SIR - My husband has suggested two alternative uses for the newly discovered air raid shelter in Victoria Park.

1. Furbish it with hot air and offer its facilities to Barry Thorne where he and his fellow Bradford Conspirators could hold clandestine meetings in complete secrecy.

Should the people of Keighley be less than happy with the councillors' performance then a JCB could stand by for a rapid infill.

2. Use it as a receptacle for the overflowing doggy bins. When a suitable depth is reached then the Parks Department could scatter mushroom spawn, which would thrive in its dark recesses.

Councillor Thorne's propensity for dispensing cash would give him the impetus to harvest the succulent crops, which he could then sell from the steps of the Leisure Centre.

With occasional 'top ups' then the resulting income would enable him to present a cheque to the people of Keighley and his smile as he waved it for the cameras would give him nationwide applause.


Ryecroft, Harden.

SIR - In your report on the scandal of the Victoria Park fiasco, it was stated that I had been thanked by Bradford Council for giving them information about these air raid shelters.

The problem was and always has been that none of the Keighley-based Bradford Councillors will ever listen to the public, even if common sense suggests that we, the general public, are not the idiots that council officials and the politicians may think we are.

On six occasions, officials and all the Planning Committee members were told of the problem of these shelters. We had even suggested, because of the shelters, an alternative site, where this ball-court could be sited.

This would have left what remains of the Victoria Park grass land intact. All to no avail!


Keighley Charity

Gala Committee.

SIR - I read with interest the saga on the air raid shelters in Victoria Park. I remember them well, as I am sure do people who lived and grew up in and around the Lawkholme area.

There were two entrances with toilets and wooden seats all through the shelter. We used to play in them through the war years and after. The shelters were still accessible in the early 1970s.

I remember there was a fire in the shelters and the fire brigade were called, a few children had to be rescued including my son.

Long ago Keighley boasted three parks, there are still three but nothing to boast about. I suppose parks built in the Victoria era were made for promenading like Devonshire Park with its splendid terraces, bandstand and serpentine lake. Lund Park had a magnificent fountain in the middle of a pond.

Victoria Park where I spent most of my youth sported a beautiful ornate drinking fountain, two bandstands and a lot more trees than there are now and long gone the bowling green and tennis courts, admittedly there's a swimming pool, Leisure centre and car parks and a school?

But where does it all end? I can think of many other places to builds a sports court, why Victoria Park? Remember Brittania Hall, disappeared from the face of the earth overnight in fact and what for? A car park.

The Hippodrome, it's a car park now, it hardly seems fitting to build a multi-story car park on such a sacred site.

The rot seemed to set in during the sixties and has gone downhill ever since.

I suppose my generation has a lot to answer for, allowing things to deteriorate the way they have done but some people say that's progress, well maybe.

Anyway there's always the telly?


Strawberry Fields, Keighley.

Converted for the new archive on 30 June 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.