I FOUND Kirsty Strickland's article ("We must not ease up in the war on domestic abuse", The Herald, July 16 totally abhorrent. I have been the victim of years of domestic abuse as a man by an incredibly manipulative woman who sought to wreck my life in every way possible, including ultimately having our daughter create false sexual allegations against me which in turn wreaked havoc on my life and those around me.

Ms Strickland's article gives the impression that all abusers are men. The naivety of this is startling.

The stats from Women's Aid and the like do not shine a light on how many children are hurt and even killed by mothers. How many children suffer because of the alienation that (as is often the case) a mother makes sure happens between children and their father? False allegations are commonly made which results in a father being denied access to his children.

What is the suicide rate of men in the UK – especially where it is borne from the fruit of domestic abuse from an ex-partner and where contact has been refused as part of the civil process?

The damage caused to our society by this is incalculable and the effects are damaging and long-term to our children. Sadly, my experience is that Scotland has yet to wake up to this problem.

Name and address supplied.


MANY more people would join the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) if they knew who was on the board of governors and who appointed them.

All goods on sale in NTS shops should be sourced in Scotland and labelled accordingly.

Margaret Pennycook, Glasgow G41.


CONGRATULATIONS and full marks to 98-year-old Mrs Rebecca Parker for her fantastic efforts at playing the piano for charity ("Woman, 98, plays piano for 100 days to raise £6k", The Herald, July 17). Her performance brought back memories for me of attending Paisley Theatre in the 1950s to see and hear "Syncopating Sandy" (Sandy Strickleton), who made a career, with more than 500 performances, of marathon piano playing all over Scotland, England, Ireland and the Continent. Regularly he played for well over 100 hours non-stop. He was never recognised by the Guinness Book of Records, but he filled theatres, with audiences coming and going as they pleased. He died in 1975.

Paisley Theatre is, alas, no more, having closed its doors for the final time in 1959. A popular and regular star performer there was Johnny Beattie, also recently, alas, no more. Well done, Mrs Parker and thanks for bringing back the memories.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.


I EXPECT the tonalities of Andre Previn’s hypothetical piece (Letters, July 17 & 18) were chosen precisely for their puzzlement value.

In fact, with the obsolescence of the A clarinet there is now no shirking sharp practice.

Similarly, Bb trumpets are no longer provided with the transposing valve-loop to A, necessitating "fork fingering" in sharp keys, unless one is devious enough to pull the tuning slide out as far as possible and slip an old short cornet shank on the mouthpipe, this permitting flat-key fingering.

Fork-fingering being impracticable for really busy stuff, players generally use a D trumpet for the works of those whom an elderly friend, formerly of the Halle, always referred to as "them old 18th century bastards".

Robin Dow, Rothesay.

THE correspondence around clarinets reminds me of the answer I got when I asked a then third year pupil to "define a transposing instrument please". "It plays the wrang note" was the reply.

Ethel M Fitzgerald, Longforgan.

I NOTE R Russell Smith's letter (July 18) when he refers to the mnemonic Every Good Boy Deserves Favour.

As a very amateur musician I had always thought that the "F" word was in fact Fun. ... even if my music lessons as a child were not always so.

Ron Lavalette, Ardrossan.