What a pleasant change it makes to read your new columnist, Simon Allford, after the platitudes and self-obsession of the previous one, Will Alsop.
From what he has written so far, Allford seems to have a real interest in the problems that small practices face and a desire, as he says, 'to raise the quality of the bottom line of architecture produced in this country, without hindering the emergence of the undoubted talents at the top' (AJ 15.1.04).
More power to his elbow on that one. And nice to to see that, unlike the connoisseur of BA inflight service who came before him, Allford is really down to earth. I think more of us can relate to a long weekend in an 18th-century coastguard's cottage than endless trips to Toronto or wherever. Keep up the good work, Simon.
Ivor Patterson, Banbury, Oxfordshire