I HAVE just returned from my annual early spring break in Northumberland and I am pleased to say the county still possesses its irresistible charm.
However, things seem to have deteriorated somewhat in Alnwick where I have observed a distinctly run-down look about the town combined with a general air of pessimism in the various emporia I have visited.
I have walked the town centre and its immediate environs and have been dismayed to find evidence of neglect – streets and pavements unswept, innumerable pockets of discarded rubbish with some areas obviously untouched since the autumn.
I realise that there are financial constraints in operations, but basic upkeep of property such as a simple coat of paint would sharpen the appeal to the all-important visitor.
I notice that in most other parts of the county, there appears to be a slightly more positive attitude and this manifests itself in the general appearance of the area.
I wonder – is Alnwick losing heart and pride? Is the council apathetic? Or is it a bit of both?
I shall be back next spring and I do hope I see a difference.