TOWN FOCUS: HITCHIN

Firstly, let me declare an interest. I live and work in Hitchin, so I'm biased. I freely admit it and that's why I've put off featuring Hitchin on this blog.

However, the last few days have reminded me why it's such a great town to be part of.

On Thursday, the Market Place in the centre of the town centre was thronged through the late afternoon and evening. Hitchin Street Food brings together some of the great food and drinks providers in the town. Once a month, you can have your choice of falafel, Mexican, pancakes, churros and toasties, with great pub food on the side and ice cream to follow.

Most of the evening, there were queues for all the stands, but great music to listen to (because that's one of the other things we do really, really well in Hitchin).

Saturday saw our usual great Hitchin Market, which always has loads of great offers. It's been doing it for 1,000 years, although it moved from the Market Place to its current home a few decades ago.

Then, on Sunday, hundreds of local residents and businesses donated goods to those in need locals and in Calais, with 18 vans of goods shipped out.

If you're tempted to come and visit Hitchin, there are some great independent places to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee, or lunch, or supper, or everything.

Hitchin regularly appears on the small screen, with the recent Dr Foster filmed largely in and around the town centre and a Victoria Plumb bathroom advert taking over the Market Place in August.

Oh, and did we mention how proud we are of our music? Everything from classical, folk and jazz to pop and rock (especially at the great Club 85 live music venue). If you've heard of James Bay, we'll all tell you how proud we are that he's a local boy. We can't promise you'll hear him in the town, but there's plenty of others you will enjoy, most days of the week.

Come next Saturday (10 October) and you can enjoy Hitchin Fashion Show, with many of our local independents putting on what is always a good event.

We're proud of several local residents, including our Town Centre Manager, Keith Hoskins MBE. He's part of Hitchin Initiative, which celebrates its 20th birthday this year. That's 20 years of helping the town deliver for locals and visitors.