SIR: The Christmas market will not run in Winchester this December.

The loss of the skating rink is sad, it provided enjoyment and used a skill, and was good to look at.

The loss of the market stalls is not a cause of sorrow, but of relief at their absence. I estimate that 80 per cent of them provided standard produced goods which had little merit, and mass produced, though there were good stalls particularly the photographers.

The cathedral is to be congratulated for showing initiative in setting this up, but they could have shown much more skill in selecting stalls which sold interesting goods. Where was any taste or originality in what was in display for the market? The Cathedral stands for excellence, but the market was sold to the highest bidder regardless of quality.

The market was heavily advertised, and there were buses leaving Cardiff and Bath to come here. Winchester became crowded with visitors and it was impossible to move up and down the High Street, or in the Square. Drink and food prices went up and the city became a foreign to the residents.

With its absence we will be able to walk about freely, and have more silence, one of the spiritual qualities I associate with Christmas.

Rupert Pitt,

St Cross Road,

Winchester