SOME might say it was the biggest display of public support in Banbury since the town massed to see the legendary Fine Lady on Her White Horse – whenever that was.

There were about 5,000 of us, all wanting the bureaucrats to lay off threatening The Horton General Hospital.

Investing £6 on a T-shirt bearing the words “It’s time to fight for our lives”, I was part of a chain of hand-holding protesters that encircled the hospital on Sunday morning.

Young, old, healthy, infirm, they were all there pressing home the importance of the hospital, especially to us in the north of the county. There were even ‘ladies in waiting’ counting down the remaining days to their confinement, as my grandma used to describe it. One young woman said she had “a week to go”. I unsuccessfully advised against her jumping up and down and waving a banner!

Whether the protest will save The Horton’s general hospital status or make someone think again about turning the natal unit into one led by midwives alone, is yet to be seen. I’m not usually a pessimist, but I have a sneaky feeling decisions have already been made.

Please prove me wrong. No Yorkshireman likes to invest six quid on a loser.

  • MY old school chum Grahame is a professional musician and has never tolerated our National Anthem. The sentiment – yes. The tune – no.

Each time our Olympic sportsmen and women won another gold, I pictured Grahame writhing in his chair. I phoned to rub salt into the wound.

“When you win 27 golds as we did, any anthem is music to the ears,” he said. “Perhaps advancing age or their success has made me more tolerant towards that crappy tune.” It’s never too late, is it?

THE wonderful music of Glenn Miller and the enormous talent of Tommy Steele, regarded as Britain’s first rock ‘n’ roll star, can only spell success at the New Theatre box office next week.

With Tommy’s unquenchable enthusiasm and presence, and a 16-piece orchestra on stage, singers and dancers performing songs that have not faded in 70 years, The Glenn Miller Story is something I’m looking forward to seeing.

I’ve tried to find out how the story will be told live on stage compared with the 1954 classic film, starring James Stewart, but lips are sealed. I’m happy to be surprised.

  • FINALLY, those who planned the multi-million-pound layout for Frideswide Square have come in for criticism following the return of contractors for essential repair work – and with it, road chaos.

All I’ll say is I hope our planners are never put in charge of corporate hospitality at a brewery.