MY wife and I have recently returned from a two-week holiday in Great Malvern and I have to say that I have never been more impressed with any town and any area that we have visited.

Everything lived up to its reputation. We stayed in Barton Cottage in Mathon, which was a delight.

Malvern itself was beautiful and historic, the lady at the tourist board could not have been more helpful, the hills are picturesque and full of character, and the overall impression was of cheerful bustle merged with serene content.

I have one thing to add. None of the brochures we consulted mentioned the greatest asset Malvern has: the friendliness and politeness of its people.

Every single person we spoke to was friendly.

On one occasion we stopped the car to allow a bevy of teenage schoolgirls cross the road, and every one of them smiled and thanked us. That in itself is a cause for compliments.

There is a lesson there that the rest of this beleaguered country could learn from.

We were more than impressed. Thank you, Malvern, Worcestershire and Herefordshire for restoring our faith in the essential decency of people.

Cathy and Malcolm Archibald