Last Saturday the sun shone and my mother decided to take the train to York from Warrington, a two-hour journey but worth it to visit such a beautiful city, enjoy the shops and have lunch. My father passed away on Christmas Eve two years ago after 54 years together and she has spent all this time trying to gain enough confidence to go out alone and to eat in nice restaurants alone: no easy task for a woman who will soon be 75.

As lunchtime approached she decided to look for somewhere to eat. She was refused a table for one at every one of the six restaurants she went into, whilst people behind her were being accepted - two people, three people and even five people at one restaurant. Staff pleasantly refused her, however, it was obvious it was because she was alone and financially a table for one was not going to deliver that all-important December budget.

After walking up and down every street and being refused six times she then had no appetite for anything, especially food, so headed back for the next train home, thoroughly disappointed and her confidence knocked.

What greed we have today in our society. The unspoken, blatantly obvious reason was – why take one person when you can make more money with two or more?

Well, York, you should feel ashamed. You will have had a very successful day financially but you ruined my mother’s and I am sure she will not be visiting again.

Phil Maddock,

Labourham Way,

Cheddar, Somerset