Letters: Praise Olympians, not BBC coverage

Olympian Jessica Ennis-Hill
Olympian Jessica Ennis-Hill

I should like to join with others in praising our 2016 Olympians – not just the medallists but all those who competed in our name.

I do however have some reservations – the cost in terms of the £250million or more from Lottery funding. Is it really a justifiable use of lottery funds under the name of “good causes”? Would not funding even more research in finding cures or prevention for diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinsons or the at present incurable cancers be more logical?I am also uneasy that we have been happy to use and fund some athletes, who have left their home countries to come here for a better life and have been granted British citizenship.The BBC’s wall to wall coverage was at best average, spoilt by the corporation using contracted BBC presenters who often had little, if any, knowledge of the sport they were covering. I half expected Mary Berry anchoring the Sumo Wrestling! The BBC seem to have an unlimited amounts to throw at tennis (BBC1 and BBC 2 at the same time for two weeks), not forgetting Radio 5 Live, half the main news broadcasts, and the Olympics almost 24-hour non-stop coverage, and yet can’t find any money for International English cricket or the Open Golf Championship (four days a year). Presumably we will have the star performers appearing on chat shows for the next six months or more. Perhaps the BBC could help us by doing something useful, by telling us how many times, during the coverage the word “incredible” or any derivation was used – I counted ten in one five minute interview.

Peter Broadley

Rochdale Road, Greetland


God, politics and football

Further to the letters of the week in the Courier, I would like to add a few thoughts, some amusing, some not. I have mentioned my Christian persuasion, Seventh day Adventist, but am pleased to say I have had the privilege of being made to think by some very thoughtful Anglican clergy. The first I can remember told his confirmation class that Saturday should be kept holy in accordance with the Fourth Commandment. He also visited everyone in his parish which pleased Jesus and the people. His church was full every week and still is. A second Anglican clergyman spun the story of a shabby man standing outside a London church one wet Sunday night when Jesus came to him and asked “What are you doing out here, friend?” Seeing Jesus, he said “They won’t let me in there” “Don’t worry”, said Jesus, “They won’t let me in there!” So they both went down to the pub where they are doubtless still there. Another vicar said we get just enough religion to inoculate us against Christianity. The lesson above is there appears a big difference between religion and Christianity. 
To end on an anecdote from my Kettering guesthouse, I got into a conversation with a retired Baptist minister when another guest brought in politics and another, football. “Aright devil’s mixture - religion, politics and football - if ever there was one” The truth is wherever Jesus is present any situation is improved.

Graham Rigby


Keep with Corbyn

Holly Lynch MP testifies to the qualities of Labour leadership candidate Owen Smith but I nevertheless have voted to confirm Jeremy Corbyn in post, because of Abraham Lincoln’s epigram that “It doesn’t do to swap horses in midstream”. 
Mr Corbyn’s grasp of the concerns of Britain’s traditional “working class” communities has achieved a remarkable influx of party members from that enclave and beyond, and it would be silly to dam the flow which now has quadrupled the attendance at Todmorden branch meetings since Blair’s day when the local work was shouldered by a small “skeleton staff” of volunteers. Let us have no more jeremiads about party-splits, and let our professionals honour us in the spirit of William Morris: “A people’s voice, we are a people yet. Though all men else their nobler dreams forget”

Frank McManus

Longfield Road, Todmorden

Some grave concerns

My daughter and I recently spent a very happy weekend in my dear “native” Yorkshire, enjoying a wonderful wedding in the Dales and visiting old friends and relatives and admiring favourite views in and around Halifax.
One of the things we did was to endeavour to visit my parent’s grave in the cemetery at Mount Zion Chapel, Ogden. I know the number of the grave so we thought it would be an easy task. However because the graveyard is so seriously overgrown with waist-high grass and beautiful heather spreading over most of the graves it proved to be very difficult. We spent a long time searching but we were not successful. As my father was decorated in the First World War with DCM and MM, serving with the West Yorkshires, I was especially intent this year on tidying his and my mother’s headstone and grave. Whilst searching I brought my umbrella into use by leaning forward to try and push the high grass away (unsuccessfully) from one of the headstones. Unfortunately this was an old, deep, empty (but was there a body and coffin under me?) grave into which I fell headlong.
My daughter was horrified to find her mother with feet and arms sticking up from the grave (but uninjured) and had to drag me out – this was not the way we intended for me to be measured up for my final resting place – even though I am 85!
I write this letter (after much hilarity in the family I must add) just to warn others to be aware that there may be emptiness under the overgrown heather and grass so do be careful where you step.

Mrs Joyce Harrison