Over the years we have had a wide range of written contributions to this magazine. From poetry to prose they have all offered something unique, and, whether published or not, have all played a role in its evolution. This month we introduce a new contributor, Jack Crossley, on page 36. A vastly experienced and well respected journalist, Jack, now retired, trawls the national and regional press seeking out those instances of reporting that make him smile. A former editor of The Times says of Jack, “All of human life is supposed to be in the press, but by the next day is wrapping fish. Jack Crossley has unwrapped the fish and salvaged life. He has stripped it of all that is serious, pompous, boring and transient. He has distilled humanity down to its finest hour, the hour when it laughs.” At a time when life is so intensely serious and humour is under attack, it is a pleasure to highlight humanity’s cock-ups. Whether Irish, English, Scottish, Welsh, northerner or southerner, we have all taken a battering in the name of humour over the years, and it is our ability to laugh at ourselves that has helped us survive it. In a past career I helped manage a 400-seat comedy club and four nights a week laughed my heart out for a few hours – they were usually the most memorable hours of the working week. Occasionally, humour, whether written or in cartoon form can cause offense, and, though often unintended, that should be avoided. However if we take ourselves too seriously and become wary of when to laugh, we may lose something very special.