TOURISM: Town needs to offer more

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I recently returned to The Alnwick Garden for the first time since August 2017.

A range of issues had prevented my partner and I from going earlier, bereavement being but one.

It was good to go on a sunny day, walk through the entrance, pause at the Steven Lunn gate, then walk around the corner and reconnect, as it is a place my partner and I feel at home. That connection pulls us back year by year.

To keep visitor numbers increasing in Morpeth, the town needs to give people more reason to stay than just a coffee and period of shopping, i.e the town needs its visitors to connect with what its residents value about it.

A friend of mine’s mother was 90 this year. She’s still as cheerful and as positive as she was at 80.

I often hear people who haven’t seen 30 in a while moan about things they have little control over. Me, I continue to learn from people who still can laugh at life, despite whatever age throws at you and the madness all around.

You keep laughing if only so you can tell people your wrinkles are laughter lines.

Years ago, before the renovation work on Morpeth Market Place, Raymond Reed was almost as regular a feature there as Bob Penman and his flower stall.

Bringing things more up to date, it’s always good to see Mr Reed and his friends outside a certain coffee shop not far from Marks and Spencer in Morpeth. I wonder if the same coffee shop gets inquiries if Mr Reed isn’t at his customary seat at his normal time?

Even as the town continues to change, it still needs its local characters as it’s generally the characters who stop you with, ‘have you heard about?’, which generally you haven’t.

Well done to Arriva for giving people the opportunity now to go to Rothbury by bus on a Sunday or a bank holiday.

It was a sensible move to tie the launch to the Rothbury Food and Drink Festival, which is always worth a visit, particularly in warm weather.

Arriva will, no doubt, be keeping an eye on the demand for the service in order to determine whether the Sunday/bank holiday options continue beyond the summer.

Updating the timetable on display at Morpeth Bus Station may help for those who haven’t a mobile phone or those who didn’t pick up the latest X14 timetable.

Robert Pollard

Northbourne Avenue

Morpeth