I AM left wondering why we are just looking at a crown of 60,000 attending this year’s St Leger Festival because that would say that this is a very low figure, especially as it has, once again, been pushed as being bigger and better than ever, with an estimated 30,000 here for the St Leger on September 15.
Back in June, the Doncaster Free Press published some of my observations on the St Leger centred on Lester Piggot and Nijinsky, the last Triple Crown winner, in 1970.
Peter Davies, the elected Mayor, was, at that time, very confident that Camelot would be here to take a crack at being the first Triple Crown winner for 42 years.
Google - British Pathe St Leger 1953. 250,000 were there on Leger Day. Watch and listen to the three minute commentary of the British Pathe News Special, and just look at the enormousness of it all - reviving some lovely memories for me of Doncaster Racecourse when I was a child. Back in those days, the popularity of the St Leger made it the lead news item on the cinema screen throughout the country.
I remember thinking ‘wow’ what’s all this then when the St Leger, in Coronation year, was the lead story some days later in a Pathe News special.
I watched it at the Windsor Cinema, Warmsworth Road, Balby.
All the cinemas were full, not because of the particular feature film that they were showing, but because of when the word got around that Doncaster was up front on British Pathe News,
Lots of people found it an excuse to have a shift off work to see this amazing three minutes news item.
The Queen was there and so was distinguished Prime Minister Winston Churchill celebrating his 45th wedding anniversary.
The Queen was in Doncaster to see her horse, the favourite, Aureole. Sadly, for Her Majesty, her horse was beaten by Premonition.
The Queen’s Silver Jubilee was in 1977, when Doncaster hosted the Queen’s win in the St Leger with Dunfermline.The Queen visited Doncaster twice in 1977, including the racecourse in July, but did not attend the St Leger, I bet she kicked herself.
Probably, a little late in the day to expect too much now, but wouldn’t it be fantastic to round off the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year, if the Queen was to visit Doncaster for this momentous occasion to see this year’s British bred, Irish trained thoroughbred favourite, Camelot, ridden by jockey Joseph O’Brien, son of Aiden O’Brien, take swipe at winning the Triple Crown?
Ray Nortrop, PO Box 75, Doncaster
They do the town no credit
THROUGH your paper we would like to pass on our comments about the taxi drivers who operate from the taxi rank in front of the Paris Gate public house.
We have never seen a more slovenly team of taxi driver that those plying for fares anywhere else in the country, and as pensioners we do travel around quite a lot.
Doncaster licensing team you should be ashamed that you do no have a dress code, and if you have got one why is it no adhered to? Shoes, shirt and trousers would be appropriate but vests, shorts and flip flops isn’t.
What does this say about Doncaster, with the St Leger Festival soon to be with you.
The drivers at the railway station taxi rank look very smart, so why do others have to look like waifs and strays?
R Elliott, Parkside View, Bridlington
We share road concerns
IN response to the letter published from Charlotte Head. Our family, like yours, have lived in Hatfield many years and I wholeheartedly support your views and wish you luck in your campaign to cut the use of our roads in Hatfield to these juggernauts.
I hold my breath when I see these enormous lorries come over to the opposite side of the road to get round the corner opposite the church. Surely this is illegal as far as road safety is concerned?
What are the police doing about this situation? The councillors we elect to look after our views and village welfare and the firms who profit from these lorries? All these people must share responsibility if there is a serious or fatal accident which I fear is inevitable if something is not done.
Finally, why aren’t the church authorities saying more? After all the church is in danger of serious damage. Why can’t we have a weight limit on this road is one solution?
Mrs C Tetley, Hatfield
Private hire is important
KAREN Wade has a good point. Why are private hire taxis discriminated against?
Hackney Carriage drivers can park and pick up customers directly outside the airport building. Private hire drivers have to drop off and pick up their passengers in the congested car park area (unprotected from the weather). Why can’t the private hire drivers use the same area? After all the private hire drivers are providing as equally important service to your customers.
Ann Matters-Angel, Marlowe Road, Barnby Dun
Sorry, but airport is a let-down
WE were delighted like most Yorkshire people to have our own airport. What a let down. Flights too expensive after hiring a taxi (return) to Manchester £11-. We still save £140 for both of us. My husband had a hip replacement six months ago. My family were going to Tenerife and wanted us to go. Thought it would make Grandad feel better.
We paid £880 for flights only for one week. Coming back our friend picked us up, to save time walked through the barriers, waved him down on the roundabout didn’t cause my obstruction. Four days later my friend got a parking fine for £60, he’s an OAP like us and he’s got a disability badge for his car.
How else are you going to bet out of the airport - Robin Hood they certainly names it the right name.
J Brennan, Cromford Close, Cantley
Good luck to the airport
I HAVE just read the letter from Steve Gill, airport manager, about safety at Doncaster Airport and I totally agree with him that passenger safety is paramount. But after saying that what about the rest of the package. We are supposedly going to get easier access to the airport through the FARRRS scheme this will only bring in passengers if the ‘price is right’. Why is it more expensive to fly out of Finningley than many other airports? If ‘landing fees’ etc. are higher than elsewhere surely a drop in price would bring in more airlines and therefore more passengers. My family love the airport and use it when we can afford to go abroad and wish that they could incorporate some flights to the USA. Well done to all the staff and good luck for the future.
D H Conisbrough
A shelter would solve problem
IN her letter of the August 30, 2012 Ms Wade questions whether Doncaster Sheffield Robin Hood Airport values customers’ loyalty through having them use a tiny drop off, pick up area in the main car park, having to dodge in between moving vehicles in daylight, darkness and in inclement weather.
In response to Ms Wade Airport Director Steve Gill, in his letter of the September 6, 2012 states the original drop off, pick up area close to the main airport building was closed for safety and security reasons.
Having used the area in the main car park in all weather conditions I can appreciate Ms Wades’ comments, there is a passenger comfort and safety issue particularly when waiting pick up which will worsen if, as hoped, the RHA reaches its full potential when the airport link road to the M18 opens in the Summer of 2014.
In the meantime the above situation, for the able and disabled alike can be alleviated if a ‘bus shelter’ type structure with seats is erected please, Mr. Gill, clear of the roadways of the main car park to show you do appreciate customer loyalty and safety.
Mr Don Wood, Gleneagles Drive Bessacarr
Other aiports are secure
ROBIN Hood Airport drop off zones - Response to Steve Gill (Doncaster Airport Director) September 6, 2012
He states the reason we have to drop off and pick up passengers away from the building is for security.
Well we have just returned from Alicante airport, the sixth largest airport in Spain. 9,913.764 passengers fly to and from here yearly.
We were all dropped off immediately in front of the terminal building. Gatwick airport has a drop off zone immediately in front of the terminal building with a fee of just £1. Heathrow airport has a drop off zone for free as long as the car is kept attended at all times. Manchester airport has a drop off zone immediately in front of the airport for a fee of £2.50.
These are all much larger airports than Doncaster, and just as security conscious. Charge us a £1 and make it pleasant.
Karen Wade. Pasture Close Armthorpe
How about the Sheridan theatre?
MANY thanks for your feature on the award winning actress and ‘Donny lass’, Sheridan Smith,( DFP September 6 2012)
Would it not be appropriate for our new theatre, currently under construction, to be named, The Sheridan Smith Theatre ?
Mr KD Eminson, Wensley Crescent, Cantley
HAVE you got a great photo you would like to share with Doncaster Free Press readers? Then why not send it to us and you could see your picture on this page.
Whether it is scenery, buildings, people or places - if you’ve taken a picture you like simply email it, along with your contact details to email@example.com and mark the subject line ‘Picture of the Week’.
This week’s picture comes from Dennis Hodgetts of Warmsworth, who sent us this picture of his great grandson Alfie Nelson sitting on a Harley Davidson motorbike during a recent event in Doncaster Market.