THE University of Glasgow, I feel, risks being seen as mean-spirited in cancelling graduation ceremonies this year for students (as it announced on March 2) and, even now, claiming the pandemic as an excuse for continuing to let the cancellation extend throughout the summer.

Rules surrounding restricted activities have been changing month by month and it should not be beyond the wit of experienced academics to restructure graduations to fit. Scotland will be out of lockdown by the summer months and the university has "oven-ready" annual graduation plans that could easily adapt. Students and their families would certainly race to modify plans to attend.

Students have paid the university dearly for their courses over several years and arguably deserve a little pageantry and photo opportunities to celebrate their success now that rules and restrictions are being relaxed. The late Prince Philip, as we all know, fully understood and championed the uplifting effects of a little pageantry. In addition, many students have felt aggrieved at having to pay for unnecessary student accommodation over the past year. Moreover, since March 2020 students have been forced to accept online lectures, an experience far short of perfect, with many laboratories and other elements of their courses cancelled. A graduation ceremony would go a long way to lessening the effect of feeling short-changed over the past year of their course.

Might you challenge Glasgow University (and its kindred institutions) to adapt and act swiftly to put some form of graduation in place for the summer? Families supporting graduations would bring a welcome and measurable boost to the hotel and restaurant trade across the city.

Ruth Walden, Cambridgeshire.


IAIN Gulland, CEO of Zero Waste Scotland is quite correct to highlight the scandal of food waste in Scotland ("Stop wasting food and help save the planet", Agenda, The Herald, May 3). Most local authorities provide a bin for residents to put their food and garden waste in, for weekly or fortnightly collection and recycling, many miles from the point of collection. However, for anyone with a garden or allotment there is a much simpler, easier, and cheaper solution (in terms of CO2 vehicle emissions.)

Using pallets or other waste wood, why not construct a home-composting system? Nearly all food waste, with the possible exception of meat and fish, can be put in your bin; add grass cuttings, cardboard (egg boxes are ideal), shredded paper, annual weeds, some seaweed, and horse or cow manure. When full, turn into an empty bin and start filling the first one again. By the end of a summer you will have a large bin full of nourishment for your garden for next year. Simply spread on the soil and the worms will do the rest.

Rose Harvie, Dumbarton.


TODAY'S pre-breakfast reading of your first batch of letters (May 5) was a depressing experience of claim and counter-claim, lessened by Celia Judge's amusing lampooning of party leaders.

Casting an eye to the second page of letters, I noticed another contribution by Thelma Edwards. My cornflakes tasted better than usual as I read another from Mrs Edwards' seemingly inexhaustible supply of reminiscences.

I look forward to many more.

David Miller, Milngavie.


JANICE GRANT (Letters, May 4) notes that her late mother used to say you could tell good breeding by the way someone held their knife. Attending a smart luncheon, I was amongst guests from mixed backgrounds, including HM The Queen. The chairman took it upon himself to advise us on the correct way to hold our cutlery.

I was amused to note that the Queen failed to get the memo. Or did she?

William Douglas, Balfron.


DOUG Marr’s dismay at the dullness of the run-up to May’s elections ("Old time political campaigns were enriched by the lost art of heckling", The Herald, May 3), brought back memories of robust political debates held in Glasgow University Union in the 1950s.

In particular, one featuring on stage the long-time medical student, Labour luminary J Dickson Mabon (1925-2008), President of GU Union 1951-52, the Scottish Union of Students 1954-55, later long-serving and respected politician, and an opposing feisty young lady lawyer, which drew the comment from the floor: “We’ve had Dick Mabon, can we now have the lady’s briefs?”

R Russell Smith, Largs.


I WOULD suggest the actual comment made vis a vis Mike Winter's Glasgow Empire entry (Letters, May 5) was somewhat more scathing and irreverent than reported. The phrase quoted, "Oh no, there's two of them", does not have the true ring of a Glasgow Empire audience pathos.

Allan C Steele, Giffnock.