Pubs, in an odd way, are like churches. We all say we like them, but fewer and fewer of us actually go.

The Horns is facing this predicament. The Hempstead Road pub and live music venue is struggling to attract enough drinkers - and is effectively appealing for a benefactor to help it stay open.

Read more:

Struggling live venue is in need of support

The pub is a Watford landmark, and was a staging post for many bands on their way to success. Chas & Dave, Paul Young, Dr Feelgood are among the bands to have played there.

Watford Observer:

But history does not pay the bills, and the problems facing The Horns are those facing many other pubs.

Cheap alcohol from supermarkets, stagnating wages, longer working hours, a rise in business rates that hurt many with valuable premises and even uncertainty over Brexit are just some of the many nails in the coffin.

People no longer go for a pint after work or a drink in the evening. When they do flex and elbow, many go for a sit-down meal with their family.

Even students don't drink that much any more, if police are to be believed.

The received wisdom is that to stay afloat, a pub has to offer food. Not good news for the town centre boozer or live venues, even those with an impressive roster.

Your bank may have become a trendy wine bar. That wine bar may now have closed and reopened briefly as a restaurant, then a vape shop, or finally been redeveloped into flats as shops fare little better in the age of Amazon and Deliveroo.

If we don't want pubs to be one more place we used to go, there is something we can do.

A pint with your friends is one of the last things you can't order online. We should all get out more.

How to save a tortoise

Watford Observer:

We have all seen those nature documentaries in which thousands of mother turtles descend on beaches in the Pacific Ocean to lay their eggs. Months later, summoned by some unseen force, the eggs hatch and the tiny reptiles begin their hazardous journey to the sea.

Something similar appears to be happening in Hertfordshire, this time involving pet tortoises.

The determined absconders are burrowing or crawling under fences, pushing aside barriers and generally getting free and setting off, but where to and why?

One large specimen had to be returned to its owner in a wheelbarrow. The RSPCA has become so concerned by the spate of absentee reptiles that it has issued advice on what to do if you encounter one.

Read more:

Another giant tortoise found wandering around in Hertfordshire

Tortoises are robust animals, able to defend themselves against most predators the English countryside holds, but may fare less well against traffic. Although undemonstrative creatures, they also have owners who love them.

So if you see an animal that should not be there, call in the experts, and fetch a barrow.