IT is Spectator's sad duty to report that the reputation of Bedale as a destination for visitors was done no favours in a strong but quite understandable letter to the D&S Times - printed on the opposite page - from a writer in Wakefield.

The writer complained that a recent Saturday visit to the town, which is doing its best to highlight its more attractive qualities, was ruined by the conduct of yobbish youths disporting themselves around the parish church and Bedale Hall, apparently intimidating anyone who tried to tackle them.

One of Spectator's colleagues wonders whether they were among the two thickheads who persisted in doing cycling wheelie stunts across the market place last Saturday afternoon only a few inches from him as he reversed out of a parking bay.

Several honks on the horn failed to make any impact at all on these insolent, immature oafs, one of whom mouthed obscenities, gave a vague V sign to, and apparently tried to block the path of, a driver turning into the vacant space.

More worthy

RAISING more than £22,000 for local charities in 17 years of competing in Barnard Castle fun run is no mean feat.

But when you consider that Peter Elliott, of Zetland Road in Barnard Castle, is blind, it is an even more remarkable achievement.

This week saw the publication of the annual Queen's Birthday Honours List - giving gongs to faceless civil servants and the showbiz likes of Jonathan Ross and Queen guitarist Brian May.

Isn't it about time people like Peter Elliott were recognised by those who draw up such lists?

Any ideas?

THE suggestion that local people should be invited to propose names for a new housing development in Northallerton Road, Leeming Bar, to replace a row of long-derelict cottages has already sparked interest.

Spectator is particularly taken by the idea, put to him in private conversation the other day, that it should be called Mattison or Gill this, that or the other in memory of the notable foundry which operated for many years under two different families a few feet away on the other side of the road.

Modern cull

IS IT just Spectator's impression or have there been far more dead foxes on the roadside, obviously the victims of passing traffic, in recent months?

Before the demise of hunting, hunts took out the old and the infirm in the fox population, the sort of animals which would be ripe for culling in managed stock.

Are these the ones which are now no longer spry or cunning enough to avoid modern traffic?