Letters - August 14, 2013

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Death of Jack Benson

A sad loss

Jack Benson (Gazette August 13) was a great friend of Pilling Band, performing with us on many many occasions over a lot of years doing the now famous (in our area of the Fylde coast) Brass & Benson concerts with the band.

Jack would regale us all with his tales and songs with great vigour, especially the ‘Great Pilling Flood’ one.

The local mayor, upon witnessing the floods, is reputed to have said ‘there’s only one thing we can do, call out Pilling Band, and when I say ready, I want them to blow a very loud B flat to turn the tide back.’

Every time he told this tale and the band played the very loud B flat, he had the audience and the band in stitches no matter that we had all heard it so many times.

Only last year ,just after his heart problems, I met him at Great Eccleston Show.

He was armed with a bag of doughnuts covered in sugar.

I asked, ‘should you be eating them Jack after your illness?’.

No, he said, but there’s ‘nobbut only one for me, the rest are Pattys’, ( I bet they weren’t).

I asked him when he thought he would be ready to come and do another Brass and Benson with us, his reply was ‘I’m not so sure I can do it any more because my problems have left me with a bit of a stammer so I don’t think I can manage it.’

‘Jack’, I said ‘you can do it, you will be amongst friends, it doesn’t matter if you stumble on the words .’

After some more persuading from band members, he eventually did the concert.

He then went on to do another one at Christmas 2012 which sadly was his last performance with us.

We have a lot of members in the band who don’t originate from this neck of the woods and in truth couldn’t understand most of the things Jack spoke about in his local dialect, but laughed never the less.

All the members of Pilling Band and I’m sure the audiences will miss Jack’s friendship and his performances with the band.

God Bless Jack I’m sure ‘Ittl be Reet.’

Mike Hallett

Pilling Silver Jubilee Band

My friend and I attended quite a few of Jack’s entertaining evenings over the years, which we thoroughly enjoyed, and I have all of his books and latterly the CDs.

In fact I still have the emails that went between us concerning how to obtain the last CD and Jack was amused by my suggestion for a title of another one.

My favourite memory though is from when I rang the telephone number given in The Gazette to order the first book I bought .

I was surprised to find that it was Jack’s home number.

However the bigger surprise was when he turned up on my doorstep in person to deliver the book.

He told me that he liked to do that when he could, because he was always pleased when people were interested in his work.

He also commented on a framed drawing by a local artist that I had, saying that he knew the artist.

My thoughts go out to his family at this very sad time.

RIP Jack you will be greatly missed.

Carol Reid

(by email)

Amazing week

Keep it up!

What an amazing week for Blackpool.

Firstly we had the wonderful uplifting Priscilla Queen of the Desert, that surprised many and had everyone on their feet and leaving with a big smile.

Then we had Rebellion with pre- sales over 5,000.

Myself as a hotelier looks forward to this festival which has lots of colour, interesting people and is well organised and no trouble.

It is a big boost for the local ecomany.

And then, the two- day air show to top it off.

Keep it up Blackpool don’t let the bad press get you down.

A grateful hotelier

(by email)

Income tax bands

Be bold

I am sure Sam Rushworth will succeed as Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Blackpool North and Cleveleys in overturning the present member’s 2,000 majority.

But I do hope he and his future parliamentary colleagues will not stick to the 10p income tax starter band he is quoted as having said in your columns as the way of assisting those on low incomes.

It doesn’t work. Far better to increase the personal allowance.

But I would like to see a bolder, far more imaginative initiative, by amalgamating national insurance with the tax system so that those at the bottom were taken out of direct taxation altogether.

Now that would be something on which to campaign.

David Owen

Westcliffe Drive


Hospital care

Thank you

I would like to thank all the doctors, nurses and staff for their excellent care at Clifton Hospital, St Annes.

Also, Ward 18 at Blackpool Victoria Hospital. Thanks again.

Anthony Marlow

St Annes