Letters - April 30, 2018

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Town hasn’t moved forward in 50 years

I write following on from the recent reminder about the fire at RHO Hills in 1967 (Looking Back, Gazette, April 18).

We have two departments stores in Blackpool – Debenhams and Marks and Spencer.

Most people will not remember, but having been involved with the retail trade in the centre of Blackpool for more than 50 years, I would like to issue a reminder of how things were before out of town shopping started the decline. We had:

Two Woolworths stores and one in South Shore;

Two Marks and Spencers stores;

RHO Hills, which later became Binns;

Lewis’s;

Littlewoods;

British Home Stores;

and the Co-Operative Emporium.

I remember, when RHO Hills was destroyed by fire back in 1967, that Robinsons demolition were on site the next day and the store was rebuilt and ready for business in 12 months.

So how should we feel about the still-empty Yates’s site (above)? It’s ten years since the fire which destroyed that, and still nothing to show for it. It is not a good reflection on how the town has “progressed”.

Geoff Race

Family business trading on Coronation Street, since 1944
Blackwoods Confectionery

TELEVISION

Politics or daytime TV... what’s worse?

With politics and politicians of every persuasion in every corner as the local elections approach, I suggest we have a bit of light relief... with some daytime television.

No matter how much there is to do, or to occupy you, it has a tendency to permeate your life if you have young kids, are a pensioner, a carer, unemployed or in poor health. I myself can tick three of these boxes.

So, what’s on offer? Firstly there’s Lorraine Kelly’s show. She always politely concludes interviews with celebs (usually promoting a book or tour) with ‘always a joy’, no matter how monosyllabic or arrogant.

Then there’s Phil and Holly presenting This Morning, whether or not they’re the worse for wear after a heavy night at the awards.

What about Wanted Down Under? To live in sunny Australia or rainy UK? No-brainer!

How about some bargain hunting with the guy who was first (or nearly first?) out of Strictly? Or antique analysis with the perma-tanned David Dickinson?

Oh, and Loose Women, or should I say ‘Loud Women’? Or Escape to the Country, invariably featuring middle-class retirees with the kind of money a lot of us could only dream about.

There’s plenty of drama to be had with Doctors although God knows no overworked and cream-crackered GP would have the time for all their extracurricular activities.

There’s the house, garden and beauty makeover shows too. In my case, where would they start with all three?

To challenge the brain cells, there’s Tipping Point, and Noddy and Big Ears presenting Pointless.

Oh, and mustn’t forget the Jeremy Kyle show, whose participants are not noted for their finesse or intellect.

If you want nearly an hour of peace and tranquillity, forget it, but if you want enough roaring and shrieking to challenge the Richter scale, welcome aboard.

Mustn’t leave out the acid-tongued Judge Rinder either. The way he bellows ‘Talking’ at an unfortunate who dares to interrupt him must’ve woken many a snoozing pensioner with a start.

He certainly scared off three pigeons in our back garden.

Still, at least gone are the days of the test card featuring the girl playing noughts and crosses with the daft clown that looked like he must’ve been on something.

This was accompanied by the kind of piped muzak that even the bank would reject outright when putting you on hold.

Suddenly wall-to-wall politics is starting to look preferable.

Still, I’d be the first one to moan if the telly conked out or the ‘leccy’ went off, sad though it may sound.

Oh well, such is life. Happy daytime viewing.

CM Langan

Address supplied

CONTROVERSY

Who can decide when we die?

What a terrible tragedy the Alfie Evans case is. What right has anyone to deny the parents, in their eyes, the right to explore any means possible in helping their son to life?

Similarly, why is that, when a mature person pleads for the opposite, the right to die, euthanasia, that request is dismissed out of hand by the judiciary?

Terry Palmer

via email