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Our railway town is the right place for the HS2 rail college

As Freemen of Doncaster (currently 11), we write to express our support for the Doncaster bid to become the site of the HS2 Rail College.
There are many reasons why we support the bid:
The potential site is available with related service infrastructure and DMBC support.
The town currently has a long developed rail infrastructure involving Wabtec Rail Ltd, based in the former Railway Plant Works to repair and refurbish rail carriages (1,000 employed); Volker Rail Group; D B Schenker; Uniport Rail and Trackwork (400 employed); and Network Rail, hence a rail engineering orientated skill base.
The town has a heritage in rail engineering dating back to the 1850s and the arrival of GNR and the establishment of its Plant Works, with a roll call of nationally renowned engineers - Patrick Stirling, Nigel Gresley etc - not to mention that the Flying Scotsman and Mallard were built in Doncaster.
Doncaster is a rail communication hub with the East Coast Main Line running from Kings Cross to Edinburgh and to Leeds/Bradford; rail links to Hull and Lincolnshire; rail links to Sheffield and Manchester; and London by rail in 90 minutes.
The ease of airport links via Robin Hood Airport, which is a 20 minute drive from the projected site.
South Doncaster has an attractive environment in its Lakeside complex, Doncaster Racecourse, The Dome Leisure Centre, the new Civic Centre and Cast Theatre, nature reserves, parkland, Yorkshire Wildlife Park, sports facilities and residential areas - hence attractive for incoming personnel.
The ease of access to the motorway network with the new link road to Robin Hood Airport in progress (FARRRS).
A large Doncaster Technical College with university links (The Hub).
Residential housing (at reasonable prices) readily available in the borough and adjacent parts of North notts and Lincolnshire.
As Freemen of Doncaster we are a non-political group seeking to be positive about our community.
Doncaster is an attractive venue for new engineering and rail related planning and as a place to live.
The labour force has skills available at all levels in engineering and IT with a thriving general engineering base - Bridon Wire, Pegler Yorkshire, Polypipe etc.
Given that the proposed HS2 route is only 20 miles west of Doncaster, the town is an ideal strategic planning site thus spreading the economic benefits of the HS2 project in South Yorkshire and helping to renew the town’s employment given the loss of its coal mining NCB heritage in the 1980s.
Doncaster deserves to share in the HS2 economic input.

Tony Storey

Chair of Doncaster
Freemen Group

It’s just ludicrous

This business of the HS2 and England’s stability is telling me that all common sense has left the halls of governance.
The people who thought up this HS2 madness should be locked up and later burned at the stake as they appear to want us all to burn in hell or something similar.
Come on, surely all your brains have not fallen out of your left ear yet.
Shelve this lunatic HS2 dinosaur. Let’s put England back to rights.

Mr G Parker

St James Street

A benefit to the town

In his piece in the DFP (June 5) in which he mentions HS2, I am afraid Peter Davies has got it completely wrong.
The aim of HS2 is to take fast passenger trains off the already congested West Coast Main Line and to link the north with London via Sheffield and Leeds.
It is not a replacement for the East Coast Main Line.
In fact, the next train operator of the ECML will be using, from 2018 the new IEP trains (Intercity Express Programme). These will replace the ageing Class 91 operated trains and the even older HST’s.
The old Doncaster motive power depot which closed recently will be demolished to make way for a brand new maintenance depot for IEP’s.
So, Doncaster will hardly be reduced to a “second-rate station” and when electrification reaches here from Sheffield will be even more important a rail hub as it is now.

Adrian Foster

Hall View Road

We need a museum

I read your article with interest regarding the proposed building of a replica “Cock O’The North” locomotive.
I must say that Doncaster desperately needs something to commemorate its strong railway heritage.
I believe we should have a railway heritage museum featuring, perhaps, one, two or maybe even three locomotives and, also, photographs, publications and the amazing collection of railwayana currently hidden away in the former water tower of Hall Cross School.
I personally have spent most of my adult life fostering the railway enthusiasm of Doncaster folk, running TAG’s Modelshop, now in its 37th year, and I shall do my utmost to see this museum project come to fruition.
Doncaster deserves it.

Andy Fisher

Proprietor of TAG’s
Modelshop Ltd.

Shaking things up

I read with surprise that the central Conservative chairman was delighted with the local election results.
In all central constituency wards, the Conservatives came a miserable third and out of 21 wards in Doncaster could only field 15 candidates.
On the other hand, UKIP fielded 21 candidates, fighting every ward, winning one and and coming a close second in another 17.
As far as Andy Hollinghurst’s letter (DFP, June 5) is concerned, yes the people of Doncaster have woken up and Doncaster is for UKIP-ing.
They pushed Labour into second place in the European election in Doncaster with the Conservatives in the distance (out of sight is the the phrase believe). Yes, UKIP came first.
As far as David Nevett’s letter (also DFP, June 5) is concerned, the headline states ‘Gracious in defeat’ but I don’t know where the gracious part comes from.
All I read was sour grapes.

Roy Penketh


More of the same

In my opinion, the Mayor Ros Jones was elected on false pretences by putting out the feel good factor - typical Labour hypocrisy.
Ros Jones must have known about the plan to close old people’s homes, libraries and another twelve hundred redundancies, plus an increase in council tax of two per cent for the next three years.
One does not campaign for such a position of Mayor without doing background research but none of the above was mentioned.
Having won the election by six hundred votes on a turnout of less than thirty per cent, Ros Jones was indirectly voted in by people who did not bother to vote.
Peter Davies did a good job without being tied to party political dogma.
Thirteen years of Labour government proved exactly what they are capable of, especially with Ed Miliband as chief adviser to the Gordon Brown government.
If people want more of this, vote Labour in the national election next year and say goodbye to merry England.

Mr W Bensley

Coterel Crescent

Things need to change

Once again Doncaster hits the national headlines, both TV and papers, for all the wrong reasons.
Hexthorpe is a talking point wherever you go - the problem is still “those” we are not allowed to talk about.
Every time we read the DFP, week after week we read about job creation and attracting people to our town; when are the elected council going to start putting Doncaster people first?
There is a huge problem to be sorted and to be realistically honest, I don’t think our council have a clue what to do.
Our areas are being turned into ghettos for all to see - what a good advert for Doncaster.
I think it’s about time Rob Vincent was sent back to take the reins.

Lionel Overson

Doncaster First
Independent Group

Not very democratic

There is a proposal by the Boundary Commission to split the Edenthorpe Ward between Armthorpe and Kirk Sandall without any democratic consultation.

We have three Labour MPs in Doncaster - Rosie Winterton, Ed Miliband and Caroline Flint - who all voted for the wretched Human Rights Bill.

Let’s hope they will reflect on the injustice being perpetrated on local constituents and do something worthwhile about it.

H Santiuste

Coningsburgh Road


We oppose the changes

The South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Board has agreed to return to the previous concessions for disabled travellers. Congratulations!

But for pensioners they will now charge half-fare on the trains and continue with the 9.30am start, though buses are rarely full then.

The disabled travellers have urged us to continue to ask for free train travel and the original times.

If you support us and will help, please call (01302) 344036 for details.

Lois Hubbard

Apley Road

Hyde Park

A little advice...

Being a Rovers fan for a longer time than Mr Ryan himself, and having the same “idol” Alick Jeffrey, (I was privileged to see him first time around at 15 years old, even though a little younger myself) I would like to offer him some advice on his imminent return to the club.

Please resist at all times the temptation to publicly criticize match officials, and that includes visiting the referee post-match with complaints, which I am led to believe has happened many times.

As fans we are all aware of the number of times that we have been let down badly by decisions, but I feel, and I am sure many will agree, that public denunciation does not aid our cause.

Furthermore I would hasten to add that if Mr.Dickov continues in the managers role, that he too desist from getting constantly ”in the face” of the fourth official, which also doesn`t do anyone any favours.


Address Supplied

We’re here to help

Ask anyone these days what they believe to be the biggest threat to a person’s happiness and they will usually come up with things such as worry, anxiety and stress.

Not long ago, I guess that they, and certainly doctors I know, would have put depression first.

It has been said that living in the past can lead to depression, and living in the future can lead to anxiety.

I regularly hear myself say to my clients, “the past is gone, the future is unknown but today, well, you can do something about today.”

So what about worry and anxiety?

How can a counsellor be of help?

Well, while they cannot tell you what to do, or wave a magic wand and take your troubles away, they can help you with plans and strategies to use when anxiety or panic attacks occur.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy has been all the rage for some years, especially in the NHS but many counsellors will tell you that often it is best preceded by Person Centred Therapy.

And of course today all the talk is about meditation and mindfulness, which have been around for centuries.

Counselling may be described as “helping others to help themselves”.

With anxiety and panic, at the heart of it, all that is needed is steady, calm controlled breathing and your counsellor can readily help you achieve that.

Only when you are back in control can you begin to explore the causes of your panic.

Without suiting all, counselling can be of great benefit to many who need to explore what is going wrong in their lives.

If you think we can help you, make contact with Clouds Community Counselling Service.

The service is free and has centres in Thorne, Stainforth, Hatfield/Dunscroft, EDDT Dunscroft, and Moorends.

Contact us via our Client Line on 07962 907053 or visit our website at www.cloudscounsellingservices.com.

If you need to talk... we will listen.

Patrick Davis

Chair of Management Group, Clouds Community

Counselling Service

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