AS a habitual reader of the letters page I sometimes wonder what it would be like if Hear All Sides was a pub in town. On entering you would immediately recognise all the regulars sat down in the same seats that they always occupy.

Dave Lacey, Ralph Musgrave, Adam Walker, Pete Winstanley, John Gilmore etc would be stood in a circle, like a sketch from Monty Python’s Life of Brian, arguing “What has immigration ever done for us?”. The arguments revolve around whether Belgian beers should still be available in Darlington after Brexit and the relative merits of Blond beer versus Black and Tan.

George Dunning, Steve Kay, Ben Ord, Chris Foote Wood and other local politicians are sat around a table with empty glasses arguing about whose round it is next, all insisting that the lack of drinks is certainly not down to their watch.

Over on the left, Steve Dixon, possibly a bitter man, is complaining about how the Tories have brought in regulations to make bar stools much harder to sit on in order to get the working class off their backsides.

However eventually I spot my favourite contributor who has been noticeable by his absence lately. Ignoring Christopher Wardell (who is leaning against the bar wearing a “Kiss Me Quick” hat and shades) I head straight for the corner table to have a good old chinwag with VJ Connor. I really enjoy reading his letters because they are invariably well balanced and contain good old-fashioned common sense. I have missed his contributions these last few weeks during his illness. Welcome back, VJ. Pint of best?

Peter Birch, Saltburn-by-the-Sea