MY husband and I recently visited family in Glasgow who live close to the Forth & Clyde Canal, and we decided to take a walk along the footpath.

This was not our first sojourn to Glasgow, and I had been on the canal a couple of years ago and remembered there was a notable amount of trash then.

What a horrible mess this walkway has become. The level of garbage strewn along the banks, on the pavement, and in the canal water was truly phenomenal and just plain disgusting.

What should have been a delightful walk among the daffodils along this 230-year-old waterway was cut short as we were done looking at all the trash.

Not only was it the empty vape boxes, candy wrappers, plastic cups, etc., but entire rubbish bin-bags that had been deposited along the embankment.

And it’s not simply the sadness from the visual affront, but this amount of garbage also presents significant health hazards for people, wildlife, the soil, and water.

In addition to providing a small swath of habitat for the local ecosystem, the research supporting the physical, psychological, emotional, and physiological benefits of walking or bicycling in greenery areas has been well documented.

What a gift this people-friendly and beautiful walkway should be for residents in the middle of a city the size of Glasgow. And of course, it encourages commuting by bicycle, thus decreasing automobile usage.

Here in the States, we certainly have our own problems with litter and damage and try to keep more public areas as cleaned up as possible especially those places most attractive to tourists and beneficial to the local population.

But it’s not always successful for many reasons, primarily financial, but it can also be attributed to the lack of a collective sense of ownership of these public places and ignorance of the multiple levels of benefits.

I hope in the future there will be improvement to rehabilitate and preserve this canal, a truly unique resource. At this point it’s being wasted and it’s heartbreaking.

Lynda Monsey, RN, NP, MSN, Boulder, Colorado, USA.




I HAD lunch in London the day before yesterday with former work colleagues, having not seen them for at least 12 years.

My train from Glasgow Central at 0630 was cancelled because of staff shortages, but I got on the 0737. I arrived at Euston, got the underground to Covent Garden and arrived at the restaurant just 15 minutes late.

My friends afterwards entertained me at a delightful pub until my return train at 1830. That, too, was delayed by an hour, but hey, what the heck.

My message to Malcolm Parkin (“Forget rail – road is the answer”, letters, May 24) and Stephen Murray (“Scotrail is not fit for purpose. After my experience, it’s back to the car for me” (letters, May 25), is ‘Drive on, gentlemen”.

That gives me even more room on the train, where I found the staff excellent, friendly, and helpful.

So Mr Parkin, Mr Murray, you can have the hassle of mad drivers, road jams, and parking, if you want.

I walk out the railway station, and walk home. What’s not to like about that? And I enjoy all the beautiful scenery on the way. Rails, not roads for me, and hopefully many others too.

Andy Stenton, Glasgow.



THE news that the Church of Scotland has said sorry for its capture and murder of witches continues the litany of apologies this century from the Christian churches for the abject failure of their previous moral certainties.

In addition to the murder of witches, the Christian churches have apologised for the industrial-scale paedophilia of their clergy and their cover-up of it, for their attempted genocide of native peoples, for their Magdalene laundries, for their role in the slave trade, for their criminalisation of homosexuality and for their oppressive blasphemy laws.

In the Kirk’s case, it has also apologised for its infamous 1923 “Irish menace” report that has fanned the flames of Scotland’s sectarianism ever since.

All this amply demonstrates that humanity’s progress has been in spite of Christian belief and ethics rather than because of them.

Alistair McBay, Methven, Perth.



IN his thought-provoking article (“It’s not the state’s role to force workers back to the office”, May 24), Andrew McKie suggests that some things have changed the world so much that no return to a society without them is possible, and offers the atom bomb and widespread literacy as examples of such things.

He should read Russell Hoban’s 1980 novel Riddley Walker, in which use of the bomb very swiftly returns the world to a pre-atomic and pre-literate state.

Charlie Friel, Clydebank



BILL Shankly, arguably Scotland’s greatest-ever manager, is immortally quoted as saying: “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.”

Surely, Scotland and Wales should step aside in their World Cup qualifiers and let Ukraine win, allowing their country to be lifted and the USSR to be humiliated in their coverage of the World Cup. Surely, despite all our passions and obsessions, this is more important.

If Eurovision could do it, why cannot we?

Peter Wright, West Kilbride.



AFTER months of relentless criticism of the ferries scandal, I have looked in vain for letters of outrage regarding the recent opening of the Elizabeth Line, five years late and £3 billion over budget.

A. Swanston, Moffat.



JINGS crivvens, Herald, I have been referenced by no less than R Russell Smith in his letter (“GI Brides and Blackfoot Indians”, May 25)

Compared to his frequent and always erudite, informative and unfailingly funny contributions to the letters page, “mine is but a poor thing, but by mine own hand”

Didn’t somebody say somesuch aeons ago? No matter, thank you, Mr Smith. To use a literary term, I am chuffed.

Ann Ross-McCall, Glasgow.