I WAS thrilled to bits having listened to the last two programmes of Making History on Radio 4 to hear June Foster present her case on behalf of Bury, citing Sir Robert Peel and a member of the Lancashire Fusiliers as her two heroes of the town.

It brought back such memories.

My father, John Dennis Driver, was the Rector of Holcombe from 1945 until his untimely death in 1971 and the Peel Monument on Holcombe Hill was very much part of my childhood, as was the Drill Hall in Bury where the elder son, Peter, of the then Rector of Bury, Richard Wingfield-Digby and I organised a couple of clergy family parties.

Although now living in North Yorkshire, I do still go home a lot, recently to a retrospective on behalf of David Swithenbank in Bury Art Gallery and prior to that to attend a concert in Bury Parish Church given by the King’s Singers.

My purpose in writing is to bring Sir Robert Peel bang up to date in a letter from me which was published in The Craven Herald in support of our local MP, Julian Smith, the Tory Chief Whip who was mauled by Tory rebels before Christmas.

I am a great believer that a good dose of Northern common sense would work wonders in Westminster and relieved to know that a local MP in the Rossendale Valley is in charge of guiding the Northern Powerhouse.

There used to be a saying “What Manchester does today, London will do tomorrow” and today of all days with Votes for Women to the fore, a Manchester initiative under Emmeline Pankhurst (my father’s family lived in Urmston and both men and women were supporters of the Suffrage movement) 2018 should be the year where we have lift off.

Gillian Driver