Weekend revelry: What a revealing weekend. Of course there are different views on the monarchy, but for me it can't just be judged on a value-for-money basis.

I think the thousands who got together throughout our region to celebrate in imaginative ways would perhaps agree.

Certainly in my "maypole" village of Ovington, we met up to catch up with each other over food and drink on the bunting-adorned green, to hear results of the best royal scarecrow dotted around, the best royal baked cake and then we all crowded together for a widescreen photo.

Then nationally: first – to booms of gun salutes, flypasts, military marching – we had the ancient, mystical, fairyland/Harry Potter-esque Westminster Abbey performance, followed the next day by a Windsor Castle version.

The latter was spectacular – its inspiring music and amazing displays hitting the senses and stirring emotions just as it all once did with rituals in churches and soaring cathedrals.

Laser and drone displays replacing stain-glass windows. The congregation/audience enraptured.

We don't elect the local vicar, or our doctor, or our nurses for that matter. Vocations that are a calling to serve. Just what Charles III proclaimed was his calling.

Tim Sinclair, Ovington, Richmond.

Shoppers beware

ALL those of us who shop at Tesco in Northallerton, beware.

As we all know Tesco now employs Horizon Parking to administer the parking at this supermarket.

I pop in most days for bread, milk, scratch cards, you know the sorts of things we have to go down for now that the milkman and his horse have passed into history.

This is fine if you make only one visit each day, but should you need to make a further visit, they’ll get yer!

For some reason their cameras can pick you leaving if you enter once, but if you go in twice, then they clock you in on the first visit but always clock you out on the second, thus indicating that you’ve spent a lot of idle hours parked up in their car park.

I rarely need to visit Tesco twice but since November it’s happened to me five times; and it’s £80 or £35 if you admit to your evil ways and pay up within 14 days.

Fortunately I’ve got Google Timeline on my ‘phone so I’m always able to prove the error of their camera’s records and I have written both to Horizon Parking and Tesco Customer Services about it. However, we do have an inalienable right to go about our lawful business without harassment and for me the behaviour of this company is just that – harassment.

It is quite clear that their cameras are not sited correctly or not functioning properly, although the excuse given is that it was probably caused by tailgating as we passed the camera, so they’re blaming me.

I have now written for the fifth time to Horizon Parking and also to Tesco Customer Services, stating that should this occur again, I will not be writing, nor will I pay any penalty, but I will initiate proceedings of harassment.

Of course, we could all avoid this in the first place by in future doing our shopping in another supermarket.

After all in Northallerton we really are spoilt for choice.

We’ve got Lidl just across the road and Sainsbury’s and Asda a mere spitting distance with a fair wind down the road, and let’s not forget M&S and Iceland.

We really do not have to put up with this from Tesco.

David J. Smith, Romanby, Northallerton.

Cash consequences

SUSAN HOLDEN hits the mark with her concerns on the cashless society “Cash is still king” (D&S letters, May 5).

Although our local and online shop takes cash and cards, the cash option for small town shops such as Bedale is entirely dependent on local banking facilities.

I doubt many small town retail businesses can continue to take cash and offer cash change if it means a 20 or more mile round trip to the nearest bank to pay to pay it in and to buy change.

Keith Mungham, Nickery Nook, Bedale.

Winning Greens

THE message last Thursday from the voters in Harrowgate Hill ward in Darlington was loud and clear. They do not want a car dependent urban extension of Darlington on their doorsteps, taking away the countryside which they have treasured and have valued for so long, a massive development which will be grafted onto the existing creaking and overstretched infrastructure in the area, doing immense harm and making residents lives much worse.

The Greens are the only group on the council to listen to, to respect and to support residents in their efforts to stop the destruction of the Skerningham countryside, its precious ecosystem and its rich, varied and unique wildlife.

The Greens even engaged a planning consultant and they presented evidence to the planning inspector on residents' behalf which made a sound case proving that building houses in Skerningham was unnecessary and would be immensely damaging to the area.

Residents in the ward have spoken with one voice and they now have councillors who will make the council listen to and respect residents’ views about Skerningham.

I hope the council listens and acts accordingly on this deeply unpopular, environmentally damaging development.

Statistics prove that Skerningham is unnecessary because the housing supply has exceeded demand for housing in Darlington by hundreds of percentage points over the last five years.

Alan Macnab, Darlington.

Voter ID

I AM one of many disappointed Norton North voters who do not believe that the council elections were held fairly.

Last Thursday's elections were run on a new system deliberately engineered to exclude younger and poorer people from voting.

Therefore any Tory "wins" were achieved under a system of cheating.

There will now be inquiries into how many legitimate voters were excluded from the polls by voter ID legislation, but the full extent may never be known, as statistics were not collected of people turned away from the polling stations.

Nationally, police officers, nurses and other public servants were not allowed to use their work ID – accepted in all other contexts – to exercise their right to vote.

Their votes were stolen by the Tory government.

Young people, poor people and others who did not have the required ID will have lost their votes.

It is no coincidence that these groups of people are more likely to vote Labour.

This totally unnecessary and cynical voter ID legislation is straight from the Trump playbook.

It is sad to see the Tory party going down this sinister road.

In time, official enquiries will reveal more about the extent of the disenfranchisement it perpetrated, and it will be repealed.

Until that time, any Tory election wins will be in the context of a system rigged in their favour.

Hilary Cashman, Norton, Stockton.

Coining it in

CONSERVATIVE governments are always trying to conceal the real causes of inflation and PM Rishi Sunak's administration is no exception.

The latest wheeze came from Bank of England chief economist Huw Pill (£190,000 pa), who said: ''People need to accept they're worse off and stop trying to maintain their real spending power''.

Unfortunately recent data from the Office for National Statistics demonstrates this is nonsense. Over the 12 months to March 2023 electricity prices rose 67 per cent and gas prices 129 per cent but during the same period earnings grew by only six per cent.

The idea central to Pill's thinking – that we are all equally affected by raging inflation – is false. Workers' pay, in both the public and private sectors, is falling in real terms and failing to keep pace with inflation.

Meanwhile executive pay and shareholder rewards are going in the opposite direction.

Both gas and oil prices on the global markets are now significantly below where they were when the Ukraine war began in Feb 2022 (March 2022 800p per kWh/May 2023 88.5p per kWh).

Energy companies are not, as is often claimed, ''passing on energy costs''. They are profiteering, pure and simple.

The Conservative government attempted to use its position as the country's largest boss to set a going rate for pay increases below inflation and one that Mr Sunak dubbed ''appropriate''!

Workers have resisted this as far as they are able.

Workers in general are under a ferocious attack. Banks and energy and food firms, as well as landlords, are coining it.

Arguments for wage restraint are blatantly biased and work in the interests of the UK power elite.

C Walker, Darlington.

Alarm call

LAST Sunday my fire alarm went off at 10am, it eventually stopped, but started again at 4pm.

Living on my own I thought it best to ring the fire control room where a nice young lady called Imogen answered.

When I explained the situation about my alarm going off she said someone would come out later that afternoon.

At 5pm that same day two firemen came out and replaced my alarm.

That is what I call an excellent service, so thank you for coming to my rescue.

Margaret Sanders, Northallerton.

Ambulance service

EARLY on Sunday (May 7), I had to call for an ambulance to my home for an acute medical condition. It arrived within the hour from Newton Aycliffe.

The two personnel who came, one was called Megan but I didn't catch the other's name.

They were magnificent putting me at ease in no time at all and giving me first class treatment and advice.

We should be grateful of this wonderful service and treat them with the upmost respect. Thank you.

John Brant, Darlington.

Concert support

THE Mowbray Singers based in Sowerby, Thirsk performed in April Maunder’s Olivet to Calvary.

The concert was well supported and as a result, we were able to donate £840 to the Lambert appeal. We are grateful to all those who attended and thus contributed to this gift for this very worthwhile appeal.

Malcolm Lloyd, on behalf of the choir committee, Northallerton.