The Old Ship Inn

SIR - I felt that I had to write to express my concern over your coverage of the sale of The Old Ship and, latterly, of the pub industry in general.

Firstly, Roger and Linda Newton are business people. The pub had been on the market for approximately three years. As long as no laws are broken, I cannot see whose concern it is who bought it. Perhaps those that are now complaining should have looked into the purchase of it to preserve it? Roger and Linda certainly do not deserve the backlash that they are receiving.

Secondly, your dramatisation of the fact that The Balfour Arms is also up for sale also paints a very damning picture.

It is well documented that the pub industry (and indeed many others) faces difficult times at the moment, but the fact that a business is sold or is for sale DOES NOT mean it is not viable. Dozens of viable businesses change hands every week.

The Sidmouth Herald used to be a local paper to support local people/businesses. It seems to me that, since moving to Exeter, it may have lost touch with local news?

Stephen French

The Radway Inn, Sidmouth

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ED: While your comments are extremely welcome I think it is right to point out that you do not dispute the essential facts of the stories to which you refer. Consequently, rather than demonstrate that we have lost touch with local news, your comments rather exemplify the fact that we go to great lengths to reflect it.