WITH reference to your lead front-page article on Tuesday ("Cancer charity blames ‘quality’ fears for axed Beatson funding", The Herald, February 14) and today's letters from Neil Stewart and June Browning (February 15), I would like to add my voice to the condemnation of Cancer Research UK's withdrawal of core funding from the Beatson CTU on the grounds of the CTU's output being of insufficient quality.

My late wife was treated as a Beatson outpatient for her glioblastoma – brain tumour to save you googling – for her last nine months in 2021. I had several conversations with her consultant from which I gathered that CRUK's financial input was around 2%. I was advised to donate to the brain tumour charity whose financial contribution was significantly more, due in large part to its lower overheads for advertising, administration and the like.

His general advice (note to June Browning) was to contribute to the specific charity for the relevant variety of each cancer; brain, or breast or lung and so on.

My impression of the Beatson, and particularly the brain tumour unit, is that it is fully on top of and contributing to developments of treatment in their field, allowing for the minimal support from CRUK whose statements and action can only be damaging to the work being done there. I would suggest too that these statements are potentially defamatory, although clearly no lawyers' fees will be wasted in this regard.

While I am on the subject, some months into my wife's treatment an article was published in the Sunday Times about a man who had survived with his glioblastoma for some five years thanks to being on a trial of a new drug. You can imagine how our hopes were raised by this report. The consultant was beyond furious about it.

What the article did not say was that there are around 20 sub-types of glioblastoma, and this drug was only effective for a single blood type in one of these, so your chances of benefiting from it were one in 10,000. This report should not have been released prior to the final report on and validation of the trial.
Bill Clark, Airdrie

• I NOTICE NHS Highland was fined £180,000 having been found guilty of negligence resulting in the death of a patient ("NHS fined over fall death", The Herald, February 15). It certainly seems in order to invoke some kind of penalty but where is the money coming from? What secret funding is available to NHS Grampian? Surely the fine is actually being levied on us the taxpayers? I don’t recall my personal negligence in this matter but it appears I’m paying anyway.
Forbes Dunlop, Glasgow

Theatres share the blame

THE comments by Richard C Kelly on women being slaughtered drunk whilst attending events ("Whatever happened to once-polite Scots theatre audiences?", The Herald, February 14) could not have been more accurate.

At a recent concert in the Hydro we had to suffer a couple next to us who during the concert had to make four visits to the bar, each time returning with a tray of drinks. Then, as Mr Kelly points out, there are those who seem to think it is acceptable to sing along with the artist/group and dance away blocking your view of the stage and woe betide you when you dare to complain.

However, the venues themselves must take part of the blame as I am old enough to remember when nothing was allowed into the seated area. Now selling alcohol all night is seen as a revenue stream for venues which perhaps should do more to manage the issue.
Douglas Jardine, Bishopbriggs

• MY wife and I attended the final show of The Jersey Boys at the Playhouse in Edinburgh. It was the first time in many years of going to theatre shows that we’d heard Tannoy announcements beforehand warning against anti-social behaviour and asking customers not to sing along. We have attended big productions including many musical shows over the past 10 years at theatres from Ayr to Aberdeen but we have never seen anything like that Playhouse experience.

The theatre opened its doors an hour before curtains up and was actively encouraging ticketholders to come early. We arrived 45 minutes before the show and the bars were already very busy. I asked if we could order hot drinks for the interval only to be told that the main bar serving the stalls was not providing hot drinks (only alcohol and soft drinks).

When the interval arrived, we went to the bar and I’ve never seen the Playhouse bar, or any theatre bar for that matter, as packed out. There was no space at all to stand with a drink – everyone was queueing to get served. A staff member was doing their best to manage the multiple queues. We finally got served as the bell was ringing so had to take our drinks back to our seats.

In the row behind us, there was a group of women who had been talking and laughing throughout the first half and it took until the second half before staff asked the main culprit to leave. It struck me that this particular show is becoming like a musical cult event, and not a pleasant one. Conversely, we attended a 70s disco music night in Dunfermline last year and although many people were clearly under the influence of alcohol, they were permitted to sing along which created a real fun and relaxed atmosphere.
Brian Watt, Edinburgh

What a belter my teacher was

RECENT letters from Latin scholars (January 11, 13, 14 & 15) bring back painful memories of my school days in the 1960s at Liberton Senior Secondary (as it was then). Sadly I was not a star pupil and gave up the subject after second year.

Our Latin teacher was Mr Mackintosh; one morning as we stood outside the classroom, larking about with tiny water pistols while we waited for him, I failed to see "Tosh" approaching from behind. I said, quietly as I thought, "get Tosh". Everyone else had seen him approaching and fell silent just as I spoke; my "sotto voce" fell into the void like a bomb.

Four of the belt was Tosh's reply, and he was the school tennis champion.
John Jamieson, Ayr

• UNLIKE R Russell Smith (Letters, February 15), I can clearly recall the nicknames of two Latin teachers in the 1950s. One tall, lanky teacher, Mr Burden, was known as "Onera Ingentia", which I believe translates at least approximately as "Huge Burden". The other was less imaginative, being Basher Laird on account of his broken nose.
Gordon Evans, Glasgow


Letters should not exceed 500 words. We reserve the right to edit submissions.