IN 1954, I started school at St Wilfred’s in Bishop Auckland. Growing up in a lovely market town was a real pleasure.

I went to the library in Kingsway, visited the park and played down the dam head. I remember the town was always busy and although I was too young to really appreciate it, I know now we had the best amateur football team in England.

I can remember growing up and visiting the Odeon, Kings Hall, Eden theatre and Hippodrome – the four picture houses in the town – and later on I visited the many pubs and clubs: Queens, Grosvenor, Belvedere and Baxters nightclub have all since gone but they not forgotten.

The town was once a vibrant bustling market town but now walking down the main street it reminds me of one of them ghost towns you used to see in the cowboy films.

I only hope Jonathan Ruffer and his team can bring Bishop back to its former glory, but failing that we will have to contact the Magnificent Seven.

Dave Bowes, West Auckland