SO Farewell Roy, our much-loved pound-a-bag man.

We wonder what he’d be thinking now if he could see the reaction his passing has caused. Undoubtedly he’d be utterly shocked.

Thousands have come forward to pay their respects-to this simple chap who lived a simple life and yet who made such a mark on the residents, visitors and traders of Chesterfield and beyond.

Why would one death provoke such a response?

Because the Roys of this world are few and far between - and getting fewer.

Because his permanence at his stall, come rain, hail or shine, was something tangible, reliable, in our ever-changing world.

Because he represented a declining tradition of local, quality, personal service in our era of multi-plexes, chain stores and out-of-town shopping centres.

Because Chesterfield will never, ever, be the same again.

It has been heart-warming to read the tributes in this week’s Derbyshire Times and to peruse the thousands of comments on the Facebook site set up in his memory (the link to it is on our website).

Rest in peace Roy. The Derbyshire Times salutes you.