ON Thursday November 8, just four days after he finishes the last of his six Grand Theatre performance during this year’s Illuminations period, Ken Dodd celebrates his 85th birthday.
He has been the Grand’s constant star – there from the beginning as the very first patron of the Friends of the Grand in their original incarnation, appearing in 1978 as a fundraiser in their efforts to purchase the theatre, and every year since.
The money he has generated for the Grand alone has been spectacular. And the coach travel companies and their hoteliers are dependent on him too.
Ageless, he continues to pack them in.
Blackpool and Ken Dodd have been two sides of the same coin.
Knotty Ash apart, Blackpool has been his second home for 54 years.
He is the first to acknowledge his indebtedness to our town in helping to keep him so firmly in the public eye and over time to make him a national treasure, still firmly at the top of his profession, a genius of the comedy stage.
The Queen honoured him with an OBE.
Another (if long retired) entertainer, our only Freeman, Jimmy Armfield OBE, must feel at times just a tiny bit lonely.
Isn’t it high time Blackpool really took Ken Dodd to their hearts by making him a Freeman of the Borough, too?
We would be the very first town to honour Ken in that way.
There can’t be anyone more deserving; and how appreciated throughout the country would be our town for bestowing that accolade on him.
MRS ANNE G HOYER,
THE NHS no smoking signs for parks are a complete waste of money (Gazette October 23) and it strkes me as odd that a service that is crying out for cash would even think of putting them up.
The British public tend to read them and then carry on where they left off.
The NHS is famous for wasting money though and a good example is how they do not take back things like crutches, walking frames, wheelchairs, etc.
These items could be sterilised and re-used, after all, surgical instruments are sterilised and re-used.
Another good example is the use of agencies as apposed to making the service more attractive to long term permanant staff.
Our ex-son-in-law is a radiologist, put through university by the NHS, and now working for an agency on a fantastic salary for three days work each week.
Putting up those signs is a small waste compared to the services large, more extravagant ways of throwing money away.
(NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED)
I WAS was sorry to read about Red Shoes Dance School being refused permission to expand its premises.
My granddaughter attends the school and all the pupils are enthusiastic youngsters. The teachers are dedicated to them, so come on, in this year of the Olympics shouldn’t we be doing all we can to have facilities to help our young people.
MRS A M BRAITHWAITE,