Letters - July 20, 2015

Jane McDonald stars at Grizabella in Cats at Blackpool Opera House
Jane McDonald stars at Grizabella in Cats at Blackpool Opera House
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ENTERTAINMENT

Cats will leave 
you ‘feline good’

I read Anna Cryer’s article about her London break and enthusiasm for theatre visits there with interest (Gazette, July 11).

This was just after reading a report in the theatre newspaper, The Stage, that West End theatre prices had doubled in three years! Hopefully, there are cheaper seats than those charged for the successful musical The Book of Mormon – whose top price is now £202.25!

As well she chose the other ‘M’ titles – Memphis and Matilda, though she doesn’t reveal the ticket prices for these.

I’ve prefaced this before my review of current Blackpool show Cats, where I got a good circle seat for a mere £20 (what price for the show when it returns to the London Palladium?)

Being an experienced participant in amateur straight plays – as opposed to musicals – I attended the opening night on Thursday of Cats with some trepidation, as it is mostly akin to ballet and opera.

But I was gladly won over and thoroughly enjoyed the production, from its mind-blowing set, through top quality performances from the entire company, but in particularly Jane McDonald as Grisabella and Javier Cid as Macavity.

Summing it all up, audiences will leave the Opera House decidedly feline good.

Neil Kendall

South Shore

Blackpool

REPAIRS

Council should be congratulated

I am writing to congratulate the council on a job well done.

The recent highways works to the section of Central Promenade, which needed damaged blocks taking up and a new surface to be relayed, was performed at night, between 2000 hours and 0500 hours in a morning, with little or no disruption to local businesses and of no particular concerns for motorists.

The work was undertaken within the timescale agreed, and we should thank the portfolio holder for highways, Coun John Jones, and all the council staff involved in the now completed project.

Len Curtis MBE

Radnor Avenue

Thornton-Cleveleys

HEALTH

Killer cars are just as bad as obesity

With doctors under immense pressure, they are calling for a 20 per cent tax on sugar-laden drinks to tackle obesity and ill health.

Shouldn’t they also be calling for a 20 per cent reduction of speed limits and a ban for drivers who use mobile phones, to protect pedestrians and cyclists?

One report shows that, from April 2014 to March 2015, cyclist and pedestrian casualties and deaths were 27 per cent higher than between 2005 and 2009.

Also, earlier this year when BBC News asked cycling ambassador Chris Boardman to cycle around Manchester to highlight the dangers of cycling, newsreader Louise Minchen subsequently put it to the Minister for Road Safety, Robert Goodwill, that: “You’re 15 times more likely to be killed travelling by bicycle than by car”.

He didn’t deny it.

Add to this the recent forecast from Cancer Research UK that “one in two people will develop cancer at some point in their lives”, then targeting drivers who have no regard for the value and vulnerability (to carcinogens) of walkers and cyclists is surely a no-brainer.

And there’s more – with global warming threatening to cause far more damage than obesity, then making the nation far more appealing and safer for (zero emission) walking and cycling should surely be up there with tackling extremists.

We’ve seen David Cameron (with bodyguards) cycling around London.

But would he cycle (alone) on rural roads, with a 60mph speed limit, where 40 tonne trucks thunder past at 50mph, as some low-income earners must do to get to work? Terrifying so it is!

If ‘fat cats’ don’t slow things down, and reduce the demand for carbon producing energy, the NHS will collapse and all but the wealthiest will suffer!

Allan Ramsay

via email

INDUSTRY

We need to ensure skills for children

I heard about the lack of UK skilled engineering and manufacturing people in Britain. This shocked me for a few moments then I realised where the problem lay.

Poor education and badly run schools and academies.

I attended a secondary modern school which had good woodwork and metalwork facilities, along with science and art. I was in a ‘B’ class, but that didn’t stop me going to look for a job in the Easter prior to my leaving school in the summer of 1957, and being offered a job as an electrical engineer. However, I was later offered a job as a coppersmith.

I asked my father which I should take. He replied: ‘The coppersmith job is the one to take.” I took his advice.

Today it’s a different game.

There’s no working skill training along with lessons that favour the academies’ records at the cost of many pupils’ inability to use tools.

I believe the reintroduction of grammar schools would be a much better option than today’s academies.

We can’t allow that to carry on. Our future depends on our future Great Britons and their future, starting today.

Eddie Storey

Address supplied