THERE are many views on why our town centres are dying or have died already, well, here’s mine.

First and foremost, the car has made it far easier for most of us to pull up, jump out, go to one shop i.e. a supermarket that sells 90 per cent of what we need – “wham bam, thank you mam” and zoom off, all done.

The days of our grannies catching the bus to Shildon, Bishop, Spenny or Darlo are long gone. To venture into town now you have to find a parking space, pay whatever, walk – yes I’m sorry – walk to each individual shop, butcher, baker or candlestick maker.

Hopefully some good may come out of our present virus imposed situation, the answer is slow down, smell the roses. It seems reminiscent of the old TV show about two elderly tailors called “Never Mind the Quality, Feel the Width”. If you require quantity not quality go to Tesco but if you want to support your local butcher and want a proper pie, sausage or bacon that tastes like bacon and not the thickness and taste of A4 paper, go to Godfrey’s in Shildon or Hocking’s in Spenny.

We all know a good butcher, let’s face it who doesn’t like a Taylor’s Pork Pie, oh my, the hot jelly running down your chin, lovely, sorry to all those vegetarians and vegans out there, but my word!

We the public are to blame for the towns’ and villages’ demise not eBay or Amazon, we are the ones who use them but try buying a pound of pork sausage online or a nice fresh cream cake – not likely.

Oh and by the way the biggest killer of the town centres is the by-pass, the clue is in the name. That’s exactly what they do, by-pass towns and villages.

Please, please remember those local shops who have helped us through these difficult times don’t go back to our old habits, although I know they die hard.

John Cumberland, Rushyford