I FELL off my bike in May and had to have an emergency hip replacement at Forth Valley Royal Hospital. This month, on taking back to the Falkirk depot the occupational therapy equipment for it to be re-used, I was informed they took the shower stool and high toilet seat but not the walking frame, elbow crutches or litter pickers. They could be dumped in the skip there, where we could both see a good number of people had already taken the advice. When I asked if any other place would take them I was advised to go to the health centre. The two receptionists there said although they also thought it was a drain on NHS money they were not allowed to take those items either. When we persevered and went to our local hospice charity shop, they eventually took them.

However, on talking to our daughter from Fife later about the problem, she said her local health clinic took back her elbow crutches with no problem.

Surely this should be the case throughout Scotland and the Scottish Parliament should be made aware of the great cost to the NHS this has been and will be if other regions are doing this in addition to ours?

Mrs Isabel Henderson, Falkirk.


ANOTHER depressing report in the business section on the downturn in manufacturing and job losses at Rolls-Royce and other manufacturers ("Rolls-Royce’s future in Scotland ‘under review’ after record loss", The Herald, August 28). The Scottish Government can act to avert these losses by cancelling all existing contracts for wind turbines and re-tendering with a requirement that all manufacturing take place in Scotland. After all, it promised 28,000 green energy jobs but has only delivered 1,700 to date.

Bill Eadie, Giffnock.


NOW that churches are re-opened or opening soon can I make a plea to the First Minister to actively encourage the re-opening of not only church halls but also community halls and centres, masonic halls and the like?

These facilities are not only used by the members of that group but also the wider community, especially our oldest and youngest members. They have been unable to participate in the vast expanse of community activities for nearly six months, in old folk's groups, childminding sessions, coffee mornings (which invariably mean a charity donation) bingo sessions, indoor bowls, playgroup for toddlers – an inexhaustible list of activities.

These sessions are invaluable to all groups and extremely essential for social and mental-health wellbeing.

Patrick Tonner, Dumbarton.


WITH regard to the article by Martin Williams concerning the state takeover of Ferguson Marine farce ("State takeover of shipyard was ‘in the public interest’, MSPS told", The Herald, August 27), surely I am not the only seafarer to be mildly amused to read that the Government minister at the public inquiry was a Mr Wheelhouse and wonder if the £30 million lifeline thrown to Fergusons to prevent it sinking into oblivion was in fact a bridging loan?

Andy Davidson, East Kilbride.


AMY Kinnaird’s happy recollection of words used in her childhood which still stir up feelings of comfort (Letters, August 28), stirred my own memories of feeling “grown-up” in the 1940s with a shared tipple of sugarally water (a liquorice stick "marinated" in water), and puffing away on a smoking cinnamon stick with companions in crime.

Perhaps that made me the man I am today.

R Russell Smith, Kilbirnie.