ON Sunday December 16, the Friends of Tolson Museum and Ravensknowle Park held their first Christmas event at the Museum.

Surrounded by the artefacts of the museum, visitors were entertained to a musical treat by Dalton Junior School Choir, and Father Christmas arriving in his 1928 Ford Model A Phaeton, (his reindeer sleigh was being serviced for his Christmas Day deliveries !)

Also, Joanne Harris gave a magical reading of one of her short stories.

Under the guidance of the staff of the museum, there were several stall holders selling many Christmas items, a tombola with reindeer prizes, delicious mince pies, chocolates and a corner for children to make their own Christmas decorations.

My warmest thanks to all who joined us, to helpers, to Marks & Spencers and Morrisons at Waterloo, to Thorpe’s Country Markets, and to Parfitts for their generous support.

This is the first of what will be an annual Christmas event, and I look forward to your continual support.

Ann Denham

Chair of the Friends of Tolson and Ravensknowle

Festive view

SHOULD I feel guilty when I take a delight in listening to all the Christmas songs that are played in the shops and around the town?

Nowadays, I hear or read of people who absolutely hate it. Does this make me odd (or in to-day’s parlance, ‘sad’)? I don’t want to hear all the moans. Happy Christmas!

Elsie M Eva


Reactionary views

THERE are only two certainties in life: death and more letters to Mailbag from those representatives of our own 'Tea Party', R J Bray (December 18) and John Langford (December 19).

The reason to ‘reject my statement out of hand’ Mr Bray is because suggesting that global warming is not a threat is like stating that the earth is flat. The main problem is that you base your opinions on prejudice and not reality or facts.

All energy is subsidised, not just wind. The official clean up costs for nuclear are now £100bn, which is more than the total worth of energy generated from that source.

The government’s official climate advisers, the Committee on Climate Change, found that wind (an extra £100) will, by the end of the decade, add less to our energy bills (average (£1,300) than gas (an extra £600).

No doubt this will annoy both of them but 38% of Germany’s renewable energy now comes from windpower and this has helped the country to cut CO emissions by 2.4% in the last year.

By saving energy, Germany – which closed eight nuclear power stations last year – projects a 25% drop in electricity demand by 2050.

Britain, in contrast, projects a rise of 66%.

Energy conservation and renewables are a great opportunity for manufacturing but we seem to have missed the boat again.

And Mr Langford, Human Rights legislation has nothing to do with the EU. It is a product of the Council of Europe which had the full support of your hero, Mr Churchill.

Both these writers offer a deeply reactionary, Little Englander, Tory right-wing, out-of-date vision which only seems to resonate with those strange Loyalists in Northern Ireland whose lives revolve around flying the flag but who have little to do with how the UK – as evidenced by the recent Census – actually is.

Stephen Dorril


Convinced on climate

I DOUBT anything I could say could say would convince R J Bray ( Letters 18/12) that climate change was really happening.

The peer reviewed science on the subject and our changing weather patterns are all things he chooses to ignore.

I would have more chance of making him believe in the existence of pixies than the reality of climate change.

Mr Bray states that ‘The MET Office has reluctantly stated that global warming has since 1997 levelled off’.

I’ve checked the likely source of Mr Bray’s statement which, unsurprisingly, appears to be a national newspaper report from a right wing newspaper.

The MET office has stated in response to this article it had never stated global warming was levelling off and said the article was misleading.

He suggests I should ‘read the daily papers with an open mind’.

If some of our national newspapers were written with an ‘open mind’ instead of having a demonstrably anti science agenda I might take his advice more seriously.

He says ‘people cannot or will not tell you the exact cost which is added to our energy bills’ of green energy.

This is simply not true and if he checks the Department of Energy and Climate Change website which is the responsibility of Tory and Lib Dem Ministers it is £19/year for the average household energy bill.

In fact this includes the cost of all climate change policies not just the cost of wind energy so if you’ve had your home insulated, solar panels or a discount on a more efficient gas boiler this will come back as benefits to bill payers.

The vast majority of the increase in our bills have been driven by rising international prices for fossil fuels, particularly gas, not energy and climate change policies not paying for green energy.

Mr Bray says that he remembers my ‘wind turbine folly on the Civic Centre’. I played no part in that decision. It was made by the then Conservative Administration of Kirklees a few years ago and I have repeatedly said they should have not been sited there.

These are the Conservatives he says he feels ‘quite honoured’ to be linked with.

Councillor Andrew Cooper

Green Party – Newsome Ward

Not so jolly times

THE Examiner’s Business News noted no funds for many Christmas festivities in Yorkshire: in austerity mood, a third of the managers in your survey have axed their plans for seasonal parties.

Is roughly the same happening in our public sector, or will they continue to have a jolly good time?



Food for thought

I THINK it was the author Larry Niven who said that ‘society was only three meals away from revolution.’

With the theft of food stuffs being on the increase and the resulting criminalisation of the hungry, I wonder how long it will be before Niven's theory is tested.

Individualist Anarchist