Dear Reader: Myth of 'affordable' housing + don't panic Dad's Army!

Graham Chalmers of the Harrogate Advertiser with legendary rock music photographer Gered Mankowitz.

Graham Chalmers of the Harrogate Advertiser with legendary rock music photographer Gered Mankowitz.

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Every new year more new housing developments pop up on my daily commute along Bogs Lane into Harrogate and every year my journey to work takes a little bit longer.

Yes, I’m going on about traffic again, though I have to admit my personal inconvenience would be a fair price to pay if the new developments were actually “affordable.”

But, as a reader who posted us on this newspaper’s Facebook page pointed out recently, most new houses built in this district seem to cost at least £300,000 or more.

One of the biggest reasons for the growing disaffection with politics in recent years is the gap between what the people who run most things in this country say and what’s happening on the ground.

By that token I think it’s high time we threw “affordable” into the same dustbin as other phrases which fail to do what they say on the tin such as “high priority”, “I’ll bear that in mind” and “the Big Society”.

I interviewed an ‘ordinary’ Harrogate man this week – and don’t you just hate that word – who’d been mistaken for Captain Mainwaring on the set of the new Dad’s Army movie.

To be fair, it’s hardly this professional musician’s fault that he has the same little round spectacles, short bristling moustache and bullish, ruddy-faced complexion as the Home Guard platoon leader famously played by Arthur Lowe in the original BBC TV comedy series.

Even so, I’m told it was possible to hear the sound of star actors’ jaws dropping as this humble extra wandered onto the set amid the great names of British acting during the filming of this major new movie.

Thinking about it, perhaps, my interviewee shared more than physical looks with Mainwaring?

The extras had all been told in advance to wear clothes appropriate to wartime Britain for the shoot.

But no one asked this one chap to actually dress up as Captain Mainwaring.