WHILE the Scottish Government and CMAL fully deserve all the criticism which has come their way over their mishandling of the ferries debacle, I wonder why no-one sees fit to address the elephant in the room: namely the intransigent attitude of the RMT union, which insists on the building of floating hotels for its members, and refuses to countenance the use of catamarans, which have no sleeping quarters, nor eating facilities.

I have a vested interest in getting to and from Arran. There is plenty of space at both Ardrossan and Brodick piers to build adequate overnight accommodation with a proper canteen, only yards from the berths, but the RMT will have none of it.

I despair for the future of our island communities.

John NE Rankin, Bridge of Allan.


WHY is the history of the working-class people of Glasgow being so neglected by Glasgow Life?

The Burrell Collection has had a £68 million refurbishment, the Provand's Lordship is due for a £1m refurbishment and still the Winter Gardens lie derelict and the People's Palace at Glasgow Green is only partially open.

Apparently the Winter Gardens, where all the wonderful and ancient trees and plants have been destroyed, requires £25m but only £2.9m has been allocated. A survey was conducted to garner people's views but it was only open to people who live in the Calton area of Glasgow. Considering that the People's Palace attracts visitors from all over the country and abroad and is free to enter, this is a paltry sum. These repairs are urgent. These buildings were gifted to the people and belong to us.

Of course, there are other priorities these days, but if money can be found for one project then why not for another? It is heartbreaking to see the state of the Winter Gardens and such a disappointment for visitors and locals alike who regularly use Glasgow Green for recreation.

The dumbing down of collections and items on display and the storage of items which are rarely if ever seen again is something that should also be addressed not just by Glasgow City Council but by other local authorities in Scotland remembering that many of these items reflect day to day life of our people not the rich and famous collectors at the Burrell, and were donated by them. I have donated a number of items to the People's Palace myself but they are nowhere to be seen.

Similarly, I inquired of South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture about the whereabouts of the Rutherglen Coat of Arms which used to hang above the Provost chair in the Council Chambers in advance of our novocentenary in 2026 as it should be returned to the people along with the Landemer Flag which displays part of it, but was told that it was in storage "somewhere off site" and should it require repairs –after 40 years in storage – there was no budget for this.

Many of our local artefacts were taken by Glasgow District Council in 1975 when we were taken over but it was South Lanarkshire Council from 1997 which closed our local museum. It states that all items are safely in storage and that it had all items returned from Glasgow, but what is the point in having them stored in a cellar somewhere when they could be displayed where they belong in Rutherglen Town Hall?

Dorothy Connor, Rutherglen, Glasgow.


I COULDN’T agree more with Rosemary Goring’s opinion that “Our good intentions on climate change have melted away” (The Herald, July 13).

In ancient times the Jonahs of this world predicted catastrophe to all who would not mend their ways. This resulted in repentance for a little while then back to the “sins” of the past when “normal” activities resumed.

How extraordinary that in this era we have learned so little from the plague of the pandemic. Lockdown saw the best summer weather. On Glasgow Green you could smell the trees for the first time and hear the River Clyde flow by. Even St Mungo, I’m sure, never heard that in the Dear Green Place.

Now, however, the sky is criss-crossed with pollution trails from aircraft overhead. You can hardly get access to Glasgow Green for traffic and/or private concerts. Although it is great to see people enjoy themselves again, there is a price to pay for every excess.

Susan Martin, Glasgow.


IAN Balloch (Letters, July 11) remarks on the present-day prevalence of drought and flood warnings. I would attribute this wholly to nomenclature inflation.

Whereas there used to be sunny, dry, wet or wintry weather, now there are heatwaves, droughts, floods and Arctic conditions. Similarly, while we used to go for a swim, we now engage in "wild swimming", a term unblushingly used by those who now use wet suits and arrange for a boat to accompany them if they propose to venture into water more than about six feet deep.

Possibly, just as weather has got worse, water has got wetter and hence more hazardous, but we auld bauchles are inclined to be sceptical of such modern findings as these; likewise of the necessity for orchestral players to wear earplugs, the danger posed to churchgoers by organ pipes made of alloy containing some lead, to DIY types recklessly using screwdrivers without wearing goggles and myriad other perils of which we were quite heedless.

One wonders what a citizen of 70 years ago, who would have known not to look directly at the arc when tram rails were being welded, would have made of formal warnings of the possibility of flooding following heavy rainfall. If of a jocular temperament he might have said: "They'll be telling us next that that pies will be hot when heated".

Robin Dow, Rothesay.

• CATRIONA Stewart ("Fun in the sun stories belong to a bygone, temperate time", The Herald, July 15) writing of the expression which she takes to be Scottish, "it's raining soldiers", made me recall one from my Scottish grannies: "It's raining like stair rods." Use of this today would lead to having to give an explanation of what stair rods were.

John Macnab, Falkirk.