Letters - October 28, 2015

The Gazette's focus on Harry Allen (centre) in Memory Lane has sparked debate
The Gazette's focus on Harry Allen (centre) in Memory Lane has sparked debate
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TRANSPORT

Better a tram full of OAPs than empty

The tramway is operated by Blackpool Transport Services (BTS) an arms-length company of Blackpool Council. Technically it is a municipal transport undertaking, one of the few of its kind left operating in the UK. Effectively Blackpool rate payers subsidise the tramway.

The argument to extend the concessionary free travel to Wyre Borough pensioners will remain a controversial political ‘hot potato’.

It is fair to say that if the government is not prepared to extend the funding subsidy of the free bus pass scheme to include tramways nationally, this presents a dilemma for Blackpool Council, Wyre Borough Council and Lancashire County Council. The question is, who should foot the bill for free travel for Wyre Borough pensioners?

The free bus pass scheme was an over-ambitious offering when it was first introduced nationally in 2008. Seaside towns, in particular, inherit a lot of other counties’ free travel pensioners. A smaller flat fee in the region of 50p travel would have been a much better system rolled out nationally. Bus operators have been short-changed by the government. Public transport should be accessible and affordable for people of all ages.

The new tram system has proved a positive investment for Blackpool. Having it run through a neighbouring borough should encourage Wyre Borough residents to visit and shop in Blackpool. I understand how frustrating and unfair it must feel for the Wyre pensioners forced to pay a full fare to travel by tram.

In order for the tramway and Blackpool to benefit from greater year-round town centre footfall, I hope a compromise can be met. Perhaps a reduced flat fee could be introduced by BTS to accommodate the Wyre Borough pensioners.

It’s my view that operating a busy tram of retired passengers, paying say 50p, is far better than running a quiet service of a few full fare paying passengers.

Stephen Pierre

via email

ANIMALS

Remember our pets on Bonfire Night

Remember, remember the fifth of November and by all means have your fun, but please remember this time of the year is no fun for our pets, it’s terrifying for them.

Keep cats and dogs indoors whenever fireworks are being let off, and try to be at home with them on bonfire night. Do not take your dog to a fireworks display, that’s very cruel.

Don’t forget the smaller animals, like rabbits, which are kept outdoors. They get frightened too and are not in a position to run away and hide.

Bring their hutches indoors into a cool room, shed or garage, and give them extra straw to bury themselves in while the noise is going on.

Do tell neighbours with pets in advance if you are going to let off fireworks, so they can be prepared, and think of our precious wildlife and check for hedgehogs in your bonfire before you light it.

A little consideration towards our four-legged friends will be much appreciated.

Josephine Harwood

Moor Park Avenue

Bispham

HISTORY

Death penalty could reduce murders

I was particularly interested in your article about Harry Allen (Memory Lane, October 16).

During that time I was in the sheriff’s office, based in Preston. At that time Manchester and Liverpool were part of Lancashire. They were the only assize courts where murder trials were held. They had prisons licensed and equipped to carry out the death penalty.

There were four official licensed executioners – Pierrepoint, Allen, Green and I cannot recall the other. We always booked Pierrepoint simply because he had a pub some miles outside Preston and was available.

On the actual day of the hanging, usually at 8am the procedure was carried out. The under sheriff, who was present, then telephoned my colleague or me. A poster was placed outside our office and a notice displayed at the prison.

I left the office in 1955. I believe no replacement was made when Pierrepoint retired, because the abolition of the death penalty was in the pipeline.

I still believe that if the death penalty was restored, there would be a vast reduction in murders. This is based on how few there were when the death penalty was in force (about a handful in the whole of Lancashire).

Also, some decades ago Florida was notorious for cases. A new, hardline governor was appointed who swore to crack this and reintroduce the death penalty. The first three months there was a 25 per cent reduction in cases, now Florida is one of the most popular holiday places.

Jon Bancroft

Oxendale Road

Thornton

COOKING

I’m with Jayne on the Be-Ro books

I was very interested in Jayne Dawson’s article in the Gazette last Saturday (October 24).

I have used Be-Ro recipes all my married life – 59 years. Apart from a few recipe books and some recipes written on scraps of paper from friends collected over the years, I have never been without a Be Ro book.

The one I have at the moment is the 40th edition. I have always said if I had to have only one recipe book to use it would be... well you know !

Eunice Clark

via email