IT’S panto time - oh yes it is - and the highlight of the run-up to Christmas for the Sunak family was the trip to Jack and the Beanstalk at Richmond.

I can’t recommend the Georgian Theatre Royal’s production highly enough. I’m not sure who laughed more – my daughters, Krishna and Anoushka, or me. They were chattering about it for days afterwards.

There were great songs and jokes in a show that was superb entertainment for the whole family. For those who might have been surprised that the Daily Telegraph voted it the best panto in the UK, just go along and see it.

Just one aspect that made it special for me was the unique historic nature of the venue. The audience is so close to the stage and that intimacy is just ideal for panto. Congratulations to theatre chief executive Clare Allen and her team for producing a massive UK No 1 hit in one of the country’s smallest venues.

Visiting the post office in Northallerton could also become part of the tradition of Christmas for me. I called in to the delivery office behind the post office in the High Street last week and met many of the men and women who are working frenetically right now to make sure we all receive our cards and gifts on time.

It was good to meet Jonathan Berry who delivers to my home at Kirby Sigston, Murray Foster who serves the constituency office in Northallerton and also Chris Gill and the most appropriately named Graham Stamp.

The Northallerton delivery officer manager Graeme Pettigrew, has worked an amazing 40 years for Royal Mail, and started out delivering telegrams (remember them?) aged just 16.

He had some mind-boggling stats about the Northallerton office’s performance. On average over the Christmas rush, the 55 staff at the Northallerton office will deal with about 45,000 letters and parcels a day and on the very busiest day that rises to 65,000. A ‘normal’ day’s business outside the festive period handles about 23,000 items.

I was very impressed with the whole operation - and was able to save Jonathan and Murray a small job by picking up that’s day’s deliveries for home and the office.

Many constituents may have a new mobile phone on their Christmas lists this year. Can I suggest that before deciding on which of the four networks to go with they look at the mobile coverage checker published by the Government’s communication watchdog Ofcom. You can find it here

Using data provided by the phone network providers and checked by Ofcom it is a useful guide to coverage throughout the UK down to individual postcode areas. In the very rural parts of the Richmond constituency there are some big differences between the four networks so it is well worth checking.

There is also a useful facility on the site to give feedback if the claimed coverage doesn’t match the reality mobile users experience – and that in turn will encourage the phone companies to do better.