It finally dawned on me that the season of goodwill is upon us when I read S. Thomas's letter (Journal Postbag, December 13) complaining that Salisbury is being turned into a pensioners' ghetto.

No Christmas is complete, it seems, without a ritual dig at the elderly and moans about the construction of retirement properties.

I must say that walking around Salisbury in the evenings, I certainly do not get the impression that the city is being taken over by OAPs. .

Most of the streets, bars and restaurants - particularly at this time of year - seem to be full of younger people in various stages of inebriation.

And why not? They have certainly earned the right to have a good time.

But the old have to have somewhere to live.

The trouble is that there are all too many people willing to criticise pensioners for having the temerity to continue to live in their family homes after their children have flown the nest.

Yet these self-same critics seek to block plans for retirement apartments and bungalows, thus denying senior citizens the opportunity to downsize.

Salisbury is not the only place where this attitude appears to have taken hold.

Campaigns against purpose-built homes for retirees have been organised in Totton, near Southampton, and in Stockbridge just 15 miles from here.

The message seems to be: 'If you're grey, just go away.'

My answer to those with this mindset is - just wait until you get past the age of 60.

Raymond Strawson,

Sixpenny Handley.