Don’t call last orders on pub

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ONE of the mainstays of the culture that sets our country apart from others is the community pub.

It is a place to go for a drink, chat, see your mates, escape from the working week and basically to socialise.

But in recent years our pubs have suffered a rapid decline.

Landlords have given up the trade, unable to fight against the discounts offered by supermarkets and off-licences.

So it is all the more the shame that other pubs have to close because of violence, or licensing problems.

That is the case of the Blue Bell in Hackenthorpe, where the landlord has relinquished his licence in the face of opposition from the police.

Whatever the reasons for the police request, residents in Hackenthorpe deserve to have a local. A Facebook campaign has been launched and signed by hundreds of residents.

Let’s hope the owners listen to what the punters want and find a landlord able to rescue the pub and turn around its reputation.

It’s a festival to be reckoned with

IT gets bigger, better and more creative every year.

And Sheffield famous literary festival Off The Shelf has reason to celebrate – it is 20 years old.

Who would have thought it could attract guests such as Jeremy Paxman, Rob Brydon and Sir Michael Parkinson?

Who would have imagined it could grow to a month-long festival featuring a record 162 events, talks, workshops and masterclasses?

But that is exactly what has happened and Off The Shelf is a festival to be reckoned with.

It’s always a highlight of the city’s calendar, giving audiences the chance to see people they admire.

Never underestimate the power of reading – and revel in it here in Sheffield.

This horn of plenty

HORN player Alf Wileman has shown a dedication and loyalty which help volunteer groups thrive.

He’s been playing in the Salvation Army band for more than 65 years – an incredible stint. He has been playing alongside his son Paul and grandson Ryan in the band, so sadly this will mean that there will no longer be three generations of the same family in the band together.

But Alf had to retire at some point and he’s decided now is the right time.

Let’s hope he enjoys his retirement. After such sterling work, including roles such as music teacher and band leader, he deserves to take a breather. It should be music to his ears.