I NOTE your article regarding the near miss between between the ferry crossing between Scotland and Northern Ireland and the nuclear submarine ("Ferry was forced to change course to avoid nuclear submarine, inquiry told", The Herald, July 16). CND has been warning about the dangers of nuclear submarines in busy sea lanes for years – this latest incident was the third such incident in four years. If there is any accident with these nuclear vessels the whole of the Central Belt of Scotland would have to be evacuated. Where would the population be evacuated to? The nuclear convoys travelling the length of Britain from the south of England pose a similar threat.

Next month is the 75th anniversary of the dropping of the nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The modern nuclear weapons are even more dangerous – we risk wiping out the whole of humanity. There is a peace walk at Barshaw Park in Paisley on August 6 at 5pm. We need as many people as possible to come to tell the Westminster Government that we do not wish any nuclear weapons on Scottish soil. If Westminster wants them, Westminster can take them. The Americans can take the warheads to a naval yard in the US.

Margaret Forbes, Kilmacolm.


I'M not surprised Andre Previn was confused (Letters, July 16). One of the first things I learned about scoring was that clarinettists really don't like sharps.

A movement in F# major (six sharps) would normally be written for the "A" clarinet as a matter of course, in A major (3 sharps), rather than E.

Using the Bb clarinet would usually mean writing it in Ab (4 flats); strictly speaking, it's G# but as that would entail eight sharps, thus incurring the wrath of the clarinettist, the enharmonic equivalent flat key is used instead.

Even if the piece was in F# minor (the sharps), it would still usually be written for the "A" clarinet, this time in A minor, a key avoiding all sharps and flats, rather than in the G# minor with its five sharps which the Bb instrument would require.

So I don't see why the part could possibly have been written in "E" anything, nor why it would have been written for the Bb instrument in the first place, unless, of course, the clarinettist was up to some sharp practice.

Jane Ann Liston, St Andrews.


RUSSELL Leadbetter ("Those were the days, The Herald, July 14) asks: “Who is the woman running after Churchill’s car?” While I can’t answer that particular question, I can identify the passenger behind Churchill in the fedora hat, with one foot on the side of the car ready to spring, as Detective Inspector Walter H Thompson. He was assigned as Churchill’s bodyguard over a period that started in 1921 but was constantly in his direct employment from August 1939 to the end of the war. Churchill’s Bodyguard, the authorised biography by Tom Hickman, presents an interesting and different perspective of Winston Churchill, though I am afraid that there is no mention of the particular visit to Glasgow.

John C Hutchison, Fort William.


ANENT the discussions regarding the wearing of face masks (Letters, July 16), there is a fortune waiting for the person who designs one not involving ears. Mine are just not big enough to accommodate a mask, as well as glasses and hearing aids.

Morag Thomson, Milngavie.