Letters - March 24, 2015

Sand yachts on St Annes beach during the British Championships at Fylde International Dand Yacht Club.
Sand yachts on St Annes beach during the British Championships at Fylde International Dand Yacht Club.
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Disappointing view

As a keen sportsman throughout my life, I am disappointed with Keith Hallam’s comments that sand yachting is a highly dangerous sport.

I consider these views mistaken, not supported by facts and simply based on an unfortunate isolated fatal accident which occurred on St Annes beach 13 years ago.

My paternal grandfather was present at Bolton Wanderers’ Burnden Park stadium in 1946 when 33 spectators were crushed to death. This incident was followed by 66 deaths at Ibrox Park in 1971 and 96 deaths at Hillsborough in 1989 .

Moreover, well over 200 riders and spectators have died as the result of motorcycle crashes, on public roads, in the Isle of Man TT races since it’s inception in 1910. I wonder whether MrHallam has considered these numerous deaths from football and motorcycle races, neither of which have been banned.

There is an element of risk in any sport, but the health benefits, excitement and pleasure derived by 99 per cent of the population ensures that participating and supporting the many sporting activities will continue to be a vital component of our lifestyle.

Fylde Council officers and officials of the British Federation of Sand and Land Yachting Club’s (BFSLYC) should be applauded for their efforts in ensuring that all the necessary health and safety measures have been strictly observed at the recent sand yacht regattas on St Annes North Beach in October, last year and last weekend.

Only members of sand yacht club’s affiliated to the BFSLYC were permitted to participate in these events and the federation rules ensure that all their members are adequately insured and observe best practice. That includes keeping well away from pedestrians, dogs and horses, as well as not interfering with the natural environment.

St Annes is widely acclaimed as the spiritual home of sand yachting in the UK, where the first club was founded in 1951 by the father of Ian Dibdin, the locally based current veteran champion and the very first National Championships were also held in St.Annes in 1964.

St Annes North Beach is one of the largest stretches of firm sand in the country with ample space for everyone to enjoy. In fact, a sand yacht event requires only the same area as a standard football pitch, whereas North Beach could 
accommodate more than 100 football pitches between St Annes Pier and the Squires Gate seawall.

I have been a Fylde councillor for St Leonards Ward, which includes the major portion of the beach, for 20 years and know, from talking to my constituents, that the majority of residents, together with the local Chamber of Commerce and the tourism industry, welcome the return of the sport.

Coun Howard Henshaw


Too many cliches

Do I agree with Jayne Dawson in her Gazette column last Saturday?

I thought it was an interesting article until the clichéd statement which starts, ‘In the 1970s when women and children lived in fear’, or to words of that effect. What an over written and mind grabbing statement.

I therefore won’t carry on reading the rest of the article, if this is the tone. A shame as the article could have been thought provoking and researched. None of this is. No research and no thought.

David Umpleby

via email


Sick of PC attitudes

Well Jayne Dawson, I was a woman in the 1970s, were you? By the look of your picture you probably were so why are you writing so much rubbish?

I didn’t live in fear – did you? In the 70s I worked at Victoria Hospital as a nurse. Many doctors were black, quite a few couldn’t speak clear English – even after all this time I can name one of them but you wouldn’t like that would you because they’re black and no one is allowed to say anything to upset them – heaven knows if they were competent or not – people like you keep these people in jobs. I wonder if you watched Trevor Phillips programme the other night.

Does Political Correctness exist to give everyone a fair chance?

Or was it Equal Opportunities Jayne?

Your mimicking people’s accents by writing ‘elf ‘n’ safety – isn’t that offensive?

It doesn’t seem to matter that white people can be offended does it Jayne?

Mrs A Walker

via email


Bad old days of 70s

What a good column from Jayne Dawson on Saturday about Jeremy Clarkson and bad 

I do think he is a bit of a throwback to the 70s, when attitudes in this country were a lot different than to today. I lived through it and much prefer today’s society. My father died from an asbestos-related industrial disease and so I am more than happy to put up with political correctness and health and safety thank you.

B Smith