Scarborough tradition

Contrary to Stephen Smith's piece on seaside entertainment (The Back Half, 16 October), "Bamforth's of Scarborough" is not being "forced to shut down". There never was a Bamforth's of Scarborough: there was, 20-odd years ago, a Bamford's, but that was one of the town's best fish and chip shops down by the harbour, not known for producing saucy postcards.

Bamforth's the printers was a Holmfirth (Last of the Summer Wine country) firm, and when it closed some years ago, its stock of saucy designs passed to E T W Dennis & Sons Ltd of Scarborough - which has now been closed down, following a well-established Scarborough tradition led by the Floral Hall, the Open Air Theatre, the Opera House, the Mere (with its Hispaniola trips to Ben Gunn's island to dig for doubloons) and a host of cinemas including the Odeon (although Alan Ayckbourn has bucked the trend by reinventing the latter as the Stephen Joseph Theatre).

There has been a long and well-rehearsed debate about chickens and eggs, in relation to such closures, and the disappearance of holidaymakers from English seaside resorts.

Ian Watson

This article first appeared in the 23 October 2000 issue of the New Statesman, Why Brown should hold his nerve