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Preserving Sighthill stones is imperative

As the custodian of the research by my great grandfather Alexander Thom and my grandfather Archie Thom, I am writing to add my family's support for the maintenance and completion of the Sighthill stone circle.

Alexander was an engineer and has a building named after him in the campus of Oxford University. The monument in Glasgow is recognition of his massive efforts in the study of our megalithic ancestors.

It seems a remarkable opportunity in building for a potential sports event to have this work incorporated and celebrated in a newly invigorated part of the city: regeneration with heritage built in. Surely when the city takes on wonderful events it should be respectful of and harmonious with the culture and fabric of that city.

As a visual artist I am aware of the invaluable power generated when art links with other subjects to create a dialogue for people to interact with. The Sighthill stones are an exemplar of this. The stones have been meticulously placed to align precisely in two directions to the celestial bodies, according to the theories of the Thoms. The four great minds that are honoured were all associated with the city of Glasgow and Scotland.

When Duncan Lunan and his team began the project, it was in advance of its time as an artwork that talks to the stars and the people of Sighthill, placing both in their universal place. It cuts across heritage, astronomy, geography, community and space in a wonderful way. Ironically, there was an inflatable Stonehenge entitled Sacrilege parachuted into the city in the summer. It provided a lot of fun and chat but let us please not lose sight of the power and depth in the Sighthill stones in the days where other civic sites are being pulled down.

The Sighthill stones should not be removed, they should be completed, celebrated and cherished for future generations to learn about our ancient past in their own city.

Eoghann MacColl,

Seright Square, Crookedholm, Ayrshire.

Paul Sweeney's erudite plea on behalf of Springburn Burgh Halls clearly fell on deaf ears (Letters, December 27). The newly razed site is testament to a cavalier disregard for communities and for our Victorian forefathers' legacy of flamboyant architecture, swashbuckling civil engineering, splendid public parks and libraries; often donated to the villages which now constitute Glasgow.

I note and applaud ex-Provost Bob Winter's endeavours for the sensitive refurbishment of Maryhill Burgh Halls, John Prescott's revitalised environs of Hull and so on. Interestingly, during the Springburn Halls' decline the constituency was represented by the Speaker of the Commons.

As a pupil of Albert Senior Secondary School (now also disappeared) our prizegivings and school operas formed part of the programme of events at Springburn Burgh Halls, supported by a warm and proud community of world-class engineers and their families. I later witnessed the impact of Margaret Thatcher's negation of the community concept and the parallel transfer of railway workshops to Derby. Meanwhile our planners championed housing us in concrete filing cabinets notable for their minimalist ground plan, maximum density and abject sterility. The Red Road Flats, built on less than a square mile, housed more souls than Perth but without a commensurate increase in transport or other obvious services.

In this context it is more than a public hall that has been dismantled but a society, by its own elected leaders obsessed with the price of everything and the value of nothing.

George Devlin,

Rosebank, 6 Falcon Terrace Lane, Glasgow.

If ever one wished to have a classic illustration of how the manufacturing base of the UK was downsized, it is with the history of J & P Coats ("J & P Coats hit hard by economic crisis", The Herald, December 28).

The company went from employing 20,000 people in Paisley just after the Second World War to zero today. There is now no thread production in the town. The inhabitants are left with a few street names (Thread Street, Gauze Street, Cotton Street, and Silk Street) and a few buildings (Clark Town Hall and Coats Observatory). This represents a poor exchange for the massive loss of employment with its deleterious effect on the area. Was destruction of the thread industry inevitable because of macro-economic forces or caused by a mixture of bad management and lack of corporate vision?

Ian W Thomson,

38 Kirkintilloch Road,

Lenzie.

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