Letters - February 5, 2014

Blackpool Town Hall.
Blackpool Town Hall.
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Move to close doors

Civic pride

I am absolutely amazed this council has made this decision to lock up the town hall to save one job after all the hundreds and thousands of pounds it wastes each year on ‘crackpot’ total waste of money schemes (Gazette, February 3).

During a break in my career I was fortunate to work at the town hall.

Several decades ago, it was an absolute pleasure working there; the cleaning staff polishing the beautiful oak staircase and the white imposing statue of Queen Victoria.

It was then one of the most imposing entrances to any building, certainly in Lancashire.

With the floral displays, the old staff and certainly the then council leader Tom Percival would turn over in their graves at this idea.

I worked for the town hall keeper at the time Mr Jack Hay who along with his wife, lived in the flat at the top of the town hall and ran all the daily meetings with clockwork precision.

There was always a list up of which meetings were going on in the various rooms.

I never ceased to be amazed at the gasps when the various people and dignitaries came through the town hall doors for the first time.

I consider myself very lucky that I was using the entrance and staircase many times each day and was on speaking terms with ‘Victoria’.

Imagine closing this jewel in Blackpool’s crown to save a few quid each week.

Shame on you Simon Blackburn.

For my own small part, it was a dream job of which I learned so much off the people I met and the great councillors and colleagues.

I could indeed write a book.

Not forgetting, the people passing through and up the beautiful staircase to the weekly Mayor’s Parlour, which was held on a Saturday morning with of course a free bar, which served up to 100 people each Saturday, of which I will say no more.

Great, great memories. It was a job I would gladly dust off my black suit, white shirt and bow tie and do for nothing again.

Barry Law

St Walburgas Road


Wilfred Owen

Lost medal

Wilfred Owen, who visited Blackpool twice while stationed in Fleetwood in November 1916 in order to purchase a trench coat, is regarded as the greatest war poet of all time.

He is internationally renowned, and after Shakespeare, is our most studied poet, yet as the world commemorates the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, his Military Cross medal for which he was decorated for his bravery remains missing believed stolen.

The Wilfred Owen Story Museum in Birkenhead, where Owen spent two thirds of his short life, is appealing for anyone with information regarding the medal’s whereabouts to contact them.

Founder of The Wilfred Owen Story Dean Johnson says, “Someone must know where this medal is, and in this significant and poignant time, almost a hundred years since Owen was awarded the MC, it would be a wonderful and symbolic gesture to return it.

‘Many soldiers’ medals have left their original families’ safekeeping, but now as the significance of the these sacred artefacts is being realised some collectors have shown great compassion and returned them to the relatives of the decorated soldier.

‘What a gesture it would be to restore Wilfred’s to his family.”

Anyone with information please contact Dean Johnson via the website 

Dean Johnson

The Wilfred Owen Story

34 Argyle Street, Birkenhead

Cash for fracking

No extra

So, central government is going to hand over millions of pounds to local and county councils to facilitate the push to fracking for gas.

Well if our councillors think they are going to be awash with dosh for their pet projects.... I’ve got news for them.

What the Government giveth, the Government taketh away.

There will be no extra in the council coffers because the Local Services Support Grant will be reduced accordingly.

Keith Hallam

First Avenue


Remembering clowns


I read about a special church service held annually to commemorate Joseph Grimaldi in Holy Trinity Church in East Dalston, London, when all the clowns attend in costume and make up.

Do we have a similar annual church service here in Blackpool to commemorate our very own Charlie Cairoli?

Lucy London

Watson Road