SOAPBOX racing has come an awful long way since many of us, including Spectator, were young.

Back in the day all that was needed for the construction phase were a couple of planks of wood and a few old pram wheels, scavenged from wherever you could find them.

Then all that was needed was a bit of a slope, a hefty push and a fervent hope that you would be able to stop without smashing into something.

But that was then and this is now and today’s soapbox designers inject far more skill and humour into their creations - witness the Red Bull racers that are so entertaining on TV.

So congratulations then to Northallerton Business Improvement District which is bringing the sport - if that’s what it is - to the county town of North Yorkshire.

Around 50 teams will be taking part in the challenge along the High Street at the end of July - and Spectator will be among the crowds that are expected to throng the route.

THE row over parking in the area around the new police HQ in Northallerton shows no signs of abating.

In the months since the force took over what was once the Rural Payments Agency building the problem appears to have got worse as hundreds of police officers and staff attempt to find somewhere to leave their cars.

The D&S Times and its letters column have regularly highlighted the issue and this week Hambleton’s chief executive Dr Justin Ives has waded in - pointing out that the council offered to lease part of a car park to the police to avoid the problem.

The offer, apparently, was rejected - but with parking anger growing perhaps a rethink is needed?