Readers' letters - March 19

Sir Ken Dodd
Sir Ken Dodd

A king of clowns has died – we shall miss Sir Ken Dodd

Today a king of clowns has died.
Every time we lose a creative comedian like him, it depletes us all.
I remember the week in 1992 when we lost Frankie Howerd and Benny Hill.
It was such a shock to the system.
Ken Dodd, like Benny Hill, was a great innovator at the beginning of television of scripted mistakes, long before You’ve Been Framed and It’ll Be Alright on the Night.
But with our Lancashire lad, we had his stories of Knotty Ash, of Diddy Men working in the jam butty mines, or simple times and simple folk.
I was privileged to have met Ken Dodd during the 1990s and chatted with him.
I shook his hand on his visit to open a shop in Blackpool.I was very pleased to have met him. He had time for everyone.
In Ken Dodd, we had a court jester to the Queen.
Her Majesty honoured him with a knighthood. We shall miss our Sir Kenneth Dodd.
Jeffrey Bilham
Address supplied

Harsh view of older people

I was interested to read Shona Rooney’s letter (WP Letters, March 16) regarding attitudes towards young people and her claim that they are suffering from stereotyping and unfair discrimination.
She says the youth of today are not paid equal pay as older workers doing the same job but, whilst this may seem unfair, it must be acknowledged that often young people lack the experience and expertise of older employees who have worked hard for many years, acquiring the knowledge and necessary skills for which they deserve to be on a higher pay scale.
Calling young people insulting names and being judged solely on what they wear is not acceptable, but conforming to certain dress codes in the workplace is surely quite reasonable as it reflects one’s ability to respect rules and regulations.
I agree that not all young people hanging around in groups do so with ill intent. However, it is usually fairly easy to distinguish between those who are out with their friends just enjoying themselves and others who are hell-bent on causing trouble.
Sadly it has to be said that in many cases (as reflected by the crime statistics), certain groups of youths gather with the intention to threaten and intimidate and sometimes to commit robbery and acts of violence which the public, especially the elderly, find very frightening.
Unfortunately this sometimes creates a negative and unfair image of young people.
I don’t happen to believe that the reason why young people get involved in antisocial behaviour has anything to do with “lack of facilities and youth clubs” as Ms Rooney suggests, but down to parenting and the way in which children are brought up, together with a lack of standards and discipline being taught in the home and in our schools.
I think lowering the voting age from 18 would be a retrograde step and, if anything, should be raised to 21.
Young people lack the judgment that is only gained as we get older to make informed decisions, especially on political issues which affect the future of our country.
Perhaps it’s Shona Rooney and young people who
are being unfair in viewing the older generation so harshly.
Susan Richardson
Address supplied

Gone are days of family Sundays

Has anyone noticed how Sunday trading has changed family life?
Gone are the days of going in the park with the whole family, playing cricket, football or any other game. Now, either mum or dad is working on Sunday.
Most of my family are in retail, so working weekends is classed as normal. No time and a half for Saturdays and double time for Sundays.
Trying to arrange a birthday party or get-together is nigh on impossible, half the family is working on one day or the other.
I wish we had listened to the Sunday Observance Society who opposed Sunday trading.
J Howe
Address
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