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Once again, the world has sent us their most talented young people to enhance Alnwick’s international reputation.

Travelling for days, at their own expense, for almost primitive accommodation, why do they come to this ‘off the track’ little town?

Such is the reputation of the festival that many people travel from much further than I do.

I met a lady from Kent on Tuesday and in the past new friends from Exeter, Swansea, Belfast, even the Shetlands, come here to spend in the town and castle besides supporting the shows.

As usual, I had a spat with a local who ‘objects to the bucket’.

Of course, I jumped in with: “Lots of people come a long way to spend here and you would not get much of a free show anywhere else.”

Her reply was: “They clog up the town.”

But, every pound helps your shops and businesses to keep going, does it not?

You do not need to know a word of ‘forin’ to follow the music and dance, it is universal.

As an amateur maker of replicas of earliest bowed instruments, I was fascinated by the strange Chinese violin-type instruments that they play and was privileged to speak to the user and get a close-up of the two-stringed instruments.

Like the others and their music, they go back 3,000 years, long before China was one nation, the Greeks and Romans had not even started fighting in the ‘Med’.

You do not know how many ‘colonials’ and others invade Alnwick in their holidays, which they may not if the Festival does not get the support that it deserves. Now a lively ‘antique’, I shall keep braving the A1 until they fill the gap in ‘the wall’.

Colin Hierde, 82,

Sheffield