I have lived all my life of 54 years in the Normanton/Altofts area.
I remember, as a young boy, the bleak landscapes we had to endure as a result of several surrounding colleries namely St Johns, Popes and Pearsons, Mashams, Don Pedro, Newmarket, Parkhill, Sharlston and many more not so far away, and each of these usually had an adjoining brick yard, and founderies built near the source of the coal, and of course the railways were steam too.
By heck it was grim, and I can only remember those days in black and white now, everyone had a coal fire and everything was covered in soot, the trees, fences, us, we were always dirty after playing out.
I remember the smogs and feeling our way to school in the pea soupers, scarves tied around our mouths and using the railings as a guide.
Influenza and bronchitis were rife and any new white nappies or shirts on the washing lines soon turned grey, but over the years slowly but surely weve seen massive change.
North Sea gas and diesel engines, not to mention the pit closure program, and now although the skies have become clearer our enviroment is rapidly begoming less green.
Gone are the old slag heaps and factory chimneys only to be replaced by modern industrial estates and motorways and toxic dumps, bigger sewerage works all polluting much much more of what we can’t see but far more lethal.
We have yet again become surrounded on three sides of our town, and depending on the wind you can choose your smell from a multitude of sources, and the saddest thing of all is the fact we have only one small corridour of countryside full of wildlife that covers the whole of Newland Estate right up to Heath, to the west of Normanton.
It’s the one little bit of respite from the hazards of pollution and a place to enjoy.
But soon this too may disappear due to our incompetant blithering excuses for politicians and so-called leaders who are persistant in going against the wishes of all the people regardless and are supporting driving the HS2 rail lnk straight through it.
This is beyond belief, it makes no sense, we’ve all heard the hundred arguments against it and the few pathetic, unrealistic, greedy corporate-backed arguments for it, and it doesn’t stack up.
There is a hidden agenda here and a pragmatic one at that, and we the debt slaves will have to shoulder the burden of escalating costs until the day the whole network is sold off to the chums of the elite and we will be left living in a hell hole.
So it’s time folks stood up for reason and common sense and their rights as human beings and fought this destrutive barbarism of our countryside...PS you know we are on the list for fracking too!