IT'S an odd thing having an empty building in the middle of a village which a community wants to buy and an owner wants to sell but there seems to be no chance of it actually happening.

The Travellers Rest pub in Skeeby, near Richmond closed over ten years ago, and has been put up for sale for £220,000 on facebook. Campaigners in the village are so keen to take over the place as a community hub they formed the Skeeby pub society. But offers of £150,000 and more have been turned down in the past. They got so desperate they're pressing Richmondshire District Council for a compulsory purchase order.

The owner a property developer wanted to turn it into a house but after a planning application was refused along with an appeal the building is protected as a community asset. The pub society says the price is way over the top for an empty shell of a building. Spectator and everybody else has been unable to get through to the developer, how refreshing would it be if a deal could be done, the locals get a pub, developer gets money, if only it could happen.

FAKE NEWS has become a phrase increasingly used for no sensible reason. However this week there was a real example of just how easy it is for information to be totally wrong. Spectator got a call to say a helicopter had crashed into farmland after just missing houses in Northallerton.

In the best traditions of journalism our newshound hot footed it out to the alleged scene but was a little surprised to be told by fire crews they had indeed been called out but it was to sort out a fire in a barn at Yafforth. No helicopter to be seen, so a wasted journey with a favourable ending.