley, West Yorkshire. His name was Derrick Mastrocola.
He settled with us until it was safe to go back to London.
His father had joined the army and his mother was based in Pontefract, a bus ride from Batley.
He took me to see her once, I would be eight and he would be 10. I have a vivid memory of a stout lady, not unlike my mother.
She gave us each a half-crown which was a lot of money then.
I recently traced Derrick with the aid of the internet. I knew his family had an ice-cream business in Kingston-upon-Thames.
I found it was still operative and sent a letter to that address.
He replied and we corresponded. He remembered the half crown his mother gave me and sent me a 1944 half-crown as a memento.
What a small world the internet has brought to the common man, and unlike Andy Mitchell, I love nostalgia.
NEW BUS FLEET WELCOMED
For Blackpool Transport to receive a new fleet of Mercedes buses costing £1.7m is a positive boost during a period of austerity cuts (Gazette May 22).
Investment in environmentally friendly modern public transport will benefit all passengers throughout the Fylde Coast.
A new bus station for Blackpool would be a sound investment to help improve the town centre and generate greater year-round footfall.
Equally a bus interchange needs to be in a suitable location that is practical in order to encourage a wider demographic of shoppers to use public transport.
The present ad hoc number of bus stops in and around the town centre area is confusing for passengers and presents an operational challenge for the drivers to park, load and unload at peak times.
Ever since the closure of Talbot Road bus station over 10 years ago retail units have continued to suffer.
I am writing this in the forlorn hope something positive will come from the latest episode of appalling behaviour by so-called cyclists.
This latest occurrence of a three-year-old girl being hit by a cyclist riding on the pavement is the latest in a long line of anti-social behaviour which seems to go unchecked.
Protests against pavement riding pests have been going on for years but nothing seems to change.
They seem to think they are immune from any kind of official censor.
On rare occasions the police will respond to complaints by members of the public and tell these pests to get off the pavement.
This needs to be acted on on a regular basis and offenders should be prosecuted, not spoken to like the police seem to think is enough.
How about confiscating the cyclists’ bikes if they are caught on the pavements twice?
HORSE RIDING DANGER
Following on from the injury to a small child recently caused by a cyclist, can I bring to readers’ attention an incident I witnessed on Blackpool Old road recently.
A young girl riding her horse along the pavement, seemingly not holding the reins while using her mobile phone. Surely this cannot be acceptable?
Blackpool Old Road
Cats need neutering
The story of the abandoned kittens (Gazette May 20) highlights the importance of having your cat neutered or spayed.
It is not cruel for cats to have this important operation, but it is cruel to let them be responsible for or produce litter after litter of unwanted kittens which some people will then cruelly abandon.
It is imperative we keep our cat population down as sadly there are too many cats and not enough homes for them all.
A neutered or spayed cat is a healthy cat, so it won’t need as many visits to the vet which can be expensive.
Also it will not stray too far from home.
It will also ensure there are no acts of cruelty like this particular case.
Moor Park Avenue