Dear Editor, I wish to comment further on Terry Grimley’s point in the Post regarding Chasing Fate, the new Leaps & Bounds musical which ran at the Hippodrome last weekend.
Firstly, let me say that I agree with the statement made that the performance given by this young cast was indeed the most significant theatrical performance any discerning theatre-goer could have found themselves attending this year.
Secondly, I want to share this story with your readers as I feel it reinforces just why the story of Chasing Fate was so significant. Just after the final performance I emerged from the back of the stage and was approached by a young man approximately 25-30 years old. He asked me if I was part of the crew and if I was involved with the performance. I said yes but not directly and that I was a life coach who supported the young cast through their training and experience.
I asked him what he thought of the show and he told me that this was his first ever trip to the theatre and his girlfriend bought him the tickets as a treat for his birthday. He said that she had chosen to take him to this performance because of the story line and the ‘real life young people’ in the performance. He went on to say that he was reduced to tears and was overwhelmed by the storyline and the professionalism of all the young people involved. This story had particular relevance for this young man because as a teenager growing up in deprived area of Birmingham himself become involved as a gang member and a subsequent shooting for which he served 8 years in prison.
He said that he had been trying to make a new life for himself and that this was a powerful reminder of how easily things can go wrong for young people and how dangerous peer pressure can be. He could not stop praising the performance and the dedication of all the young people involved. He said that if he had had an opportunity to take part in a project like this when he was their age his life may have turned out a lot better. He said that projects such as this literally can save people’s lives.
I would also like to publicly thank Leaps & Bounds for the opportunity to be a life coach and their support to me as a life coach.
I am proud to be associated with such a professional body of people with shared passion for increasing the aspirations of young people.
This has not only been a life changing experience for the young people but also for me. I have been inspired by the effort, commitment and determination from young people. This experience will stay with me for the rest of my life.
Battle to keep vital
rail link running
Dear Editor, Unfortunately there have been lots of mixed messages from different parties about the future of the Walsall to Wolverhampton rail service
Centro has fought to keep this vital rail link going on several occasions over recent years.
Therefore we were extremely disappointed when the Government again informed us of its intention to axe the service, especially after patronage has grown so significantly. Since hearing this news we have continually lobbied the Department for Transport to see if, together, we can find a way to retain the service.
Unfortunately, it is not only funding for the line that is preventing the rail link from continuing.
Due to rail timetable changes taking place in December related to the improved service to London, there will be no trains available to run the Walsall to Wolverhamptonservice, as they all need to be used elsewhere on the local rail network.
If funding is provided by the Department for Transport or from local authorities, this problem will still stand in the way of retaining the service.
The only way to resolve this issue is for the Government to step in – they alone can provide the rolling stock - but unfortunately our appeals have fallen on deaf ears. Because of this the service will be taken off and people will have no option but to change their journey choice.
They will either have to take a much longer trip by public transport, use their cars and add to our already congested roads around the M6, or in some cases not be able to make their journey at all. All Centro can do for passengers now is to look at how we can work with the Government and train companies to bring back the rail link as soon as possible.
This will involve looking at options for an even better service including the possibility of two trains an hour, a station at Willenhall and through trains to Birmingham, as part of a wider study to improve rail connections around Walsall.
Providing a rail service between Walsall and Wolverhampton has been a priority for Centro for many years, and will continue to be one.
I would like to reassure readers that we are doing all we can to continue this vital rail link.
Coun Gary Clarke
Why I object to
Ikon art exhibition
Dear Editor, allow me to explain some background to my letter on October 21
The first part related to comments I made about an exhibition being staged at the Ikon Gallery which shows a close up film of people having sex, and other footage of people forcing themselves to be sick. If people wish to go and see this exhibition, that is up to them. However I said that I personally did not wish to, and I questioned whether most tax payers would feel that subsidising the gallery was the best use of their money.
As Chairman of Health Scrutiny, I am particularly concerned about the vomiting films since forcing oneself to deliberately vomit has connections with the serious disease bulimia.
The second part of the letter refers to my previous employment. Several letters have appeared implying that I cannot be taken be taken seriously as a politician because I once wrote for children.
Also, I believe John Prescott (Labour) was a ship’s steward and Patrick McLoughlin (Conservative) a miner, so clearly people from a variety of backgrounds can go on to be successful politicians.
Coun Deirdre Alden
Conservative Parliamentary Candidate Edgbaston