I WRITE to congratulate you, and your very talented team, for continuing to present the people of Bolton and district with the very best of local news reporting.

Your features are invariably full of interest, covering a wide range of subjects and usually illustrated by excellent photography. Congratulations, Angela Kelly!

Alan Calvert's "business" columns are up to date, and whenever possible include encouraging news about successful ventures and enterprising high flyers in the local business world.

It is doubtful if any similar publication in the country provides readers with a quality, well researched page of fascinating local history, such as Les Gent's Looking Back.

Sport! Wow! What superb coverage, do you realise that in one issue of the BEN quite recently, 18 continuous pages out of a total of 32 were 'devoted' (I use the word advisedly) to sport - fantastic!

I could go on to highlight so much of what you do to encourage achievement, eg graduation celebrations (Monday, September 13), to stimulate debate (Opinion) and the excellent Your Views, news from the Town Hall and Westminster etc, very good. But! What on earth have you done with Doreen Crowther's Centre Stage page?

For the host of talented artists, singers, instrumentalists, producers, musical directors, scenery makers, costumiers etc etc, who populate the Bolton art and cultural world - Tuesday's Centre Stage in the BEN is ESSENTIAL READING.

Bolton is very richly blessed with artistic talent, especially among our young people, with world- beating championship bands, and wonderful work being done through the exceptional Bolton music Service, under the inspirational leadership of people like Paul Payton, Jane Hampson, Caroline Baxendale and so many others too numerous to mention.

The BEN's support and sponsorship of so much art and culture, not to mention your leadership in the fight to save the Octagon, is welcomed and appreciated - but please give us back Centre Stage so that we can be well informed and encouraged to support all that is being presented here in Bolton, and further afield, in the world of art and culture.

Reg Parry

Bromwich Street, Bolton

Editor's note: Mr Parry - thank you for your praise of our news, features and sports. It's greatly appreciated. Our Centre Stage page has moved to the Guide Section on Friday, but we will take your suggestions on board.

Would any other readers care to add their thoughts on the subject of Centre Stage?

Converted for the new archive on 14 July 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.