Readers' letters - March 26

Sir Ken Dodd grabbed my police helmet off me

Thursday, 29th March 2018, 4:50 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th March 2018, 5:26 pm
Sir Ken Dodd

Following the recent death of comedian Sir Ken Dodd, it brought back memories of my personal first meeting with this wonderful, jovial man, whilst I was serving initially in Manchester City police force “D” Division in 1962. At this time I was working from Lower Ormond Street sub station near to Manchester University, covering all Oxford Road towards the city centre.I was informed by two ladies I knew, working from a sweets and cigarettes kiosk at the junction of Charles Street and Oxford Road, that at 9am this day, Ken Dodd was coming to see them with two tickets for one of his shows in Manchester. He was staying at the Midland Hotel at this time nearby.I had just completed working the traffic light controls in the busy morning rush hour at this junction, when I saw Ken Dodd approaching.He was immediately recognisable with his hair, front teeth and grinning face. The two ladies told him my name and introduced me. He replied “By jove, constable, pleased to meet you.” He then, in one devilish movement, grabbed my helmet, put it on himself and walked into the main road, giving a stop signal to the traffic, which came to an abrupt halt. In doing so, he then shouted: “How’s that, by jove? What a marvellous day to stop all this traffic, then to clear off for a pint!” I was stunned for words obviously. He then stepped back and returned my helmet, laughing and saying, “Ah well, that was a first, thanks officer!” This was always something I could never forget and so hilarious at the time.There was only one Ken Dodd as we know, full of humour and wit. He will be sadly missed as one of the truly great comedians from the days of the old musical hall variety theatre era. Thanks for all the happy memories Ken, God bless.John SiddallAddress supplied

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Follow Romans and fight against heart disease

Make your mark in the fight against heart disease by walking the historic Hadrian’s Wall Hike. Join more than 300 hikers and sign up to a nine or 15-mile walk on Sunday, May 20, to help fund the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) life-saving heart research.Almost 5,000 people have completed the Hadrian’s Wall Hike for the British Heart Foundation over the last 14 years. In 2017, those who took on the challenge helped raise moer than £67,000, which will go towards helping us better understand how to prevent, diagnose and treat heart and circulatory disease, which is the cause of more than a quarter (26 per cent) of all deaths in the UK.The two routes available provide Heart Trekkers with a unique opportunity to conquer the iconic landmark, built in 122AD, where participants will take in miles of challenging ascents, deep descents, Roman ruins and breath-taking views with every step.Challenging yourself to either the nine or 15-mile distances on our Hadrian’s Wall Hike is a fantastic way to support the nation’s heart charity, save lives and improve your own heart health at the same time. More than 18,000 people in the North West die from heart and circulatory disease each year and 850,000 currently live with its burden. The BHF relies on the generosity of its supporters, through fund-raising events like the Hadrian’s Wall Hike. Sign up to join the fight today. Entry fees are £25 for the nine-mile route and £30 for the 15-mile route.Visit to find out more.Susie RoachBHF event managerBusiness people need to become more involved

One cannot help feeling sceptical of the smiles and handshakes between Barnier and Davies.It is unacceptable that freedom of movement continues until the end of 2020. It is estimated a million immigrants will arrive from Croatia and to agree they need no documentation beggars belief.Only remember what happened when restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians were lifted in 2014. It is so unfair on our fishermen to have to wait another year before deciding on a fishing policy and they have been betrayed again. Why? This is not what we voted for. Let’s face it, our politicians are not good at negotiating and do not fight Britain’s corner. We needed business people involved and more people, like the finance chief of Porsche, speaking out against a trade war which could have cost countless jobs across the EU. Let us hope they have not sold us down the river.Janet BerryAddress supplied