Acts of remembrance
It’s nearly time for us to mark Armed Forces Day which is on Saturday, June 28.
This is an opportunity for the civilian and military communities to come together and ensure the contribution of veterans and their families is never forgotten.
I served in the armed forces in Iraq, Northern Ireland and the Falklands.
As a former soldier, and Lancashire County Council’s Armed Forces and Veterans Champion, I am acutely aware of the sacrifices made by veterans and their families in the service of our nation.
Through acts of remembrance, we recognise those who gave what Abraham Lincoln described as “their last full measure of devotion”’ for their comrades and country.
This year’s Armed Forces Day coincides with the centenary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand – the catalyst for the outbreak of the First World War.
I hope we can come together for a period of reflection as we commemorate the events that saw the lamps go out all over Europe, and for all conflicts since then.
I would encourage people in Lancashire to attend local events and show their support for our armed forces, veterans and their families. Across Lancashire, various events will be happening to mark Armed Forces Day.
You can find out more details about local events near you by visiting www.LancashireWW1.org.uk.
Lancashire County Council’s Armed Forces and Veterans Champion
Royal Pavilion Theatre
I have followed Barry Band’s series in Emma Harris’ Memory Lane feature with more than a little interest.
Alas, I can’t fill in what the building has become over recent years, but I do have my own vivid recollections of the place.
I first visited the Pavilion during a summer revue, when the leading lights were a drag act called Bartlett and Ross.
Then, some years later, I got friendly with the Jack Rose Repertory company’s producer Harry Geldard, who with his wife Margaret Braidwood, were the stars of the company.
At that time, I was a regular member of top Blackpool amateur group The Green Room Players.
In a conversation with Harry, he invited me to appear with him at the Pavilion.
I said: “OK – but I am an amateur”, to which he replied: “I don’t consider that way, to me there’s good and bad actors and I’m satisfied you have the talent.” So I played on the Pavilion stage.
My final memory was later going to see a film, sitting on the end seat and the whole row leaned backwards when I did!
Adding ‘I’ to the theatre’s initials, I reckon RIP reflects my view of this iconic building.
Attracting new visitors
Many Blackpool attractions, are good and worth seeing.
However, several of them are simply too expensive for most families.
A more affordable approach is needed, combined with quirky marketing. Blackpool can attract new generations of visitors, and increase the numbers of overnight stays.
Word of mouth is still the best form of advertising, even more so in this instant digital age.
Fracking and trespass
We can only imagine the fracking pressure on Ed Davey (Gazette June 6).
The problem, as with many other aspects of coalition, is that Osborne and the Tories (and UKIP come to that) are hell bent on fracking.
In reality, the Chancellor is all powerful and has been throughout history. He is aided by Environment Secretary Owen Paterson, who believes every penny spent on green energy is waste.
The latest wheeze is to amend the law of trespass. We can expect the Government to stoke hostility by sticking to its policy of saying one thing and doing another.
Any amended law of trespass should require the fracking operator to conduct, and pay for, a full structural survey of every property the proposed drill will pass under.
This then acts as the benchmark, so if there is damage, the property is purchased by the operator at full market value. Funds should be put aside so the property owner is protected, regardless of the commercial fortunes of the operator.
If the risk of a six-inch pipe at a great depth doing damage to a property is as negligible as claimed, why should this not be the requirement? Don’t hold your breath.
NW Region LibDems passed a motion in October 2011 to the effect we were not against fracking in principle, but there were many issues that needed to be addressed.