The weather outside may have been chilly, but there was a warm welcome on the Daily Echo’s Big Red Sofa.

Hedge End was the latest setting for the paper’s editor-in-chief Ian Murray to set up camp and meet with readers, shoppers and passers- by.

Plenty of folk found time to stop and chat with Ian as they visited the giant Sainsbury’s and Marks and Spencer’s stores.

“As usual, there were quite a few folks willing to stop and chat about all manner of things to do with the area and especially what they liked about the paper and, of course, where they thought we could do even better,” said Ian.

“Mind you, I think quite a few were also glad of the opportunity to put their feet up and snatch a rest for five minutes on the sofa, especially some of the husbands.”

Topics ranged from local history to possible news items and how Southampton FC were faring.

“As always the staff at the two stores were marvellous,” commented Ian.

Ian and the Big Red Sofa will be visiting another venue in February. Details will be announced in the Daily Echo and on line at