IT’S such a shame to hear that the Ladbrokes betting shop on Haughton Green in Darlington is closing down this Sunday.

For many years, this bookies has been the ideal place to have a flutter for the drinkers in the Grey Horse, the Highland Laddie and Haughton Working Men’s Club, and when it closes, it will be a big miss to the chaps who still drink in those establishments.

On countless occasions, I have often called in to have a gamble on the footie, and even though I haven’t collected much winnings, it was always a fine place to have a bet as I often bumped into people I grew up with and hadn’t seen for years, and I’ll always remember the time when I went in there one morning sometime in the 1990s, still feeling slightly merry after a night out in town, and asked if I could have a bet on England to win the 1966 World Cup Final and the lad behind the counter said that he would give me odds of 1/4.

It will be such a shame when the final whistle is blown on this betting shop on Sunday, and I would like to thank the staff, particularly Becca and Megan, for serving the public with a smile all these years, and I hope that the punters that still use this betting outlet will find a new suitable bookies soon, because a Saturday without a flutter, is like having a fried egg without any chips.

Christopher Wardell, Darlington.