CALMAC operates approximately 33 ferries throughout Scotland and still has a disastrous replacement £97 million ferry contract running which, according to former Ferguson's management, is nearing £300m now ("Scots firm in £400k deal to help bring ferry fiasco to conclusion", The Herald, August 12). Pentland Ferries replaced one ferry for £14m so, based on that costing and not even taking into consideration the considerably smaller size of some of the Calmac ferries, it could have purchased 20 replacement vessels. The real worry: is this the final bill, and how much longer will it take to get even one into service? As Para Handy would have said, "it's a disaaaaster ".

George Dale, Beith.


YOUR correspondent A Johnston (Letters, August 7), writing from Inchinnan, pours scorn (7 August) on the effects of the closure, again, of the A83 at Rest & Be Thankful. The closure may only cause him “only” a 40-minute diversion, but the picture is rather different from an Argyll and Helensburgh perspective.

Let’s take two examples of journeys to Helensburgh – the nearest larger town – from parts of Argyll most affected:

Colintraive (or the Bute Ferry) to Helensburgh is "normally" 81 minutes for the 62 miles (see Google Maps); it is now 60 minutes and 46 miles longer.

Lochgoilhead to Helensburgh is "normally" 56 minutes for the 32 miles; it is now 141 minutes (that’s two and a half times as long) for 85 miles.

A trivial difference? Maybe in Inchinnan, Glasgow or Edinburgh. But not here.

A permanent solution is needed, not fiddling at the edges.

James B Duncan, Cardross.


YOUR article about the Ladies Open at the Renaissance Club by North Berwick appears to have shifted the course's location to Fife, a previously unpublicised consequence of Tuesday's storms perhaps? Top English player, Georgia Hall's wish for good weather is reflected in the headline: “Hall hopes for clear sky in Fife at Scottish Open" (Herald Sport, August 13). Wonder if she has told her rivals?

Jack Davidson, Edinburgh EH10.


REGARDING the deterioration in spoken and written English (Letters, August 11, 12, &13) it has went doon the drain. The most important verb in any language, the verb "to be", is cruelly treated.

For example: "the crowd was ecstatic" (not were) – a collective noun takes a singular verb. Two subjects deserve a plural verb –Snow and rain are (not is) expected tomorrow.

There is also the fate of "fair", "fare" and "fayre" the latter archaic word has been resurrected to lend a "Ye Olde English" flavour and add a touch of class to your event. I despair.

Irene Conway, Giffnock.