Soul club night more important than strike

In a week which saw a 16-year-old boy injured in an axe attack, planned expansion of the Airdale Shopping centre, the arrest of a man suspected of rape and local singer releasing a Christmas charity song, the Keighley News decides to lead with the front page headline ‘Soul Fans Banned from Club’.

If we measure by word count alone you make this eight times more important than thousands of local workers supporting a national strike for decent pensions.

I wasn’t at the event where soul fans were alleged to have caused ‘noise and damage and smuggled in alcohol’, but I’ve been to Soul events at this venue before and hundreds of others over many years.

I’ve never seen, a few dodgy dance moves and fashion disasters aside, any bad behaviour even close to seeing Soul fans being banned. In fact, we are a pretty likeable, well-behaved bunch, who have used talcum powder on dance floors to improve our dance moves with no complaint.

I would suggest the Catholic Centre and the Keighley News learn to keep things in perspective, or risk – as The Temptations sang – A Ball of Confusion.

Keep the Faith.


East Parade, Steeton

Town’s soul fans are no trouble-makers

After reading last weeks front page headline “Soul fans are banned from club” both myself the organiser of Keighley Okeh Soul Club and Victoria Hall feel there is a need to speak out for the many genuine Soul fans in our proud Northern town. Keighley Okeh Soul Club, held monthly on the first Saturday at Victoria Hall, is now in it’s seventh successful year with some of the countries top Soul DJs appearing on a regular basis and many more queuing up to play in such a prestigious venue. On every night we have several DJs playing all soul genres in two rooms making sure there really is something for everyone. We have attracted thousands of Soul fans to Keighley from across Yorkshire, Lancashire and the rest of the UK and without exception everyone says what a fantastic night they have had and what a warm friendly atmosphere there is from our welcoming local Soul fans.

The local hotels certainly appreciate the regular business, so much so you cannot get a room on New Year’s Eve as they are all full of travelling Soulies.

Likewise, when the Keighley Okeh Soul Club travel to other venues around the country and abroad, which we do on a regular basis, everyone has heard of our club and the friendliness of it’s local regulars, making the club a firm favourite and this warmth is then reciprocated.

So, local Soul fans, stand up and be proud as you are not the bunch portrayed in last week’s headline, you are an asset to The Keighley Okeh Soul Club and Keighley’s long-standing Soul heritage


Keighley Okeh Soul Club

Rally was no damp sqib in Keighley

Keighley Trades Council would like to thank everyone who either attended the rally or who voiced their support in support of “Pensions Justice” for the public sector workers who took part in the joint industrial action on November 30.

We can assure David Cameron that in Keighley this was not a “damp squib” but a warning shot that if he refuses to engage in a constructive dialogue and genuine negotiations over this issue then he will be faced by a determined Trade Union movement willing to endure potential hardship to achieve their just rewards.

Many of the strikers on picket duty were in fact “virgins” to this activity, but their determination will ensure they learn quickly. Perhaps Wendy Wall, a unison rep at Airedale hospital summed up the mood: “This is the last straw for a lot of people. It feels like we’re being robbed by a government that wants to take our pensions to pay for bankers’ debts.”

In June approximately 30 to 50 people attended the rally we organised in support of this campaign. For this rally about 150 to 200 attended despite the fact that the major unions encouraged members to attend the large regional rallies in Leeds and Bradford.

We believe we were right to hold a local rally and predict that if further rallies are necessary then the numbers attending will increase expodentially until justice is achieved.

As Paul Routledge stated in his article on the strike and rally in Keighley in the Daily Mirror: “It was as cold as George Osbourne’s heart outside the schools, hospitals and job centres when the virgin strikers gathered yesterday.”

George Osbourne may not rely on his pension to pay £10,000 for his family’s annual skiing jaunt to Switzerland when he retires being a millionaire like most of the cabinet proposing these cuts to public service pensions.

However, workers who rely on their pensions to pay for rising food and energy prices and maintain a reasonable standard of living in old age will fight to defend what they have paid for and have a right to expect in a fair and just society.


Keighley TUC

Cause for concern over archaic term

A mild rebuke regarding the comment in the Memory Lane column about William Hartley being described as a “half wit”, we have moved on from such comments now.

Those who have mental problems are treated more fondly.

As one who has considerable experience of people with learning problems it causes no little concern to find them still described in archaic terms.


Cornfield Avenue, Huddersfield