Dear Reader - Odeon improves at last + in praise of plastic £5 notes

A weekly look at life by the Harrogate Advertiser's Graham Chalmers

The Harrogate Advertiser's Graham Chalmers.
The Harrogate Advertiser's Graham Chalmers.

It was such a gorgeously sunny day on Sunday that I went to the pictures.

Thankfully, the temperature was a lot cooler inside the Harrogate Odeon than out as I watched a new movie with George Clooney and Julia Roberts.

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Not that they were there next to me, though it was nice to be sitting in what was clearly a new leather chair with greater leg room - and at a normal price.

My comfort was thanks to a series of improvements taking place at the Odeon.

They’re very welcome – and long overdue.

Readers have been grumbling to this newspaper about this grand old lady of picture houses for a good, few years now.

I’m told the improvements are designed to tie into celebrations later in the year to mark the 80th anniversary of this Grade II listed Art Deco building.

The fact it’s happening just a few months before the arrival of another new cinema in town, may be more than mere coincidence.

Whatever readers think of the Odeon or Everyman, or Ripon Curzon or Wetherby Film Theatre for that matter, one thing is certain.

Going to the pictures today is very different to the days of my early childhood when the adults would rush out before the credits at the end of the film to avoid having to stand for the national anthem and, it has to be admitted, the bits of popcorn usually flung at the screen by us kids.

Journalism has changed a lot since I joined it 30 years ago and I’ve changed a lot, too.

To be honest I’ve had little choice.

Three decades ago, a newsroom was all clattering typewriters and cigarette smoke.

Now it’s laptops and Clouds of a different kind.

Not that I’m complaining. I have no wish to become stale, though change does bring its challenges.

Which brings me in the fashion of the late Ronnie Corbett at his meandering best to the real point.

The plastic five pound.

I’d like to put it on record that I welcome the imminent demise of the traditional fiver because I’ve already seen the future.

A few years ago I experienced non-paper notes while on holiday in Canada.

Tear-proof. Water-proof. Plastic notes seem to be altogether more practical than paper.

There is one drawback, however. Folding them in a tight bundle inside your wallet is a bit trickier. The pesky notes tend to reconfigure themselves into their old dimensions no matter what you do.

It may be that they are, in fact, indestructible.

Should the planet ever go up in a puff of smoke in the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust, I dare say all that would be found after the dust had settled would be a plastic five pound note – and Nicholas Parsons.