THE activities of the Glasgow City Council group for the Repatriation and Spoliation of objects in Glasgow Museums' collection which were looted from other countries ("Talks to repatriate looted bronze artefacts is ‘important milestone’ for Kelvingrove Museum", The Herald, June 29) is to be welcomed. In this week of "consultation" on the People’s Palace, it would be timely to recognise and amend the looting which has taken place of a wide range of objects and collections from the museum. The museum is as destroyed and as stripped bare as the Winter Gardens were revealed to be last November.

Glasgow history was never a priority within Glasgow Museums. Until 1990, it functioned as a sub-section of the Department of Archaeology, Ethnography and History. After the embarrassment caused to the City of Culture in 1990 by Glasgow’s own culture in the People’s Palace, Glasgow’s history was made safe by reducing it in range from “1750 to the late 20th century” and to the illustration of a few couthy slogans: “The Patter. Doon the Watter. Gaun the Messages.” Collecting seems to have ceased: it is telling that politicians had to write to Glasgow Life to request that some of the placards from the Black Lives Matter protest of June 2020 be saved for the museum collections.

Significant objects and collections from the People’s Palace have been de-contextualised and scattered throughout other Glasgow Life venues like decorative confetti, or simply kept in store. Some examples: the stained glass collection, all of it designed and made in Glasgow, has not been seen for 30 years. The Wardian Case, which was a miniature Winter Gardens, made by Andrew Brown, tinsmith and instrument maker to Lord Lister in the 1880s, displayed in the entrance hall of the People’s Palace was “discovered” in the museum store by a London-based ceramic artist, featured in an exhibition of the Gallery of Modern Art, totally out of context, then stuck back in store. The paintings by Alasdair Gray have been shown everywhere except the People’s Palace. The interior from the Rendezvous Café in Dennistoun and elements from the Calton Bar are now in the Riverside Museum, where countless items decorate the pawn shops and other displays. Much of the Glasgow tiles collection is in storage at the Kelvin Hall and the portable organ of world-famous Springburn-based evangelists Seth and Bessie Sykes is locked up in the St Mungo Museum. This theft of collections is a massive identity theft on a city scale, which in turn, diminishes Scotland.

Glasgow history deserves respect, interpretation and a time line. Like the Lakota Sioux people, Glaswegians deserve to know of their culture, through their cultural artefacts.

We need to make sure that the promise of full restoration of the People’s Palace Museum and Winter Gardens is made a priority.

Elspeth King, Glasgow.


BRIAN Wilson raises many pertinent points ("There should be no hiding place for Calmac’s Danish boss", The Herald, June 29). The Glen Sannox was launched on November 21, 2017. If she reaches service in 2023, she will be six years old and already 17 per cent through her now-extended 35-year service life or 30% through the old 20-year service life.

Sitting idle has already cut even more into her service life as corrosion impacts upon her hull without anodic protection and the engines manufactured in 2017 have sat idle with ongoing effects upon seals and gaskets that have sat unused. In addition, the crankshafts have sat upon their bearings where the additional weight of the pistons and conrods will have caused a "set" or flattening of the crankshaft bearings due to their continual weight pressing down upon their soft, white metal bearings. This is one of the several reasons that the manufacturers have declined their guarantees unless the engines are removed and returned to their manufacturing site for a complete strip-down and rebuild. Indeed even before they have turned a revolution, the risks in just starting the engines are very real.

Will these ferries ever be accepted by CMAL? I absolutely doubt it.

Peter Wright, West Kilbride.


ROSEMARY Goring examines the problems of second houses, specifically in rural/coastal villages ("Are second homes so wrong? Or are we just jealous?", The Herald, June 29) but this is wider than Scotland/UK. Denmark has an EU exemption specifically to limit purchases of coastal property by non-residents. The French Basque country now require landlords who use property for short-term lets to offer a second property, similar in size and in the same town, for conventional rental contracts; nor can they simply build a new property, this must be a refurbishment of an existing, unused building.

Scotland really should have no problems as we have vast areas of empty land, numerous non-utilised lochs/coasts/glens/underpopulated islands in highly scenic areas. Instead of buying up property in working villages (which should be limited in number), planning departments should designate “empty” areas for holiday home construction to take place. In this age of working from home, people might even be tempted to put down roots.

It is common for Scandinavians to have lakeside/coastal holiday homes, and to use them throughout the summer; Scots should do the same.

GR Weir, Ochiltree.


THOUGH I realise that levity is an inappropriate response to Neil Mackay’s thoughtful article “Can we turn back from this collision course with disaster?” (The Herald, June 28, I was ineluctably reminded of the caption to a Bud Neill cartoon of almost exactly 70 years ago depicting two large ladies and one small one with her face obscured by a large hat, standing at a tram stop:

“Mrs Thomson disnae ken whit the world’s comin’ tae, sure you don’t Mrs T?”

Robin Dow, Rothesay.


I NOTE that the First Minister presented the Queen with several gifts which included a limited edition bottle of whisky ("From referendum to royalty", The Herald, June 30). Perhaps the other gifts included a haggis and a box of shortbread. Talk about originality.

Malcolm Allan, Bishopbriggs.