ON these cold, dark days of January, when we need something to relieve our anxiety about the state of the world and the country, our dear Craven Herald seems unable to lift our spirits.

Three recent issues of the paper have all proclaimed ‘close’, ‘closure’ and ‘closed’ on the front page. At least five shops and a restaurant have shut down in Skipton since April, one more bank will close soon and there is no sign of revival at the much missed Rackhams store.

Thankfully, some businesses stand out like beacons. Walkers bakery is always busy. The Herald arrives on time each Thursday, delivered by our local newsagent. The local post office staff are efficient and courteous, over against those distant Post Office bosses who have brought grief to so many sub- postmasters and sub-postmistresses in recent years.

We must be hopeful. Spring will come, there will be a general election some time later and it is to be hoped that a more stable economic climate will be established where our local businesses may flourish. Then the front page news will be something to celebrate.

Celia Midgley