Smoke gets in eyes at the RLI

Royal Lancaster Infirmary
Royal Lancaster Infirmary

Having recently had the need to visit the Royal Lancaster Infirmary to visit my daughter-in-law I was both shocked and surprised to see, on one visit at 1am, at least 10 members of staff all smoking stood underneath the sign outside the Centenary Building which says quite clearly that This is a No Smoking Site.

And also one member of staff stood inside the bus stop which has a sign saying that it is illegal to smoke in the bus stop.

I have visited during the day and seen patients with drips attached, in wheelchairs and stood in their nightclothes, again directly under the sign.

I think it is about time the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay did something about this as how on earth are people expected to get better if they allow this sort of action to take place, and with staff not setting a good example.

I would have thought that if a patient is on a drip and in a wheelchair they must ask staff if they can leave the ward and I think that staff should be given the authority to say that they cannot leave the ward in the patient’s best interest.

M Bolton


Great support for hospital radio

As founder president of Radio Royal I would like to thank all those individuals and organisations who have recently contributed to our appeal to equip our new studio at the RLI.

Over the last 38 years Radio Royal has provided nearly 10,000 hours of entertainment for the patients in the RLI.

When I first launched the service in 1975 it was thought by many it would be at the most a six month wonder and then finish but here we are, 38 years on, still ready to continue, and our group of volunteers will once again be visiting the wards to collect requests and dedications.

In the 38 years we have been in operation we have also been responsible for founding Kendal Hospital Radio, Castleberg Hospital Radio (Settle) and Europe’s first ever hospital television service at the Moor Hospital.

I would also like to thank the trusts executive committee and Radio Lancashire for their ongoing support and encouragement.

Peter Milward

Founder President

Radio Royal


Some sense into MPs’ Syria vote

I write in response to a letter published in the Lancaster Guardian, September 19, MP rushes too fast to war, as I would like to inject some fact into this argument.

It was my understanding that this first vote on Syria wasn’t about whether to start military action, but rather allowing the Prime Minister to explore this as well as other options. Had this vote been passed, and if military action had been judged to be the best course, the PM would have brought this back to Parliament for members to reconsider and vote on again.

Sorry, this is not as exciting as Mr Whitty’s lengthy letter, eagerly criticising our local MP, but it is more accurate.

Matthew Salter

Student at the equally Peaceful Lancaster University

MP fails to talk of important issues

Our MP David Morris is surveying some of his constituents. He has been sending out surveys of seven questions to residents to find out what issues matter and what we think he should be concentrating on.

The fact that he is over three years into his term as our MP and possibly should have asked these questions sooner, we will ignore for now. There are more pressing concerns.

Firstly, none of the issue-based questions stem from local matters. They are national issues scaled down locally. Where, specifically, is the question about the future of the Royal Lancaster Infirmary? Or the proposed closure of Altham Meadows dementia centre in Morecambe? Or Skerton High School?

All have featured heavily in the local press recently. One of the questions asks: “How important do you think it is that the Government continue to increase funding to the NHS locally?” Where do we start? How about with the question: Has the Government increased NHS funding locally? Where? How? And if so, why is our RLI having to save tens of millions of pounds? Will every aspect of its service be ‘on the table’ when it comes to making those savings?

David Morris turned recent NHS debate party political and was admonished publicly by his neighbouring MP Eric Ollerenshaw for doing so.

Unlike Mr Ollerenshaw, he refuses to meet local councillors to discuss and help resolve local matters and, in the case of the West End regeneration project, he ran his own conflicting ‘campaign’, which deliberately misled local people into believing the city council weren’t acting so that he could take credit for money awarded from the Homes and Communities Agency.

He seems to be following a similar line with Skerton High School.

Question six on his survey asks: “How good a job do you think David Morris is doing as your local MP”?

What he wants is a one word tick box response. What can we say? Could do better? He could attend the public meeting when our local hospital is under threat.

He could engage and work with local councillors instead of rebuffing requests. And he could ask questions about and campaign on genuinely local issues as well as looking at national issues from a local perspective.

Alan Sandham

Skerton constituent

Reading so vital to the blind

In the UK there are almost two million people who are blind or partially sighted. The sad fact is their choice of books is significantly limited, just seven per cent of all books are fully accessible to them.

That’s why I am supporting Royal National Institute of Blind People’s (RNIB) Read for RNIB Day on October 11 as I believe that reading should be a right and not a luxury.

I find it hard to imagine what my life would be like without being able to read books and scripts or enjoy a bedtime story with my little boy.

For many blind and partially sighted people, reading is even more important, it can be a lifeline.

RNIB’s National Library Service sends out millions of books in braille, giant print and in Talking Book audio format every year.

It’s a service that thousands of blind and partially sighted people rely on and your support could make all the difference.

Just £10 helps a parent continue to cook for their children with RNIB’s range of giant print cookery books while £70 will enable a person with sight loss to enjoy Talking Books for a whole year.

So, join us to celebrate the joy of reading and whether it’s a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, book sale or sponsored reading relay, every penny you raise will fund RNIB’s vital reading services for blind and partially sighted adults and children.

To find out more, simply call 0845 345 0054 or visit

Christopher Eccleston

RNIB supporter

Seeking out RAF memories

I am researching the former RAF West Beckham in Norfolk and would like to talk to any former personnel who served there or family members.

Mike Digby

01263 824069

Trying to trace a long lost father

I have been asked by a relative in New Zealand for help in trying to trace her father. His name is Peter Bradley and his birth was registered in the Garstang District in 1939 and I believe he had a younger brother.

He married Pamela Roberta Brown in Morecambe in 1962 and was working in Heysham. If you have any information re his whereabouts and can confirm certain information please contact me.

Margaret Holmes

Great to see old navy personnel

Thanks to the local newspapers round the country printing my recent letters about HMS Collingwood, many readers who have served there, those on courses, cooks, Wrens, stewards, stores, etc, have been in contact.

We can see that a lot of old shipmates are going to be reunited. Some, now well into their 80s, like those who served back to the 1940s, and many from the 1950s, 60s through to the 1980s.

A superb reunion weekend has now been arranged for next April and is already booking. This is for those who served at HMS Collingwood, including wives, husbands or partners, who are always welcomed.

This will take place in the Chatham area to coincide with the 70th Birthday of HMS Cavalier which will be open to the public.

The reunion includes entry to Chatham Historic Dockyard and its exhibitions.

An added bonus and a delight is to hear from the sons and daughters with tales and photos for our archives and for the nostalgic displays at the reunion.

For details of the HMS Collingwood Association, and the reunion, contact the membership secretary Peter Lacey, Heathfield, Lapford, Crediton, Devon. EX17 6PZ or email him and please mention this newspaper.

The same deal applies to this letter as the previous ones, bring this letter with you to the reunion and I will buy you a tot and a sherry for your wife or partner. And drink a toast to ‘the local newspaper’.

Mike Crowe


7 Heath Road



Isle of Wight

PO36 8PG

Hemingway adds touch of buzz

In the 23 years I‘ve lived in Morecambe there have only been two occasions when I experienced a real deep down buzz about our resort.

One was when the Queen unveiled the Eric Statue. The other was when Urban Splash re-opened the once shabbily derelict Midland Hotel.

But now there is a third buzz to add to those two great events. I refer to the Wayne Hemingway/Midland Hotel partnership that brought us a real day to remember and one which is already fundamentally changing for the better how the public perceive Morecambe.

The hotels were crammed full. Visitors came from far and near.

And the Midland Hotel gave over the whole building and even every inch of their precious car park to the event.

Coun Ron Sands

Cabinet Member for Culture

Lancaster City Council