CONGRATULATIONS to The Herald and the Scottish Book Trust on your Christmas Appeal ("This appeal is to help bring joy to children and improve their wellbeing", The Herald, November 14, and Letters, November 16). Every child deserves the chance to read and expand their imagination.

But I wonder how many children will be able to read further thanks to a local library? I see and read of library closures, reduced staff, and the complete destruction of school library services both in individual schools and council-wide provision. I know from personal experience that these measures are led by senior managers who have never set foot in a library since their school days, who don’t understand, and don’t ask, what library staff offer on a daily basis to make a library visit fulfilling and worthwhile.

Almost every day I read authors and other public figures extolling the value of libraries and especially how important they were in their childhood, but still library closures continue. Where will our grandchildren find the books to open their minds and imaginations?

Dorothy McLennan, Dunoon.


AGAIN I read letters in The Herald about the ongoing ferry problems and the increasing anger of islanders whose frustration is almost out of control and rightly so.

CalMac CEO Robbie Drummond's recent letter (February 14) was a well-crafted PR exercise but did do not very much in alleviating the problems in the way of confirming that other temporary vessels which are suitable are being sought. I only had to look at the first listing on the Apollo Duck ( brokerage site to see the advertisement for the Orcadia at £395,000. This ship previously sailed between Ardrossan and Brodick as the Saturn before being sold for service in the Orkney Islands. Could she be returned to service on the Clyde pending delivery of the Glen Sannox and Hull 802? There are many other ferries on this site and surely someone with a bit of common sense within the Holyrood Government could instruct CMAL to do something. Anything would be better than what is the present situation.

Ian Gray, Croftamie.


SOME time ago when Scotland were due to play Ukraine in an important football fixture the Prime Minister suggested that Scotland should forfeit the tie as a show of solidarity with the people of Ukraine at a time of great distress and conflict. It never came to pass and Ukraine overcame Scotland in any case. No mention was made of allowing Ukraine to qualify at the expense of Wales in the final qualifier. Wales then ultimately progressed, and good luck to them.

In the interests of national solidarity and a show of character for fairness around the world wouldn’t it be a similar show of solidarity with the downtrodden citizens of Qatar and the many thousands of immigrant workers who lost their lives in appalling conditions for this Prime Minister to withdraw the England team from the World Cup? I’m sure this statement of intent would send a strong message to Qatar and other like-minded nations that their regimes will not be tolerated in this day and age.

Robert Hayes, Cumbernauld.


STIRLING, once proud capital of Scotland, central to the fight for independence at Stirling Bridge and Bannockburn, is now embroiled in a 21st century conflict.

It is the intention of the "city" faithers to drive (pardon the pun) the motorised vehicles from the highways and byways of the ancient burgh. Streets have been torn up, someone has made a fortune in supplying traffic cones, no need for fairy lights as traffic lights are in vogue, and don’t get me started on the proliferation of signs informing the poor motorists that the authorities offer their apologies for any disturbance to our daily comings and goings.

And for what good reason you may well ask have mayhem, gridlock, frustration and confusion been visited on our four-wheeled friends? In a word – sustainabilty. The car is dead, long live the bike. Now, as a part-time pedaller I have to declare that I do enjoy the wind blowing through the gaps in my teeth. But not at the expense of those who’d rather drive to their work, the shops, the gym, and so on.

I admit that I may be wrong and that the motorists of Stirling may abandon their gas-guzzling monsters and hot-foot it to the nearest cycle shop to purchase le grand tourer. Given the Scottish weather, the lack of a proper, joined-up cycle scheme incorporating all routes east to Clackmannanshire, and the reticence of experienced cyclists to venture on to badly planned and constructed cycle lanes, I hae ma douts.

Ricky Cassidy, Stirling.


THERE are now Met Office Yellow and Amber warnings for rain. Very soon they will be putting up signs to tell you when it is getting dark.

Malcolm Parkin, Kinross.


THANK goodness I panic-bought all those toilet rolls. I may be be able to swap them for some eggs ("Supermarkets limit egg sales amid supply issues", The Herald, November 17).

David Hay, Minard, Argyll.


DAVID Miller’s measured mini-masterpiece makes much of miscellaneous media machinations modulated by Mr McConnell managing a mixter-maxster mess to marvel many, myself included (Letters, November 17).

Alliterations always, absolutely.

R Russell Smith, Largs.


THE correspondence about pulleys (Letters, November 9, 10, 11, 12 & 15) prompts the following memory.

We knew a Clydebank couple during the war. One day the lady ironed handkerchiefs, and having first dampened them (to get nice sharp edges), finished by hanging them on the bathroom pulley.

That night the sirens went and they all took shelter. At the All Clear, they went home and found, they said, that they had lost everything. In the morning, they went back to see it in daylight. One thing spared was the bathroom ceiling. The pulley was intact, and so were the rows of ironed hankies.

They muttered "Nuts to you, Jerry," and cheered up.

Moyna Gardner, Glasgow.