RUNCORN has changed so much.

When we were kids it was a great town.

I can remember playing on the fields making goalposts out of our jumpers and playing cricket with a scrappy tennis ball and piece of wood.

We would walk to the shop with 10p and buy a bag of sweets and share them with our mates and play on space hoppers in the street.

We used to ride our bikes to Big Park and Grange Park.

Families would leave their doors unlocked and wander in with a knock and shout ‘it’s only me’.

Kids called their mates’ mums auntie Jean or auntie Mary and everyone respected each other.

After reading in the World last week about a cyclist being stabbed by a gang I wonder where it went wrong.

I left Runcorn 30 years ago and whenever I visit I see it get worse.

I now make sure the doors are locked on my car as I drive through.

I watched a kid going through the shops I used to walk through daily and wondered how the town has changed from a family community where everyone helped each other, people worked hard and the children grew up learning to respect everyone.

Our elders who have passed away must look down and wonder in despair at what happened to the town they worked so hard to grow.

May the thugs who did this to what was a great town and community go to Hell. I hope they feel the contempt and hurt that we now feel.

Paul Isherwood