AT last someone has put the "stresses and strains" of lockdown into proper context in the form of Doug Marr's column ("What would the wartime generation think of us?", The Herald, July 10).

There were indeed those who had to cope with Covid-19 bereavements, but did the rest of us suffer? I listened throughout lockdown to radio phone-ins where folk carped about the “hardships” they were enduring by not seeing their family; the “stress” of having to staying at home; the mental health “risks” of not socialising with pals; or the “depressions” caused by this, that and the other.

During lockdown I documented my dad’s wartime career in the Army, which included countless (daytime and night-time) reconnaissance missions behind enemy lines to spy on military activities and capture Germans for interrogation. Every day (for several years) he and his colleagues did not know whether they would witness the next 24 hours.

Lockdown bleaters need to view their situation in this and similar contexts.

James Miller, Glasgow G12.

CHARLES Dickens wrote at the beginning of A Tale of Two Cities that "It was the best of times. It was the worst of times." Today with the continuing consequences of the pandemic, it is certainly not the best of times, and for many it is proving to be the worst of times.

Given that background, it is important that, at least occasionally, we witness something to lift us from the doldrums during what for many has proved to be an unprecedentedly difficult experience caused by the virus.

I had such an experience recently as a result of watching the three-part TV series Battle of Britain: Our Finest Hour. Who could fail to be moved when reminded of the courage, skill, and selflessness of the young men who faced the might of the Luftwaffe in 1940 and succeeded in saving our country from Nazi invasion. There were many individual stories of heroism depicted, for which the many should be forever grateful to the few. I was particularly moved by the description of the bravery of John Hannah of 83 Squadron RAF, who was born in Paisley, my home town. At the age of 18 , because of his tireless efforts, causing him considerable physical injury, in putting out a fire on his plane, he was awarded the VC, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. He later died at the young age of 25.

It was heartening to be reminded of what that generation of young people (many were so young) were capable of when faced with great challenges, which they met head-on in discharging what they considered to be their duty. Today we should be ever mindful that the young people of today are facing different, but considerable, demands with thousands having left school, college and university, concerned about their futures, particularly with the considerable uncertainty prevalent in the jobs market. They will need the support of our governments, consideration of employers where possible, and encouragement from the rest of us.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.


JAMES Martin (Letters, July 9) talks about the lack of public toilets preventing him taking his grandchildren to a park. Well, as a plumber of 55 years I would not be happy to let my grandchildren use many of the unmanned public toilets I have had the misfortune to work in.

There is an absolute need for all such places to be kept as clean as they are supposed to be in normal times and in these times the cleaning would have to be immaculate. I would not ask any council employee to man a public toilet and expect them to clean down all the WCs, wash basins and door handles every time anyone came in. I can just imagine the abuse any toilet attendant would suffer if the public were asked to wait outside or to use hand sanitisers on entry and wash their hands adequately before leaving. This is compounded by the fact that many young children are sent into toilets alone – and in too much of a hurry to attend to hygiene.

John W Aitken, Falkirk.


REGARDING language variations causing misunderstandings (recent letters including one of mine), never mind different parts of Scotland, it can happen within Glasgow. On taking a line to the bookies for my husband, I complained to the girl: "He sits for ages studying the form and then I've got five minutes to get here for a £1.20 bet." She said: "Is it gaun aff the noo?" and I replied: "I don't know, I didn't look at the names of the horses," prompting a very puzzled look from behind the counter. So if we ever own a racehorse, it's going to be named Gnaffthenoo.

Mary Duncan, Glasgow G69.