WELL done to those honest people at Strensall Post Office, who have received glowing praise from City of York Council.

Staff at the post office were pleasantly surprised to get a letter from senior enforcement officer Steve Chamberlain.

It reads: "During the months of August and September 2007, trading standards officers asked 15-year-old volunteers to attempt to buy alcohol from a number of premises in the City of York area."

A number of shops were caught out by the test-purchasing operation. But Mr Chamberlain writes: "Your premises was one of the places visited. I am pleased to inform you that the volunteers were unable to purchase alcohol from your premises."

The staff were no doubt feeling suitably puffed up about such praise. Or they would have done if it were not for one small point. The post office doesn't sell alcohol.

Still, a spot of praise never goes amiss. So well done again to everyone at the post office for not selling something they don't sell in the first place.

Be all and end all of Holgate

THE great Holgate debate goes on.

Diary fan Paul Hepworth has written us a letter - nay, an essay - on exactly where this elusive part of York begins and ends.

It is worth reproducing in full.

"Holgate was incorporated in to the city of York way back in 1884. At that time, much of its boundary was defined by Holgate Beck, which rises in Severus Hill behind Regent Buildings on Acomb Road.

"The beck then describes a pear-shaped arc, passing under Holgate Road near the Fox Inn, and then passes under the former carriageworks site and thence into the River Ouse.

"Much of the beck has now been culverted, but the late David A A Lodge, Holgate's local historian, arranged for the old York City Council to erect Holgate' signs on the nearest lampposts to the actual boundaries at the then entrances to the ward. Most of these signs are still in situ today.

"Coming from York, Holgate Road, ie the road TO Holgate, becomes Acomb Road, ie the road TO Acomb where it enters the Holgate area.

"Further along this changes again in front of Regent Buildings to York Road, Acomb, as it crosses the boundary. Further south, Hamilton Drive receives the addendums of East' and West' where it leaves Holgate.

"There is a short section of River Ouse bank in Holgate, near the RSPCA animal shelter, and I recall learning that bygone Holgate residents had the right to land various good there, free of tolls and taxes and other encumbrances'."

Paul adds: "There are still some misguided people who believe that Acomb Road, West Bank School and the nearby park are all in Acomb. They aren't - they are in Holgate."

He's even supplied a map, which we don't have space to reproduce. But if anyone would like a copy, do get in touch at the addresses below.