The end of the first week of my summer 'Staycation' and I've just enjoyed a round of golf with two of my sons at Hallgarth Hotel, near Darlington.

I was delighted to see that the bench, bought in memory of Ian Weir 11 years ago, is still in good condition on the short par 3. It was the third hole in those days, but now it's the first.

Dedicated to "the world's worst golfer" the dedication on the bench thanks Ian for the laughs we had as his ball invariably landed in the water.

Ian, a photographer on The Northern Echo, died at the age of 38 in 1999 after waiting eight months for the heart bypass he urgently needed.

His death led to a campaign, started in The Northern Echo and followed up nationally, which led to bypass waiting times in this country being reduced from an average of a year to three months.

If my time as editor of The Northern Echo ended tomorrow, that campaign alone would have made it worthwhile.

As I enjoyed the afternoon with my sons, I had a sit on Ian's bench and reflected on the fact that he never saw his own two sons grow up.

P.S. My ball landed in the water.