I READ with more than a passing interest the article on the arrival of the Polaris fleet in the Holy Loch in 1961 (“The canoe versus the submarine”, Herald Decades, Herald magazine, May 21).

Most press and TV reporting thereafter focused on the CND demonstrations, the Cold War and the eventual establishment of the Peace Camp near the naval base.

What is perhaps less well known (to the best of my knowledge, no written record exists,) is that sea-borne counter-offensives took place from Inverclyde, comprising young female volunteers who commandeered ferry services sailing to Dunoon and the surrounding areas.

Although this was the pre-internet age, word rapidly spread and land-based ‘assaults’ took place in Glasgow, centred on hospitality and entertainment venues.

The code-name for these became known as ‘Operation Bag a Yank’. Some of the these volunteers were successful in their endeavours. Some were not.

By the time I arrived in Greenock as a recently-qualified social worker, the sea and land offensives were much reduced, but did continue from time to time.

Nevertheless, experienced social workers, in the finest oral history tradition, felt it essential to brief me on the foregoing.

The need for this quickly became clear as some of the former ‘Combatants’ came into the social work office to demand that I/we rectify the stoppage or diminution of maintenance payments for children born after ‘active service’

Had my social work training prepared me for this? No. This scenario was not on the curriculum.

Older and wiser colleagues advised me to check the exchange rate between the dollar and pound, then phone the US base at the Holy Loch, speak to the Duty Officer, name the miscreant, including rank and number, and “Get it sorted out”.

Before any of the cases I was involved with caused a diplomatic incident, I devised my own exit strategy and headed off for more ‘shock and awe’ at HMP Barlinnie.

Ann Ross-McCall, Glasgow.



HAVING given up on the “coffin nails” before getting hitched nearly 60 years ago, it was interesting to see the results of a recent study linked to both activities (“Smokers ‘likelier to remain single’,” May 21).

With no regrets and a clear conscience I was clearly ahead of my time, unlike the journalist, poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling, (1885-1936 ), who penned these lines:

“For Maggie has written a letter to give me my choice between

The wee little whimpering Love and the great god Nick o’Teen.

... A million surplus Maggies are willing to bear the yoke;

And a woman is only a woman, but a good Cigar is a Smoke” (The Betrothed, 1886).

I guess “if he were alive today he’d be turning over in his grave”, unquote.

R Russell Smith, Largs.



STEVIE Campbell (letters, May 23) should have read my letter carefully. I can assure him that the cost of travel to, accommodation and admission at Seville far exceeded €400.

Off now to see whether the larder has spam for breakfast. My wife and I were unaware that having paid so much for our house, we could afford only spam, aka special processed American meat. I remember it well.

David Miller, Milngavie.


I AM not a football fan but having seen highlights of the Rangers-Hearts Scottish Cup final and the English premiership’s deciding matches, can I make a suggestion?

At Hampden there was no pitch invasion – explained in part, no doubt, by a double ring of security personnel. Down south, perhaps such a precaution was seen as too expensive.

If in the case of a pitch invasion, the teams were automatically docked two points if any fans are arrested or seen on the pitch with their team colours displayed, this would stop invasions overnight. In Manchester City’s case it would have cost them the league title.

James Watson, Dunbar, East Lothian.



IN yesterday’s letters (May 22) Dr Carys Bennett, of the Peta Foundation, writes that the future is vegan. If that is true then the future is mince.

Michael Watson, Rutherglen.



A GROUP of eco-warriors, The Tyre Extinguishers, have deflated the tyres of more than 3,000 cars across the UK. Their avowed target for the end of the year is 10,000.

This is serious, co-ordinated criminal activity but Police Scotland say that if there is no damage, only inconvenience, then the matter would be treated as a breach of the peace offence.

The law must be changed before a deflator ends up in hospital. They are not eco-warriors but eco-cowards who use the cover of darkness to target vehicles.

Why do they not go to America, where there are millions of 4x4s to target? Could it be that the US police and judiciary do what the public wants?

Sadly our woke police commanders prefer the soft-touch approach and ensure that officers dance and skateboard with eco-demonstrators, and ask those glued to the roads if they are comfortable. Time for UK police to change tactics and for judges to impose serious jail time.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow.



TIME and again your cartoonist, Steven Camley, hits the nail on the head.

His work is invariably of a very high standard, despite the many challenges faced by a daily newspaper cartoonist – keeping the material topical and concise, as well as observant and funny is no mean feat.

Two of his recent cartoons stand out for me. Saturday’s public transport-theme one and last Wednesday’s cartoon about our beloved PM signing the NI Protocol.

They made me smile, but more importantly they made me think, too.

D. Macdonald, Glasgow.

* STEVEN Camley has excelled himself in Saturday’s Herald. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at the thoughts expressed.

Gordon W Smith, Paisley.